Cover photo for Willard A. Epp's Obituary
Willard A. Epp Profile Photo
1927 Willard 2019

Willard A. Epp

May 5, 1927 — September 18, 2019


Willard Abe Epp, 92, died Wednesday (September 18, 2019) at Kansas Christian Home in Newton, Kansas.

He was born on May 5, 1927 in Marion, South Dakota, the son of Bernard and Margaret (Jantzen)Epp.  Willard attended grade school at Riverdale Country School and graduated from Marion High School.

When he was 18, Willard was baptized upon confession of faith by Jacob A Tieszen.  He became a member of Bethel Mennonite Church near Marion, South Dakota and later Countryside Christian Center and First Mennonite Church of Newton, KS. 

 After high school he attended Freeman Jr. College for one year and received a teacher’s certificate.

Willard then spent 23 months in the US Army as a map compiler in Tokyo, Japan during the Korean War. During this time he endeavored to share his Christian faith by telling fellow soldiers that “Jesus Saves.” He was also involved in missions that shared the gospel with the Japanese people.

He next attended Prairie Bible Institute (PBI) in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada.

After a year at PBI, Willard returned to the farm for two years before being united in marriage to Elsie Ruth Wiebe on August 31, 1958 in Aberdeen, Idaho.  To this union were born six children.  Willard and Elsie raised their children on a hog farm situated on a hill above the West Vermillion River valley, near Marion, South Dakota.  They lived there for 28 years before moving to Kansas in 1986.

 In Kansas, Willard worked for a home repair company in Wichita and then held various factory jobs.  In each of his places of employment he strove to share his faith in Jesus, sometimes in bold and unconventional ways such as rising unannounced in the break room at Collins Bus Factory to sing “Amazing Grace.”

 Willard and Elsie lived at 129 East Ninth until 2011, when they moved to Kidron Bethel Independent living in North Newton.  Willard was very involved with jail ministry and ministry of visitation. 

Survivors include his sons Donald Epp of Pittsburg, Kansas; Stan Epp and wife Esther of Newton; Bryan Epp and wife Janell of Hesston; daughter Roselyn Mostert and husband Johan of Springfield, Missouri; Rachel Winters and husband David of Tulsa, Oklahoma; former son-in-law Jesse Engle and wife Kendra of Newton; 20 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

He is also survived by his siblings Wadie Leder of Canistota, South Dakota and Doris Hofer of Tea, South Dakota.

Willard was preceded in death by his parents, wife Elsie, daughter Naomi Engle, two sisters Betty Wanda Epp and Wilma Epp, and brother Walter Epp.

Friends may call at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home on Friday, September 27 from 3:00 to 9:00 pm. Family will be present from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. 

A memorial service will be held at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home on Saturday, September 28 at 11:00 am with burial at Greenwood Cemetery at 2:30 pm. 

A memorial has been established with Prairie College.  Contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E Broadway, Newton, KS  67114.





To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Willard A. Epp, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree