Newton Now Obituaries

Donzella Shepler, 88, died Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, at Schowalter Villa in Hesston.

She was born Feb. 14, 1929, in Cushing, Okla., to Tom and Ethel (Hickman) Moore. She was married to George T. Meires in 1947, and he preceded her in death. She was later married to Robert (Bob) Shepler in 1993, and he also preceded her in death.

Donzella is survived by her daughter, Kem and John Nicodemus; daughter, Jan Meires; son, Pat and Andrea Meires,; son-in-law, Bob Dreier; stepson, Jeff and Joan Shepler; stepdaughter, Julie and Warren Horsley; sister-in-law, Shirley Moore; sister-in-law, Arlita Tyner; and brother-in-law, Jim Shepler. She also is survived by 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands; son, Rob Shepler; daughter, Karen Meires; infant daughter, Linda Meires; and brothers, Jack and Bill Moore.

Private family services are being held, with interment in Greenwood Cemetery in Newton.


Francis W. Eaton, 75, passed away on Thursday Feb. 16, 2017.

Francis was born on May 28, 1941, in Scott City to Robert and Bernitta (Schmidt) Eaton.

Francis is survived by his wife, Mary; son, Jason Eaton of Newton; two daughters, Kim and Steve Harris of Nixa, Mo., and Sara and Terry Rodenberg of Kansas City, Mo.; five grandsons, Bryce, Tyler, Noah, James and Kyle; and two sisters, Betty Barden of Newton, and Alberta and Fred Klanke of New Cambria.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at Kansas Christian Home, with Chaplain Duane Moraine presiding.

A committal service will follow at 2 p.m. in Greenwood Cemetery.

Please make any memorials to the activities department in care of Kansas Christian Home in care of Petersen Funeral Home in Newton.


Melvin Sheffler, 73, died on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, at Kansas Christian Home in Newton.

Melvin was born on April 29, 1943, in Newton to William and Vivian (Carter) Sheffler and was the youngest of 14 children. Melvin enjoyed piano music and liked people. He was born with a mental disability and was cared for by family and varied institutions throughout his life.

Melvin is survived by his siblings, Leann Newell, Judy Cullen, Kay Lincoln and Robert Lanus Sheffler.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Vivian Sheffler; seven sisters; and three brothers.

A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Restlawn Gardens of Memory. A public visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at Petersen Funeral Home in Newton. Members of the family will be there to greet friends.


Viola M. Williams, 68, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Wichita.

She was born May 27, 1948, in Fredricks to Lionel and Esther Kemp.

Viola was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Gary Lee Kemp, William Ralph Kemp and Jack Junior Kemp.

She is survived by her two sisters, Mary Ann Carlson of Monet, Mo., and Vicki Edwards of Frankfort; her husband, Michael Williams of Newton; and sons, Scott Kiser of Doniphan, Mo., and Shadow Williams and his wife, Shiyrah, of Wichita.

Michael and Viola were married on Jan. 10, 1973. She traveled extensively with her husband, who worked in construction. They made many friends in their travels and moved to Newton in 2010 prior to retirement.

Following the loss of a loved one, you are left with a few possessions, knick knacks and photos. But the most important thing they leave behind are the memories and the hearts they have touched. We have many fond memories of our lives together with Viola, and she will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Petersen Funeral Home Chapel in Newton, with Pastor Mark Hoover presiding. A private committal service will be at a later date in Greenwood Cemetery in Newton.

Memorials are suggested to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in care of Petersen Funeral Home.

Arlene (Nickel) Ross, 85, of Newton passed away peacefully with her husband, Ned Ross, by her side on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.
Arlene was born to Gerhard (George) and Elizabeth Nickel on July 4, 1931, in Goessel, the fifth of six children. Arlene grew up with the family on a farm southeast of Lehigh. She graduated from Lehigh High School in 1948.
Arlene married Ned B. Ross on Feb. 28, 1953. Ned is from Iowa and was in the Air Force stationed in Salina when they met one evening at the roller skating rink in Newton. Arlene moved to Salina after they wed, where they had their first-born child, Jon. One month later, they moved to Newton, where they made their home, raising their three children, Jon, Brad and Kim.
Arlene was preceded in death by her parents, George and Elizabeth Nickel; brothers, Edie (Vera) Nickel of Kansas City, Kan., Dr. Bernie (Dorothy) Nickel of Winfield and Walt Nickel of Anaheim, Calif.; and sister, Martha (Otto) Hiebert of Newton.
Arlene is survived by her devoted and loving husband, Ned in Newton; brother, Dr. Gary and sister-in-law Judy Nickel of Independence; sons, Jon (Kathy) Ross of Newton and Brad (Ladonna) Ross of Winfield; daughter, Kim (Terry) Stubby of Helena, Mont.; five grandchildren, Mark (Hannah) Ross of Olathe, Evie (Chris) Tompkins of Merritt Island, Fla., Brandi Stubby of Helena, Christopher Ross of Park City and Brianna Ross of Emporia; four great-grandchildren, Morrigan Ross of Olathe, Emmeline Pederson of Helena, and Grace and Caleb Ross Tompkins of Merritt Island, in addition to many wonderful and loving nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Arlene’s family extends their gratitude to Arlene’s extended family at Newton Presbyterian Manor, where Arlene and Ned made many great friends and have been treated exceptionally well, with great care and love, by the manor’s staff.
A memorial service celebrating Arlene’s life was held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home in Newton. A reception for all family and friends immediately followed the service at The Breadbasket Restaurant in Newton.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes memorials in Arlene’s name may be made to The Caring Hands Humane Society of Newton or The American Heart Association. Contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, KS, 67114.
Condolences may be left at
Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.

Margaret Reimer Friesen passed quietly in her sleep Sunday morning, Feb. 19, 2017, at Bethel Kidron Village in North Newton.

Born in Beatrice, Neb., in 1920, Margaret was the youngest of seven children born to Abraham Reimer and Marie Penner.

Margaret was a registered nurse, and she spent most of her career at Bethel Deaconess Hospital. She retired as a night supervisor in 1982.

In 1944, she was married to William Friesen, who preceded her in death in March 2014.

She is survived by three children, Randall Friesen of St. Charles, Mo., Michelle Friesen-Carper of Valparaiso, Ind., and Warren Friesen of St. Peter, Minn.; four granddaughters; two grandsons; and six great-grandsons, the most recent of whom was born 20 minutes after her death.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Abraham and Marie Reimer; husband, William Friesen; five sisters; and one brother.

A memorial service was at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), 121 E. 30th St., North Newton, KS, 67117.

The Rev. Herbert D. Nobles died Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, at Newton Medical Center. He was born on June 24, 1930, in Hill City to William and Fanny Mae (Fry) Nobles.

Herbert, a retired minister, inspired many with his love of playing both piano and organ. Proficient in his ministry of music, Herbert shared his talent in many areas by playing, teaching and leading music programs. He conducted many a concert with a three-manual pipe organ. His witness to faith touched many as he also pastored throughout the United States. His later days called him to volunteer his talents to enhance and witness to the lives of others through his ministry.

Herbert is survived by his son, Zachary Nobles and wife Young Mi of San Antonio, Kathy Loudermilk and Doug in Simpsonville, S.C.; and four grandchildren, Andrea Loudermilk, Trevor Loudermilk, Gabi Loudermilk, and Jennifer J. Nobles.

He was preceded in death by his son, Andy Nobles; his brother, Arnold Nobles; his two sisters, Levone Kohen and Twyla Boldet; and his parents, William Nobles and Fanny Mae Fry.

A private family service will be at a later date.

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