Heinz D. Janzen, 83, died on June 15, 2011 in North Newton, Kansas.
He was born to the late Peter M. and Mary (Dirks) Janzen on June 19, 1927 in a hospital elevator in New York City, shortly after their arrival in the U.S. as immigrants from the Ukraine. Heinz grew up in Ontario, California and was baptized in the Upland Mennonite Church in Upland, California.
Heinz served in the United States Navy from 1945-47 as an electronic technician. Following his discharge, he studied at Biola College in Los Angeles; Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, where he received a B.A. in history in 1952; and Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, where he received a B.S. in education in 1953. He then did graduate work at Goshen Biblical Seminary in Goshen, Indiana and New York Theological Seminary in New York, where he was granted a master of divinity degree in 1956.
He met his wife, Dorothea “Dotty” (Wirth), at seminary. They were married on September 10, 1955. Theirs was a true, deep and inspirational love story which remained wonderfully strong until the moment of his passing.
Following his graduation, he served as pastor of the Calvary Mennonite Church in Washington, Illinois and the Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron, Ohio. In 1969, he was called to serve as the general secretary for the General Conference Mennonite Church denominational headquarters, where he served for over 10 years. Following that, he served for 10 years as copastor with his wife at the Trinity Mennonite Church in Hillsboro, Kansas. After his retirement from the ministry in 1990, he served for six years as coordinator of the General Conference Mennonite Men organization. Throughout his career, Heinz was a prolific writer of curriculum materials for the church. With his wife, he edited and rewrote the Minister’s Manual published in 1983. He served on the committee which produced the Confession of Faith in Mennonite Perspective in 1995. He also wrote or cowrote many editorials and meditations for The Mennonite magazine and many other periodicals. He served on the board of directors for Bethel College and the Mennonite Central Committee for many years.
Throughout this long and distinguished career, he touched many lives. He will be remembered with love and respect by all that knew him. As his body failed him, he never complained and continued to be a shining example of love, perseverance, bravery, and strength. He loved all of his family, who will miss him greatly.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothea, of North Newton, Kansas; son Peter and wife Debra of Wichita, Kansas; daughter Margie Hildebrand and husband Charlie of Morden, Manitoba, Canada; daughter Mary Janzen of State College, Pennsylvania; brother Herbert Janzen of Ritzville, Washington; sister Metta Lieb of Newton, Kansas; and grandchildren Reuben Friesen, Mark Friesen, Gus Hernandez, and Victoria Janzen. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Margaret Janzen.
Visitation with the family will be Thursday, June 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Menno Hall at the Kidron Bethel Village, 3001 Ivy Drive, North Newton.
A memorial service will be held Friday, June 17 at 3 p.m. at the Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Kidron Bethel Village or Mennonite Central Committee, contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, Ks. 67114