Alumni are invited to submit recent news of interest to others — marriage, job change, birth of a child, award, promotion, graduate school, retirement and so on — to the Office of Alumni Relations. Mail to 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit via the Bethel website. Please model your information after the current listings below, beginning with name, class year, city and state.
Anyone who earns 24 or more credit hours is a Bethel alumnus, whether a graduate or not. When reaching alumni status, they are assigned a
class year (later replaced by
grad year if they graduate).
The year behind each name below is the person’s class year, often the same as the grad year unless the individual has told the alumni office that they wish to associate with another reunion year (as in the case of a five-year program, study overseas, etc., that delays graduation).
- Rupert Hohmann ’49, North Newton, was inducted into Newton High School’s Fine Arts Booster Club’s Hall of Fame for his accomplishments and contributions to music. The award ceremony was May 6. Rupert was the first Newton resident to join the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, which he did as a violinist, playing with the WSO for 10 years. In fall 1957, Rupert returned to Bethel to teach and direct the orchestra. In 1966, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Clair, retiring as emeritus professor of music in 1989 to North Newton, where he lives in his childhood home. He established a $2,000 keyboard scholarship awarded to Bethel juniors or seniors. He also established and endowed an ongoing scholarship (named in honor of his father, Walter H. Hohmann ’15) for conducting, and two $500 string scholarships. Rupert was featured in a May 14, 2013, article in The Newton Kansan.
- Walter Jost ’49, North Newton, was inducted into Newton High School’s Fine Arts Booster Club’s Hall of Fame for his accomplishments and contributions to music. The award ceremony was May 6. Walter taught music at Bethel for 32 years, from 1960 until he retired in 1992. He has a doctorate in music from the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the USC Madrigal Singers. He taught music in Freeman, S.D., for seven years and, in addition to serving on Bethel’s music faculty, was also music director at Bethel College Mennonite Church for 25 years and a long-time conductor of the Newton Community Chorale. Walter was featured in a May 14, 2013, article in The Newton Kansan.
- Ruby (Woelk) Baresch ’58, New York, recently completed a historical novella about Anabaptists in 16th-century Amsterdam and is seeking a publisher. In 2011, two of Ruby’s poems were included in an anthology titled Radiating Like a Stone: Wichita Women and the 1970s Feminist Movement (Watermark Press).
- Peter Derksen ’53, Abbotsford, British Columbia, and his wife Mary served in Japan under the Commission on Overseas Mission of the General Conference Mennonite Church, 1954-99, in evangelism and church planting. They now are retired and are members of Emmanuel Mennonite Church.
- Marlow Ediger ’53, North Newton, is a member of the External Examination Committee and is appraising a doctoral thesis for the University of Madras, India. He received notice that the following were accepted for publication:
The Psychology of Learning in Mathematics in Delta K;
Teaching Mathematics and Emotional Intelligence in Experiments in Education;
Literature in the Social Sciences, the Pupil and the Teacher, in the Journal of Instructional Psychology;
The Great Debate in Reading Instruction in Reading Improvement;
Developing Pupil Vocabularies in Edutracks;
Selection of Mathematics Textbooks in Montana Mathematics; and
Which Plan of Reading Instruction is Best? in the Journal of Reading and Literacy. Marlow was reappointed to the editorial board of Edutracks, a professional educational journal. His biography will appear in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World, 2014.
- Marion (Jungas) Franz ’55, Minneapolis, Minn., received the American Association of Diabetes Educators Living Legend Award at the group’s annual meeting in August 2012. Marion is a nutrition and health consultant with Nutrition Concepts by Franz Inc. She helped define the role of nutrition therapy in diabetes education and management of diabetes.
- Dolores (Klassen) Banman ’68, Hesston, retired this year from Newton USD 373 as a teacher with 30 years’ experience.
- Dorothy Nickel Friesen ’69, Newton, was named interim director of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary-Great Plains. Her appointment is a 40-percent assignment for one year, starting July 1. She plans to focus on administration and helping to assess the effectiveness of the site in providing theological education in the area. She was assistant dean of AMBS (on the Elkhart, Ind., campus), 1990-95.
