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1933 Elizabeth 2018

Elizabeth Bitikofer

December 1, 1933 — September 14, 2018

Elizabeth R. Bartel Bitikofer entered into the presence of God on Friday (September 14, 2018) while at the Schowalter Villa in Hesston, Kansas.

Liz, as she was known by many, was born on December 3, 1933, the eighth of ten children of Jacob and Lizzie Rempel Bartel at Meade, Kansas. The family weathered the Great Depression on a farm South of Meade. She penned an autobiographical account describing the measures her large family had to take in order to survive during her early childhood.

On July 28, 1955, she married Clifford Bitikofer, whom she met through her brother Andy while he served in 1-W service. They had five children Kathleen (Dana) Neff of North Newton, Ks., Lynette (Andy) Stoeppler of Shafter, Calif., Kristine (Joe) Griffioen of Clarion, Ia., and Mervin (Cathy Coon) Bitikofer of St. George, Ks., and a stillborn son Eugene. Clifford preceded her in death on April 8, 2003. They spent most of their life together in the Hesston community.

Elizabeth Bitikofer was a servant. For many years, she volunteered at the Et Cetera Shop in Newton, Ks. She loved to crochet, quilt and sew. She crocheted comforters for all of her grandchildren, and sewed several wedding dresses for family. She and Clifford love to travel. They managed to visit every state in the U.S. except Alaska and Hawaii, and traveled to Mexico for service projects. She was employed for many years at Hesston College Food Service and at Cross Wind Conference Center.

Liz was known for her gracious and welcoming attitude toward all she met. She and Clifford welcomed many guests in their home. She was a generous hostess; her home was the center of family holidays for many years. She has a subtle and somewhat mischievous sense of humor, and loved playing games like Dutch Blitz and dominoes with relatives and friends. Her grandchildren loved visiting her and joining in the games, and taking walks with her around the Arboretum.

Her belief in the power of the Holy Spirit permeated her life. Liz was a servant who led by example. Her witness was genuine and grounded in the abiding knowledge of the boundless love and grace of Jesus. She was active in church life at Whitestone Mennonite Church, and later at Kingdom Life Ministries, where she served as an Elder. Books and Scripture reading were part of her daily walk. Prayer was as natural to her as breathing.

As she reached the end of her journey and her earthly mind and body failed, she continued to project a warm and loving spirit with smiles and the squeeze of a hand.

Elizabeth is preceded in death along with her parents and husband by her brothers Pete Bartel, Martin Bartel, Andrew Bartel, Albert Bartel; sisters Mary (Henry) Reimer, Katherine (Harold) Patton; grandson Nathan Stoeppler; and granddaughter Sheralynn Neff.

She is survived by her children; 14 grandchildren; three great grandchildren; and her sisters Bertha (Al) Seiffert, Esther (Jim) Whieman, and Margaret (Bernhard) Reimer.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday (September 29, 2018) at the Kingdom Life Ministries in Hesston. Private family inurnment will take place at the Spring Valley Cemetery in Canton, Ks.

A memorial has been established with Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, Ks. 67114.

Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.


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