Letha Mae Koehn’s sojourn on earth began June 18, 1929. She was the daughter of Pete and Fannie (Koehn) Harms, pioneers of northeast Grant County, Kans.
Her departure September 27, at Bethel Home, Montezuma, Kans., brought to an end a lifespan of 94 years that afforded her the opportunity to witness many changes. We are deeply indebted to the staff at Bethel Home for caring for her, and appreciate all the kindness they showed her, as well as Dad and the family, during this time.
Letha received her eight years of education at Rock Island, a one room school. Her education, the Great Depression and the “Dirty Thirties” developed virtue and values which accompanied her throughout life.
However, the experience of the New Birth wrought the most profound change. Upon confession of her faith, she was baptized into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite on June 3, 1945 by Minister David J. Koehn. She remained faithful to these vows until death. Mom was a steady, faithful Christian, often going to her bedroom to pray, and talking to us about our spiritual welfare.
She married Merle Koehn September 12, 1948 at Montezuma, Kans., by Minister David J. Koehn. She shared the joys and sorrows of life with Dad for 75 years, celebrating their anniversary 15 days before her passing.
When Dad was ordained to the deaconry in 1963, mom supported him faithfully, giving herself to much hospitality. Later in life, in 1988, they served a three-year term in Fort Garland, running the canner and processing meat. They enjoyed their time there with many boys and friends.
We all knew mom as a loyal mother. A down-to-earth, practical person, she enjoyed life and the simple pleasures that surrounded her on the farm. She loved butterflies, roses, and their garden; canning many, many jars of vegetables and fruit, both to stock her cellar and to share with friends.
Mom enjoyed singing, and we often woke to the sound of her voice as she fixed breakfast. When the grandchildren came along, mom designated a special drawer as a candy drawer, and got ready a play-room full of all sorts of interesting games and toys. She often made us laugh with her wry quips, interesting stories, and funny songs. We enjoyed many delicious meals around her table, and her fried chicken was legendary. Mom didn’t make a big splash, but she left us with an example of a simple, ordinary life well-lived.
When mom’s declining health made it necessary for her to enter Bethel Home, she adjusted well to the new life. She enjoyed watching the birds at the feeder outside her window and doing puzzles. Her smile was still sweet, even when she didn’t recognize the faces around her anymore. We’re glad she’s free from pain and are comforted to know she’s waiting for us in a better place.
Her survivors include her husband, Merle; four sons: Les (Carol,) and Larry (Micheline), all of Ulysses, Randy (Janice), Hazleton, Idaho, and Rodger (Cheryl), Lakin, Kans.; three daughters: Reginia (David) Jantzen, Lime Springs, Iowa, Julene (Bruce) Koehn, and Crystal (Jeremy) Giesbrecht, all of Homeworth, Ohio; as well as 30 grandchildren and their spouses; and 77 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister, and one brother.
Funeral service was at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, October 1, at the Grant Mennonite Church, Ulysses, with ministers Denton Koehn, Stuart Jantzen, and Ron Ensz officiating.
Interment followed at the Grant Mennonite Cemetery.
Arrangements were in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant Ave., Ulysses, KS 67880.
Condolences may be posted at www.garnandfuneralhomes.com.