- Richard Hirschler ’63, Goshen, Ind., is a retired physician, working at times as a locum tenens.
- Joel Klaassen ’68, Hillsboro, published the premiere issue of Harvey County NOW.com in early June. The magazine has a corresponding website, www.harveycountynow.com, and is being distributed free of charge in Harvey County.
- Jim Nickel ’65, Newton, was elected Newton mayor at a recent City Commission meeting. He also served as Newton’s mayor in 2008.
- Robert Neufeld ’61, North Newton, has been recognized with the Distinguished Service Award by the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, presented at the recent CCSC annual meeting in Denver. Robert continues to be active in the CCSC Central Plains region, which is most active in Kansas, Missouri and surrounding states. He retired from McPherson College in 2004. Earlier, he taught at Bethel College, Wichita State University and Emporia State University. After retiring from full-time teaching, he taught part time at ESU and WSU.
- Ray Penner ’66, North Newton, was featured in a new magazine, Harvey County NOW.com, which came out in early June. The article focused on his game-hunting hobby. Also featured in the magazine are Ian Gingrich-Gaylord ’03, Newton, and Phil Epp’72, Newton.
- Virgil Penner ’60, North Newton, had an art show and sale May 16-19 in downtown Newton, where he displayed more than 100 acrylic paintings and ink drawings.
- Elizabeth (Pankratz) Raid ’66, Newton, ended her work with Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary-Great Plains June 30. She has been recruitment associate for the last three years.
- Stanley Reimer ’63, Pratt, is owner-photographer of Stan Reimer Photography Ltd. He taught high school music for 12 years and has operated his photography business since 1976.
- Jerry Toews ’66, Goessel, has been the director of the McPherson Community Brass Choir since October. The group formed in 1973 and is the longest-active McPherson musical organization that performs regularly. The musicians range in age from 38 to 86, from all walks of life, and enjoy rehearsing and performing brass choir music together.
- A. Emerson Wiens ’60, Newton, is emeritus professor in the technology department at Illinois State University, Normal. He recently published two books. Mad Bulls, Skinny Dipping and God (FriesenPress, 2012) is an autobiographical novel based on his own memories, including growing up on a tenant farm near Hillsboro during World War II, attending a one-room school, responding to the altar call in the Mennonite Brethren Church, nearly shooting himself with a homemade pistol, and much more. Coming to Terms and Other Poems (Outskirts Press, 2012) is a collection of 72 poems and 29 pencil drawings.
- Laurence Coker ’75, Overland Park, wrote Baseball Injuries: Case Studies, by Type, in the Major Leagues (McFarland & Co. Inc. 2013), released April 7.
- Glen Ediger ’75, North Newton, won a bronze Independent Publisher book award in the Midwest-Best Regional Nonfiction category for Leave No Threshing Stone Unturned (self-published, 2012). Nearly 2,500 independent authors and publishers participated in the 17th annual contest. Glen received the award May 29 in New York. The
IPPY Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to titles from independent authors and publishers.
- Norman Epp ’79, Wheat Ridge, Colo., recently showed his sculpture at the Walker Fine Art Gallery in Denver.
- Phil Epp ’72, Newton, was featured in the new magazine Harvey County NOW.com in an article about his art, which includes a current project for the Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium. The magazine is published by Joel Klaassen ’68. Also featured in the magazine are Ian Gingrich-Gaylord ’03, Newton, and Ray Penner’66, Newton.
- Dennis Flickner ’77, Newton, retired at the end of the 2012-13 school year from Newton USD 373 after serving 24 years. He coached middle-school football and the Science Olympiad team and taught eighth-grade science at Chisholm Middle School.
- Cynthia (Habegger) Loganbill ’77, Wichita, was recognized by the National Federation Officials Association as the 2012 Official of the Year in volleyball.
