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1930 Elizabeth Becker 2023

Elizabeth Becker

November 13, 1930 — June 28, 2023

Moundridge, KS

Our mother Elizabeth Goertzen Koehn Becker was born on November 13, 1930, to Jacob H. and Lena (Koehn) Goertzen in Camp 45, Chihuahua, Mexico. She passed away on June 28, 2023, in Moundridge, Kansas, at the age of 92.

 

A few years before Mom was born, her parents immigrated to Mexico. Her father came in 1923 from Saskatchewan, and her mother was one of the Koehn group who moved in 1927 to escape “the worldly trends” in the church in the States. In Camp 45, she received four years of schooling. When she was fourteen, the Goertzens, together with the Koehn families, moved 600 miles southeast to a new location in the state of Nuevo León. There, Mom gave her heart to the Lord and was baptized when she was sixteen. She also taught school for the Koehn colony for a year. In 1951, the group returned to the state of Chihuahua where they established new homes on the La Tena ranch.

 

Soon after their move to La Tena, Mom married our father Herman Koehn on March 16, 1952. We three girls, Melinda, Helen, and Susanna, were born there. Then our family moved to central Kansas where we three boys, Robert, Harold, and Howard, were born. In 1959, we returned to Mexico and gained one more brother Emery.

 

It was our parents’ aim to move to the States for good, so in 1962, Dad and the three older boys came to central Kansas where Dad worked to bring the rest of his family to the States. For nine months Mom functioned as a single mother and wrote letters to “My Beloved Husband.” At last in April 1963, our family was reunited. Except for five years at Buhl, Idaho, Mom lived the rest of her life in central Kansas.

 

In some ways Mom continued to bear the burden of a single parent because our dad was not a Christian although he provided well for us. She was determined to live for the Lord and believed in the church. Though in weakness, she was a good wife and mother. Before our dad passed away in 1992, she experienced the joy of his return to the Lord.

 

Mom gardened and canned and cooked. She relished full shelves in her fruit cellar. Saturdays she baked bread, and lunch often included fried bread. Another regular meal was beans, fideos, tortillas, and seven-day sweet pickles. Mom taught us girls to sew and sewed shirts for us boys. She also sewed for others. It was a service she provided to many.

 

On June 21, 2002, Mom married LeRoy Becker and was a loving and faithful companion to him until his death in 2021.  She appreciated his spiritual leadership.

 

Mom suffered a stroke in 2015 that left her unable to live alone. She moved into Moundridge Manor and made herself a pleasant resident there for eight years. When we visited her there, we saw her face light up when a Manor worker came into her room. Even during her last week when she could no longer speak, she twice reached up to touch a nurse’s cheek. Her acceptance of her handicap and of her residence in the Manor gave her children hope for their own time of old age.

 

The Lord revealed his grace and glory in her life as He kept her and led her through difficult years.

 

Left to mourn her passing are the children: Melinda Schmidt, Madrid, Nebraska; Helen and Cecil Toews, Bow Island, Alberta; Susanna and James Nikkel, Pipestone, Minnesota; Robert and Florene, Muleshoe, Texas; Harold and Ruby, McPherson, Kansas; Howard and Sharon, Starbuck, Minnesota; Emery and Robby, Omaha, Arkansas; a stepson Roger and Brenda Becker, Moundridge, Kansas; forty-eight grandchildren and sixty-six great grandchildren; three brothers: Corny and Verla Goertzen, Slaughters, Kentucky; Herman and Jewel Goertzen, Inman, Kansas; David and Jolene Goertzen, Lakin, Kansas; in-laws: Anne Goertzen, Inman, Kansas; Verna Goertzen, Barron, Wisconsin; Belén Niño de Koéhn, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico; Walter Schmidt, Montezuma, Kansas; June Koehn, Goddard, Kansas; Esther Koehn, McPherson, Kansas; Susi and Benjamín Parra, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Wilma Nightingale, Franklin and Karen Wenger, Deola and Carl Wenger, and Nadine Unruh, all of Moundridge, Kansas; John L. Becker, Hesston, Kansas; and Judy and Harold Koehn, Montezuma, Kansas.

 

Preceding her in death are both her husbands, one son-in-law, one stepson, one grandson, five brothers, and three sisters.

 

The funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM, Sunday, July 2, 2023, at Gospel Mennonite Church, Moundridge.  Burial will follow at the Zion Cemetery, rural Inman. The family will receive friends from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM, Saturday, July 1, at the Gospel Mennonite Church.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to Moundridge Manor in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.

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