Aug. 14, 1933 - Oct. 8, 2013
NAPPANEE ó Rufus S. Martin, 80, Nappanee, 14th child of 17, was born to Joseph E. and Mary (Shaum) Martin Aug. 14, 1933, near Wakarusa in Elkhart County. In July of 2013 he found out the prostate cancer from 21 years ago had returned. He died at 5:25 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, at Millerís Merry Manor, Wakarusa, where he had been cared for since Sept. 20, 2013.
Rufus grew up on the family farm, attended the one-room school at Morningstar, and furthered his education with high school correspondence and one term at Goshen College. As a conscientious objector he served two years in voluntary service under Mennonite Central Committee in Eureka, Ill., at what is now called Maple Lawn Homes, a senior care facility. He was a farmer, construction superintendent, owned his own construction company and after retirement delivered mobile homes throughout the U.S. and Canada until December of 2012.
He was active within his church family, Yellow Creek Mennonite Church, for more than 56 years, where he served as Sunday school teacher, elder and Stephenís minister. During this time he also served as assistant pastor of Wildwood Mennonite Church, Engadine, Mich., for one year and helped with a church plant, Community Mennonite Church, South Bend, for 12 years.
On Sept. 26, 1954, in Harrison Township, Elkhart County, he was married to Thelma Lucile Hoover, daughter of George E. and Kathryn (Schmucker) Hoover. Together they had six children, Tina Dawn Weldy (Marge Farr) of Goshen, Kent Jay Martin (Lita Horst) of Kalamazoo, Mich., Evan Ross Martin (Jennifer Konecny) of Osceola, Gail Renita Blum (Peter Blum) of Hillsdale, Mich., Craig Ruskin Martin (Laura Iverson) of Brookings, S.D., and Roma Jo Miller (Brent Miller) of Goshen, all of whom survive.
He took great joy in his family which includes 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: Heidi (Weldy) and Steve Yeung, with Samuel and Liliana Yeung of Streamwood, Ill.; Kristen (Weldy) and Jeff Wills of Round Lake, Ill.; Braden Weldy and Krystal (Kalb), with Declan Weldy, of Granger; Mackenzie (Martin) and Greg Snader of Lancaster, Pa.; Aaron Martin of Holland, Mich.; Avery Martin of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Austin Martin of New Orleans; Nicholas Martin of Mishawaka; Emily Martin of Avon, Colo.; Carley Martin of Osceola; Abigail (Blum) and Colin Sudds of Hillsdale, Mich.: Elaine Blum of Lafayette; Amanda and Jessica Martin of Brookings; Kelsie (Miller) and Adam Friesen Miller of Goshen; and Joseph Miller of Johnstown, Pa.
He is also survived by four sisters, Edna Brubaker of Nappanee, Miriam (David) Hoover of Goshen, Rhoda Martin of New Paris and Suetta (James) Bechtel of Goshen; three brothers, Naaman (Ruth Lahman) Martin of Wakarusa, Allen (Ruth Nussbaum) Martin of Goshen and Benjamin (Edith Lahman) Martin of New Market, Va.; and two sisters-in law, Katherina (Brubacher) Martin of Nappanee and Mary (Baer) Martin of Goshen.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Daniel Martin and Jason Martin; seven sisters and brothers-in-law, Barbara (Sidney) Brubacher, Susie (Mervin) Ramer, Ida (Ira) Ramer, Emma (Nathan) Ramer, Bertha (Irvin) Martin, Grace (Ben) Shirk and Ruth (Harvey) Brubaker; and two brothers-in-law, Clayton Brubaker and Leonard Martin.
Rufus requested that he have a simple burial as soon as possible following his death. The family burial service was Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in Yellow Creek Brick Cemetery, Harrison Township, Elkhart County. Family visitation will be at Yellow Creek Mennonite Church Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, from 2 to 8 p.m. A remembrance of life service will be Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the same place. The church is located at the corner of C.R. 38 and C.R. 11.
The family wishes to express their appreciation for the loving care he received at Millerís Merry Manor, and for the support and concern shown by Yellow Creek Mennonite pastors and friends.
In recognition of Rufusís love for children we suggest that any memorial contributions be given to Yellow Creek Day Care.
Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret-Lienhart Funeral Home, Wakarusa, handled arrangements, and online condolences may be sent at www.rrefh.com.