- Delon Martens ’73, Haven, is completing his 40th year at Yoder Charter School, where he has been principal for the past 10 years. He also teaches third- and fourth-grade math, and physical education to Grades 1-8. He has directed a pre-junior camp at Camp Mennoscah for the past 40 years. His wife, Joretta (Penner) Martens ’74, is a registered nurse at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, where she has been employed the past 40 years. They continue to travel, with recent trips to China and Greece. This summer, they plan to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with a family trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
- Daryl Nickel ’71, Golden, Colo., moved to Colorado last July after living in Overbrook for 15 years. He continues to craft Mennonite-style furniture, including replicas of trunks, cupboards, dry sinks and wardrobes. Daryl uses all types of wood and adds hand-cut inlays, hand-painting and graining to the design. He sells his wares via word of mouth and online.
- Richard Walker ’70, Newton, Harvey County District Court judge, was inducted into the Newton High School Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame and was honored during the school’s commencement events in May. He was featured in a May 16, 2013, article in The Newton Kansan.
- Abram Wiebe ’71, Steinbach, Manitoba, retired from actively teaching junior high in 1994. For the next 10 years, he was a substitute in industrial arts in area schools and later taught two-week woodworking classes for disadvantaged adults in Winnipeg. On July 1, 2012, he retired from active lay ministry in his church (ordained in 1980) and received the designation of
lay minister emeritus. He and Susan are involved in various church activities.
- Janet Neufeld ’80, Bennington, was named superintendent of schools for Twin Valley USD 240. Janet recently served as an academic manager in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas.
- Beth (Epp) Unruh ’81, Walton, retired this year from Newton USD 373. She most recently taught at Northridge Elementary School and had 32 years of service.
- Lance Zimmerman ’89, Reedley, Calif., graduated with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Alliant International University’s California School of Professional Psychology and will be a post-doctoral fellow at Sequoia Psychotherapy Center, Fresno, Calif., after his internship is complete in June. He also is an adjunct instructor with Alliant.
- David Austin ’95, Bel Aire, has been director of development for about a year at the Orpheum Theatre in Wichita. He was featured in the
In Her Shoes segment in the February issue of WomensFocus magazine of Wichita. Before he moved to Kansas to attend Bethel, David lived in Kentucky, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Troy Fowler ’92, Wichita, was the center referee for the 2012 Kansas State High School Activities Association Class 5A boys soccer championship game, played at Hummer Park in Topeka Nov. 3. The National Federation Officials Association selected Troy as the 2012 Kansas Girls Soccer Official of the Year.
- Walter Holmes III ’97, Killeen, Texas, entered the U.S. Army and worked in the field of network (video/voice/data) communications after graduating from Bethel. When his second enlistment ended, he decided to leave the Army at the rank of staff sergeant and stayed in the Fort Hood, Texas, area working as a civilian contractor for the Army in the same field. He is a senior field engineer and senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Fort Hood, which provides management and technology consulting services to the U.S. government in defense, intelligence and civil markets.
- Kevin Kehrberg ’99, Swannanoa, N.C., served as a cultural emissary in music for the U.S. Department of State in 2012, traveling to Kyrgyzstan in January and Ecuador in October as a member of the Red State Ramblers. The group performed traditional American string band music and did collaborations and workshops with local musicians.
- Jennifer Scott Koontz ’98, Newton, was named to the Kansas Healthcare Cooperative Board of Directors in April. She is the primary-care sports medicine physician at Newton Medical Center, where she joined the staff in 2009.
- Suzanna Mathews ’94, Wichita, is the 2013 president of Wichita Professional Communicators, whose members work in all sectors of communication. Suzanna is founder and president of The Date Maven, a dating strategy firm that caters to single clients throughout the Midwest.
- Jennifer Miller ’96, Denver, teaches in the Departments of Fine Art and Art Education at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Lakewood, Colo.
- Travis Schlenk ’95, Miami, is assistant general manager and director of player personnel for the Golden State Warriors, an NBA franchise team with new ownership. Schlenk was featured in an April 27 article in The Wichita Eagle.
