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Abrahams, John (1860-1940)

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Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1940 Jul 31 p. 3

Birth date: 1860 Jun 18

text of obituary:

Rev. John Abrahams

Rev. John Abrahams was born on June 18, 1860 and died at his home near Henderson, Neb., July 13, 1940, at the age of 80 years and 25 days.

He was the oldest son of Johann and Kathrina Abrahams, who lived in Landskrone, South Russia. At this place he also spent his early boyhood and received his elementary German education. His father died when he was twelve years which left his mother with eight children to rear and nurture. In the years of 1874 the mother migrated with her children to America, coming directly to the vicinity of Henderson, Nebr. After spending three weeks in the immigrant house the family settled on a farm northeast of the present village of Henderson where they lived the life of the pioneers.

After he grew to manhood he began to shift for himself and spent considerable time working among English-speaking people where he learned to use the language of the land more fluently. He found employment as a clerk in a retail store in Bradshaw and continued to live there for about fourteen years after his marriage. On December 19, 1882 he was united in holy wedlock by Elder Johann Kliewer to Kathrina Kroeker. this union lasted for 57 years, 6 months and 24 days.

After the Bradshaw cyclone of 1890 he lost his position due to the wholesale devastation and was forced to seek employment elsewhere. He spent a few more years in Bradshaw at various occupations but finding no work to his satisfaction he left the village and moved to his farm which he had acquired earlier, and has resided there ever since.

In the later seventies he took catechetical instruction from Elder Isaac Peters and was taken into membership into the Bethesda church in Henderson. He was deeply interested in church work and was instrumental in organizing the first Sunday school in this church. He loved to sing and for some time directed the singing in the church. In 1895 he was made a church deacon. He transferred his membership to the Mennonite Brethren church in 1901 where he retained his affiliation to the end. In July 1916 he was ordained a minister by Rev. Heinrich Voth. He served in this capacity ever since and for several years he held the leadership but finally had to desist because of his health.

Rev. Abrahams possessed a pleasing personality and to know him was to love him. He had a wide range of acquaintance and a large circle of friends. He maintained a strong Christina character and his influence was always a blessing to his friends. He maintained a strong Christian character and his influence was always a blessing to his friends and will remain a rich heritage. He was an earnest, faitful [sic] Christian and his long life is a worthy example and an inspiration to all who knew him. He was ever sustained by his Christian faith and it is true of him as Job said, "Thou shalt come to thy grave in full age, like a shock of corn cometh in his season." Ready and ripe and upheld by Christian hope he looked forward to the home beyond "to the house not made with hands eternal in the havens."

In 1939 he resigned from church leadership but did assist with church services in a smaller capacity, preaching an occasional sermon. Eventually this too, taxes his mental and physical abilities so that he had to refrain from ministerial work altogether. He continued to grow weaker and attended services in the church for the last time in the fall of 1939 although he was able to move about at his home. The last few months he failed rapidly and on Thursday, July 11, he suffered a stroke and passed away shortly before six o'clock in Saturday morning, July 18th.

He leaves to mourn his passing: his widow, one brother, two sisters, one brother-in-law, two sisters-in-law and other relatives, a host of friends and acquaintances.

Funeral services were held at the Mennonite brethren church in Henderson on Tuesday afternoon, July 16, at 1:30. Rev. H. B. Kliewer and Rev. Adam Ross had charge of the services in the church. Interment was made in the cemetery northwest of Henderson.

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