Martha Wedel, 91, of Newton, Kansas, died December 6, 2023, at Kansas Christian Home. She was born on November 28, 1932 to Frank and Mariechen Loewen in Dinuba, California. She had 2 older sisters; Mariechen who died in infancy, Melita, and a younger brother John. Mom grew up on a fruit farm and attended school in California.
On May 16, 1948 Martha was baptized by Rev. PK Regier upon her confession of faith, and became a member of the First Mennonite Church of Reedley, California. In February of 1955, Martha entered Mennonite Voluntary Service and served for 15 months at 3 different assignments. During her assignment at NIH in Bethesda, MD, she met her future husband, Wilmer Wedel and they were married on August 8, 1957 in Reedley.
After marriage they farmed with Wilmer’s parents and brothers in Kansas, eventually moving onto the home place west of Burns where they farmed together with Uncle Clarence’s family. They lived on the farm till dad’s retirement in 2006 when they moved to Elbing, Kansas.
Martha joined the Zion Mennonite Church in Elbing and was an active member. She participated in Homebuilders, adult choir and Ladies Sextette. Mom was church historian for 13 years.
Martha enjoyed history and was very good at remembering names and dates. To keep all this information intact, she wrote 5 genealogy books, 4 for her parent’s families, including her parent’s immigration story. She also volunteered her time at the Kauffman Museum in North Newton for 9 years.
Mom was very talented. Besides singing, she loved to sew and when we kids were younger she sewed many of our clothes. Martha learned to crochet as a young girl and crocheted many beautiful projects with very fine thread until her arthritic hands could do it no more.
In 2013 Martha developed cancer and the treatments left her weakened so it was determined to move her to Kansas Christian home where she has lived for the last 10 years. These were some of the best years of her life. She enjoyed the apartment she had, the many friends she made, the nursing staff and most recently EnHabit Hospice which did a wonderful job of providing her happiness and comfort in her final months. EnHabit brought her a robotic cat which she treated as if it was real. The cat would respond to motion and purr or meow. It provided much enjoyment to her bringing her back to her cats on the farm. We give heartfelt thanks to Kansas Christian Home and Enhabit Hospice for the loving care they gave to mom especially in her final days. We are grateful for our home church, Zion Mennonite in Elbing, for keeping in contact with mom when she could no longer attend church.
Martha is survived by her children Nancy and Marvin Harms of Newton, Barb and Mike McGee of Wichita, and Brian and Julie Wedel of Moundridge, grandchildren Jana (Frank) Rodriguez, Laura Harms, Brett (Shannon) Harms, Sara Harms, Robert (Alexis) LaFave, Christann (James) Covey, Riley McGee, Collin Wedel, Kaylee (Nathan) Enns, Addison Wedel, great grandchildren Ian, Micah, Madelyn, Sophia and Abigail LaFave, Anaiah and Katelyn Covey, and Jedidiah and Gabriel Harms, sister’s in law Thelma Wedel of Burns and Susan Loewen of Reedley, California, many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
Martha is preceded in death by her parents, husband, sisters and brother.
Visitation is Sunday December 10, 2023 at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home in Newton from 1-5 pm, with family present from 3-5 pm. Graveside service is at 10:00 am December 11, 2023 at Zion Mennonite Cemetery rural Elbing with Celebration of Life Service at the Zion Mennonite Church in Elbing at 11:00 am.
Memorials are suggested to Zion Mennonite Church, EnHabit Hospice, or Kansas Christian Home, and may be left with the funeral home.