- Jason Barrett-Fox ’01, Jonesboro, Ark., accepted the position of assistant professor of English in the Department of English and Philosophy at Arkansas State University, starting in the fall. He completed a doctorate in English at the University of Kansas last spring. Both Jason and his wife, Rebecca Barrett-Fox, taught at Hesston College, 2011-13, and Rebecca also taught history and sociology at Bethel during the 2011-12 school year.
- Joshua Chittum ’08, Kansas City, Mo., is a third-grade teacher for the Kansas City, Kan., public schools system.
- Ian Gingrich-Gaylord ’03, Newton, was featured in the new magazine Harvey County NOW.com, for his work as an art therapist at Prairie View. The magazine is published by Joel Klaassen ’68. Also featured in the magazine are Phil Epp ’72, Newton, and Ray Penner ’66, North Newton.
- Jana Jensen ’08, Oxford, Ohio, successfully defended her chemistry doctoral thesis and graduated from Miami (Ohio) University in May. She will do post-doctoral work at Michigan State University, focusing on how students understand mechanisms (of reactions) in organic chemistry.
- Rodger Nugent ’06, North Newton, opened a second computer-repair shop, Super Collider Computers, in February 2012 in Hesston. He also has owned Super Collider in North Newton since 2006.
- Paige (McKinney) Pippin ’09, Wichita, has joined the law practice of Foulston Siefkin as a member of the firm’s general litigation section, practicing in insurance defense litigation and commercial litigation.
- Luke Schmidt ’03, Socorro, N.M., earned a doctorate in physics (dissertation in astrophysics) from New Mexico Tech for designing and building an optical aperture-masking instrument for the 2.4m telescope at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory. He is employed as a post-doctoral researcher commissioning the New Mexico Tech Extrasolar Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI), a device that will study the spectra of exoplanet atmospheres.
- Justin Shook ’07, Wichita, earned a master’s degree in public administration from Wichita State University in May 2012.
- Toby Tyner ’07, Newton, joined the staff of Flint Hills Design, North Newton, in April. He has accepted a position as a social studies teacher at Dean Ray Stucky Middle School (named for a 1947 Bethel graduate) in Wichita beginning this fall.
- Dustin Abrahams ’13, Canton, works at Midland National Bank, Newton.
- Elizabeth Akins ’13, Topeka, is a mental health specialist with Family Service & Guidance Center in Topeka.
- Amber Anderson ’13, McPherson, is co-author, with Brad Celestin ’12, of a
CURQ Vignette on the Web, featuring supplemental material for an article published in the print version of CUR (Council on Undergraduate Research) Quarterly. The article is titled
Presenting Undergraduate Research at National Events.
- Justin Beth ’13, Newton, is employed at Sherwin-Williams, Newton, in sales/third key.
- Ariane Bergen ’13, Moundridge, will work with Mennonite Central Committee’s SALT (Serving and Learning Together) program in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, in agro-ecology. Through SALT, young adults from Canada and the United States volunteer outside both countries.
- Amber Blount ’13, Topeka, is a reintegration social worker at St. Francis Community Services, Wichita.
- Dmitry Bucklin ’13, Mountain Lake, Minn., has accepted a position at St. John’s Catholic School, Beloit, as music director.
- Jaylene Burge ’13, Newton, continues in her job as a juvenile intake worker at McPherson County Juvenile Justice Authority in Newton.
- Brad Celestin ’12, Newton, received an Honorable Mention citation from the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships program. Brad has been accepted into a graduate program in social psychology/neuroscience at Indiana University. He also is co-author, along with Amber Anderson ’13, of a
CURQ Vignette on the Web, which features supplemental material for an article published in the print version of the CUR (Council on Undergraduate Research) Quarterly. The article is titled
Presenting Undergraduate Research at National Events.
- Anna Cook ’13, Lawrence, has accepted a position as K-12 band/choir teacher for Wilson public schools.
- David Counts ’13, Lakewood Village, Texas, is a department manager at Lowe’s Home Improvement.
- David Gaeddert ’13, Leawood, works as a developer at Flint Hills Design in North Newton.
- Maggie Goering ’13, Hutchinson, is a counselor at Cheley Camps, Estes Park, Colo.
