Obituary for Esther Wenger
Esther Elizabeth (Boehr) Wenger, 94, retired missionary and church worker, died Sunday, December 18, 2016, at Kidron Bethel in North Newton, KS. She was born April 1, 1922, in Wisner, NE, to Henry and Elizabeth (Wiebe) Boehr. Baptized in 1935 at Salem Mennonite Church, she graduated from Wisner High School in 1939. Esther obtained a Secondary Teachers Certificate at Bethel College and taught school in Goessel, KS. In 1943 she took a summer session at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Esther married Malcolm Wenger December 23, 1943, in Wisner. (They were a few months short of their 60th wedding anniversary when Malcolm passed away.)
As newlyweds, Malcolm and Esther moved to Montana and spent 22 years with the Northern Cheyenne, serving as General Conference Mennonite missionaries. Esther was an ordained Minister of the General Conference Mennonite Church. In 1966 they moved back to Newton where Esther was an active member, deacon and teacher at Faith Mennonite Church. In 1978 Malcolm and Esther moved to Manitoba, where they pastored Selkirk Mennonite Church which included Metis and Native Canadians. In 1985 semi-retirement brought them back to Newton from where they served for short periods in Crow Agency, MT; Buhler, KS; and Kykotsmovi, AZ. They attended Shalom Mennonite Church. In 1999 they moved to Kidron Bethel Village.
Esther frequently reached out to people of all ages, hosting guests, corresponding with and visiting others, with a concern for their faith. In addition to being an attentive mom and grandmother, she spent many years teaching Sunday School, directing church programs, playing piano and organ, and helping with youth camps. One of Esther’s prayers was that “we will all find ways to live the love of Christ in our activities.”
Survivors include three daughters: Betsy (Randall) Kaufman, Windom, KS; Ann Wenger, Goshen, IN; Grace Wenger, Newton. Sons-in-law: Ken Voth, Newton; Konrad Ege, Mt. Rainier, MD. Three grandchildren: Cristina (Scott) Woodall, Phoenix, AZ; David (Sarah) Kaufman, Halstead, KS; Hans Ege Wenger, Afghanistan. Two great-grandchildren: Erik and Evan Kaufman. One nephew: John (Kim) Schmidt, San Francisco, CA. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by two daughters: Becky Voth and Martha Wenger; sister-in-law Ruth (Wenger) Schmidt, Orlando Schmidt, and their son Ted Schmidt.
Services will be held Thursday, December 29: Viewing, 10:00-11:00am, Peterson Funeral Home, Newton; Burial, 2:00pm, Eastlawn Cemetery, Zimmerdale; Memorial Service, 4:00pm, Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, with meal and sharing to follow.
Memorial suggestion: White River Cheyenne Mennonite Church, Busby, MT.