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Unruh, John J. (1865-1954)

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Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1954 Aug 12 p. 6

Birth date: 1865 Aug 7

Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1954 Aug 19 p. 9

text of obituary:


John J. Unruh, our father was born August 7, 1865, in Nikolai, South Russia, the son of John Unruh and Helena (Voth) Unruh, and departed this life at the Bethel Home for the Aged in Newton, Kans. on August 4, 1954, at 5:20 p. m., attaining the age of 89 years less three days.

At the age of nine years he emigrated with his parents to the United States. They settled on a farm north of Walton in Marion county, Kansas. Here they experienced all the hardships and trials of pioneer life. As a lad he became interested in farming and threshing. The latter occupation, which he followed for 47 years, was his greatest interest. Here he came in contact with many people and since his education was limited to only a few short terms in the German language, he felt the need of the English language and by his own efforts he acquired a fairly good knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Besides the Bible he read the newspapers and various books.

On Oct. 8, 1885, he was baptized upon confession of his faith in Jesus Christ his Redeemer by Rev. Jacob Buller and was received into the fellowship of the Alexanderwohl church of which he remained a faithful member.

On May 12, 1887, he was united in marriage to Helena Voth with whom he was privileged to share joys and sorrows for 28 years, three months, and nine days. To this union were born nine children. The oldest son Edward preceded him in death in 1945 and the youngest son Joseph died in 1907 at the age of less than two years.

Our parents were privileged to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in their home on May 12, 1912, to which they had invited many relatives and friends.

Father's deepest sorrow came when mother passed away unexpectedly after an operation in 1915. Since mother's passing, father remained on the farm until 1931 when he retired and made his home with Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Schmidt, his youngest daughter, Esther, in Newton, Kansas.

He suffered a light stroke on Oct. 3, 1948, and as a result had to be admitted to the Bethel Deaconess hospital 10 days later. Here he remained until a week before Christmas when he again returned to the home of his daughter. His health improved so that he could again attend church services near home. He missed the use of his car very much. One of his greatest enjoyments was to take his friends with him to church and public meetings. Especially did he enjoy music programs and made it a practice never to be late.

On March 26, 1952, his health became such that he had to be admitted to the Bethel Deaconess hospital again. Here he received the best of care, and by September he had recovered sufficiently so that he was able to go to the Bethel Home for the Aged where he remained. At the Home he received the most loving care, for which he often expressed his appreciation.

Father always stood ready to help in any way he could. He was vitally interested in the spiritual life of his family, his church, and community. He served as trustee of the church, as a school board member and was a director of the Farmers Grain Co. of Walton for many years.

Just why father had to lie helpless so long, we do not know; but we do know that he was resigned to the will of God and that he taught us an unforgettable lesson, that of patience and thankfulness. One of his prayers during his last weeks was: "Lord Jesus, I hold on to thy hand and if I can no longer hold on, hold Thou mine."

Surviving are: Albert and wife Minnie of North Newton; Rudolph and wife Lydia of Goessel; Agnes, Mrs. J. C. Reimer and husband of Hillsboro; Elsie, Mrs. P. G. Regier and husband of Moundridge; Mary, Mrs. Arthur Schroeder and husband of North Newton; Selma, Mrs. G. A. Unruh and husband of rural Newton; Esther, Mrs. M. E. Schmidt and husband of Newton; one daughter-in-law, Mrs. Edward (Elizabeth) Unruh of Halstead; 20 grandchildren, and 32 great-grandchildren, and many relatives and friends.

Funeral services were conducted Monday morning, August 9. A short service was held at 9:00 in Sister Frieda Memorial Chapel for the family and residents of the Bethel Home and friends, with the Rev. Harold Buller in charge. Additional service was held at 10:15 at the Alexanderwohl church with Rev. P. A. Wedel officiating assisted by Rev. H. T. Unruh. Burial was made in the church cemetery.

A male quartet sang at both services, and also at the graveside.

—The Family.

The Mennonite obituary: 1954 Sep 14 p. 576

Text of obituary:

JOHN J. UNRUH, member of the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, was born August 7, 1865, and died at the Bethel Home for the Aged, Newton, Kansas, on August 4, 1954.

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