- Sara Gragg ’13, Topeka, is an operations clerk at Midland National Bank, Newton.
- Ben Harder ’11, Tallahassee, Fla., graduated from Florida State University in May with a master’s degree in jazz studies.
- Cassandra Hinerman ’13, Milan, volunteers as a registered nurse in Wellington.
- Mariah Hostetler ’13, Dodge City, will serve with Mennonite Voluntary Service in Washington, D.C., as a registered nurse at a free health clinic. MVS is a program of Mennonite Church USA.
- Kyle Howard ’13, Halstead, will serve with Mennonite Voluntary Service in New York City as an intake/outreach coordinator.
- Annika Janzen ’13, Fresno, Calif., will serve with Mennonite Voluntary Service in Seattle as a food bank coordinator.
- Ashley Klein ’13, Newton, is owner/operator of Blue Skies Pet Care. She plans on long-term volunteer work at Caring Hands Humane Society in Newton as a behavior modification assistant.
- Kevin Leary ’13, Montpelier, Vt., is children’s circulation librarian at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier.
- Naomi (Graber) Leary ’12, Montpelier, Vt., is a community organizer with Toxics Action Center, a public health environmental nonprofit that helps community groups clean up and prevent pollution.
- Breanna McConnell ’13, South Haven, is a reintegration social worker with Saint Francis Community Services, Wichita.
- Levi Minkevitch ’13, Newton, is a patrol officer with the Newton Police Department.
- Nathan Murphy ’13, Newton, is a credit analyst with First Bank of Newton.
- Nicholas Nyagah ’13, Wichita, is a registered nurse at Via Christi St. Francis, Wichita.
- Michael Rauch ’13, Bel Aire, works at Menard’s in east Wichita.
- Amanda Regehr ’13, Whitewater, has accepted a position as a first-grade teacher at Magnet School at Allen, Hutchinson.
- Emma Regier ’13, Newton, will serve with Mennonite Voluntary Service as an environmental restoration associate at Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, Alamosa, Colo.
- Abram Rodenberg ’13, Halstead, has accepted a position as an actuarial assistant at Security Benefit, Topeka.
- Genevieve Rucker ’13, Lawrence, works at Comfort Inn and Suites in Newton in guest services/front desk.
- Ricardo Sanchez ’13, Moundridge, has accepted a position as the K-12 art teacher for Goessel USD 411.
- Nathan Simmons ’13, Halstead, continues in his job as manager of Dollar General, Newton.
- Ben Suchsland ’13, Agra, is a self-employed rancher.
- David Tedone ’13, Keller, Texas, is a reintegration social worker with St. Francis Community Services, Wichita.
- Andrew Unruh ’13, Valley Center, works at T&J Studios in Wichita.
- Rachel (Voran) Unruh ’12, North Newton, has accepted a position as a Grades 6-8 orchestra teacher at Haysville West Middle School, USD 261.
- Natalia (Krahn) Vanover ’13, Newton, is an adoption social worker with Saint Francis Community Services, Wichita.
- Andrew Voth ’13, Topeka, has accepted a new position with Goessel USD 411 to be the Grades 6-12 vocal music instructor.
- Miranda Weaver ’13, Hesston, is a community support worker at Prairie View in Newton.
- Miriam Weaverdyck ’13, Ann Arbor, Mich., will serve with Mennonite Voluntary Service in Washington, D.C. MVS is a program of Mennonite Church USA.
- Garrett Whorton ’07, Colby, and his wife Maranda are taking a summer break to participate in Mennonite Mission Network’s SOOP program. They began May 27, when they helped with cleanup of the EF-5 tornado damage in Moore, Okla. They also plan to serve in New Mexico, Lincoln City, Ore., and Reedley, Calif., and to return to Kansas in September.
- Allison Yoder ’13, Kalona, Iowa, will work with Mennonite Central Committee’s SALT (Serving and Learning Together) program in Costa Rica as an education assistant to adults with special needs. Through SALT, young adults from Canada and the United States volunteer outside both countries.