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Marvin Ewert

March 25, 2015

Marvin Ewert completed his life on March 25, 2015 at the Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton, KS, ten days after he and his family celebrated his 90th birthday.


Marvin was born March 16, 1925 at Dolton, South Dakota. His parents were Henry J. Ewert and Lena (Tiahrt) Ewert. At the time, his parents and an older half-sister were temporarily living with his mother’s parents. In the months following his birth the family moved to a farm two miles northeast of Dolton. Here Marvin grew up learning the importance of taking responsibility, education, hard work, mechanics, frugality, and Christian living.


The family attended and participated in the life of the nearby Bethel Mennonite Church. After completing catechetical instruction and upon his profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Marvin was baptized and became a member of the church in October 1939.


Marvin received his elementary education in a one-room country school. He graduated from Freeman Academy, receiving a high school diploma in 1943. He graduated from Freeman Junior College in 1948 and from Bethel College in North Newton, KS in 1950. He then attended Mennonite Biblical Seminary for three years, graduating in 1953. He took additional post-graduate courses for two years at the University of Chicago. Later he would take a management course at Wichita State University and also participated in an intensive four-week hospital administration course at Cornell University.


In 1953 he married Eleanor Thiessen, a nurse and also a 1950 graduate of Bethel College. They had two sons, Warren born in 1956, and Brian born in 1958.


In 1955 Marvin became the chaplain at Bethel Deaconess Hospital and Bethel Home for the Aged in Newton, KS. On January 1, 1957, accepting an invitation from the board of directors, he became the administrator of the institutions. He was active in state and national healthcare organizations, including a term of service as the president of the American Protestant Hospital Association. He resigned as administrator of the Home for the Aged in 1986, and he retired from an administrative position at the hospital in 1990 at age 65.


In April 1980 Eleanor died. Four years later Marvin married Alma Hershberger Baker, who had four children from her previous marriage.


After moving from Chicago to Newton in 1955, Marvin joined the First Mennonite Church, where he served in various leadership positions. He taught Sunday school classes for nearly 50 years, discontinuing in 2010 due to impaired eyesight.


Preceding him in death were his first wife, Eleanor, his parents, a half-sister, Othielia Fransen, brothers Eldon Ewert and Milton Ewert, a daughter-in-law, Sharon Groff, and a stepdaughter, Jana Baker Cannon.


He is survived by his wife Alma, sons Warren and wife Joleen of Bartlesville, OK and their children, Brian and his wife Kathleen Rulka of Marshfield, WI and their children, and sister-in-law Joann Ewert of Modesto, CA.  Also surviving are two stepsons and a stepdaughter, Gregory Baker and wife Teresa of Tulsa, OK and their children, Anthony Baker and wife Ronda of Newton, KS and their children, Connie Roadhouse and husband Brian of Tulsa, OK and their children, the children of deceased stepdaughter Jana Baker Cannon, twelve great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.


The family deeply appreciates the care and support Marvin was blessed to receive from many members of the community during his final years.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN, Bethel College, North Newton, KS, or First Mennonite Church, Newton, KS.


A memorial service celebrating Marvin’s life will be held at First Mennonite Church, Newton, KS on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM.

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