Deaths (Week of August, 2008)

Irene Brooks, 91


Irene Ellen Brooks, 91, retired store and bank employee from Marion, died Monday, Aug. 18, at St. Luke Living Center, Marion.

The service was at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, at Zeiner Funeral Home, Marion, with burial at the Marion Cemetery.

She was born May 31, 1917, to Nees Louis and Cora (Penland) Olsen in rural Marion. On Oct. 18, 1941, she was married to Paul B. Seibert, who predeceased her in 1953. On March 3, 1955, she was married to Robert R. Brooks, who predeceased her in 1993.

She is survived by a daughter, Robyn Brooks and husband Don Molleker of Marion; a sister, Esther Dwyer of Marion, and four grandchildren.

Memorials may be sent to Valley United Methodist Church or St. Luke Foundation through Zeiner Funeral Home.


Mary Christiansen, 79


Mary K. Christiansen, 79, retired bookkeeper and homemaker, passed away Thursday, Aug. 21, in Salina.

Memorial mass was at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25, at St. Mary?s Catholic Church, Salina. Private family burial was later at Canton Township Cemetery.

She was born March 28, 1929, as a twin daughter to Patrick F. and Katharine Noone in Salina.

On Sept. 22, 1948, she was married to Merrill Christiansen, who predeceased her. Together they ran a cattle and farming operation in Marion County and were co-owners of the livestock auction in Salina for 20 years.

She was active in her community through her church, The Holy Family Parish of Marion County, 4-H leadership, the Durham Library and Senior Center, The Red Hat Society, and the election board in Marion County, where she lived for nearly all her life. She recently was a resident of Presbyterian Manor in Salina.

She is survived by two sons, Tom and wife Connie of Cape Coral, Fla., and Gary and wife Tamara of Durham; two daughters, Barbara McDonald and husband Stan of Salina; Karen Hunter and husband Steve of Centreville, Va.; a brother, Richard Noone of Hillsboro; twin sister Margaret McMillen of Mission; seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Visitation was from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, at Ryan Mortuary, Salina, with a vigil service at 6 p.m.

The family suggests memorials be made in lieu of flowers to Hospice of Salina or Presby?terian Manor and may be left in care of Ryan Mortuary.


Bertha Harder, 94


Bertha Fast Harder, 94, former Mennonite Voluntary Service director, died Aug. 23 at Bethesda Home in Goessel.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Aug. 30 at Bethel College Mennonite Church in Newton. A private family burial will be at the Gnadenau Mennonite Cemetery south of Hillsboro.

She was born July 26, 1914, to Herman B. and Anna Warkentin Fast in Mountain Lake, Minn. On Aug. 8, 1951, she was married to Leland Harder who survives in Newton at Kidron-Bethel Retirement Village.

She is also survived by sons John and Julie Harder of Windsor, Ontario, and Tom and Lois Harder of Wichita; sisters Wilma Fast Jungas of Mountain Lake, and Marie Ruth Fast Wall and husband Gaylord of Avon, Conn.; a brother, Bob and Odette Fast of Fairmont, Minn.; and five grandchildren.

Memorials have been established with the Mennonite Central Committee and the Bethel College Mennonite Church.


Catherine Hajek, 79


Catherine J. Hajek, 79, of Tampa, died Aug. 22 at St. Luke Hospital in Marion.

Rosary was Aug. 25 and the funeral mass was Aug. 26, both at Holy Family Parish, Holy Redeemer Church in Tampa. Burial was at St. Mary?s Cemetery in Tampa.

She was born Aug. 24, 1928, to James and Anna (Noone) Costello. On Sept. 17, 1949, she was married to Martin Hajek, who survives.

She is also survived by a son, John and Carla of Tampa; daughters Mary and Walt Whitchurch of Miami, Fla., Susan and Dennis Rowley of Chesapeake, Va., Joan and Steve Hillyer of Shawnee, and Diane and Steve Challacombe of Manhattan; and sisters Anna Mary Bergkamp of Pretty Prairie, Rosemary Lewis of Wichita, and Florence Scanlan of Laguna Nigel, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established for the Tampa Community Association in care of Zeiner Funeral Home of Marion.


Rebecca Morris, 49


Rebecca Faye Morris, 49, home health care provider, died Aug. 24 at Via Christy St. Francis (Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice) in Wichita.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 30 at Kingdom Life Ministries in Hesston. Burial will be at East Lawn Cemetery in Hesston.

Family will receive guests from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 29 at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro.

She was born June 29, 1959, to Carl Klassen and Martha (Patzer) Krause in Moundridge.

She is survived by her mother of Hillsboro; a son, Ishmael Morris of Hillsboro; brothers Brian Klassen of Valley Center, Robert Ray Klassen of Sanger, Texas, and Daniel Klassen of Casper, Wyo.; and a sister, LeNora Duerksen of Goessel.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been with Ishmael Morris Education Fund.


Peter Schmidt Jr., 89


Peter Schmidt Jr., 89, retired custodian for USD 410 from Lehigh, died Aug. 17.

The service was at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at First Menno?nite Church, Hillsboro, with pastor Randy Smith officiating. Burial at the Lehigh Mennonite Cemetery preceded the service at 10 a.m.

He was born Aug. 16, 1919, to Peter B. and Susie (Goertz) Schmidt at Goessel. On June 11, 1946, he was married to Hilda E. Schmidt, who survives in North Newton.

He also is survived by two sons, Darrel of Newton and Dwight of Hillsboro; three daughters, Jolene Klassen of Omaha, Neb., LaVonne Marks of Lawrence, and Julia Kaiser of Lehigh; two brothers, Milford of Canton and John Henry of Newton; a sister, Edna Enz of Newton; 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The family received guests from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Jost Funeral Home, Hillsboro. Condolences may be sent to the family via

Memorials have been established with Mennonite Central Committee or First Mennonite Church.


Isaac F. Thiessen, 95


Isaac F. Thiessen, 95, retired farmer and custom cutter from Lehigh, died Aug. 20 at Hillsboro.

The service was at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24, at Park?view Mennonite Brethren Church, Hillsboro, with pastor Steve Schroeder officiating. Burial at Springfield Cemetery, rural Lehigh, precedes the service at 3 p.m.

He was born Oct. 18, 1912, to Dietrich and Agnes (Friesen) Thiessen at Inman. On June 9, 1935, he was married to Helen Warkentin, who predeceased him earlier this year.

He is survived by a son, Paul and wife Ella Mae of Wichita; four daughters, Joyce and husband Gerald Kessler of Hills?boro, Arlene Schale of Hillsboro, Carol and husband Ken Geab?hart of Newton, and Karen and husband Bryce York of Prairie Village; a brother, Menno of Inman; a sister, Barbara Wohlge?muth Franz of Wichita; 16 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.

The family received guests from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Satur?day at Jost Funeral Home, Hills?boro. Condolences may be sent to the family via

Memorials have been established with Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice and Parkview MB Church.


Warren Vajnar, 62


Warren Vajnar, 62, longtime resident of Tampa, died Aug. 22 at the Eventide Convalescent Center in Topeka.

The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 2 at Zeiner Funeral Home, Marion. Burial will follow at Tampa Lutheran Cemetery.

He was born Sept. 13, 1945, to Joe and Edna Schmidt Vajnar in Tampa.

He is survived by a son, Monte of Sylmar, Calif.; a daughter, Cheryl Vajnar of Mission Hills, Calif.; a brother, Robert Vajnar of Tampa; and three grandchildren.

A memorial fund has been established with St. John?s Lutheran Church of Tampa.

Joy Vannocker, 70


Joy F. Vannocker, 70, died Aug. 23 at her home in Florence.

The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 27 at the Christian Church of Florence.

She was born Sept. 14, 1937, to John Henry and Edith (Cain) Thompson in Madison. On March 31, 1962, she was married to Orville Vannocker, who survives.

She is also survived by sons Brad and Becky of Hillsboro, and Russ and Nicole of El Dorado; daughter Cheri and Bruce Bazor of Herington; brother Wayne Thompson of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial fund has been established with Hospice Care of Kansas.

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