Obituary: Clara Lucille Wance

HESSTON—Clara Lucille Wance, 93, died Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at Schowalter Villa in Hesston.

Clara was born on Jan. 17, 1924, in McPherson to Adam and Agnes Unruh Ratzlaff. She and her twin brother, Clinton, were the youngest of five children and grew up on a farm near Durham, Kan. Clara attended the one-room Columbia District 116 School through the eighth grade. She was baptized in October 1940 by Pastor John Eppy at the Friedenstahl (Peace Valley) Mennonite Church.

Clara moved with her family to Newton in 1941. She married the love of her life, John Wance, in November 1947. John and Clara had three children: Janice, who died as an infant in 1949, and Susan Kennedy (currently of Barcelona, Spain) and Steven (of Holden, MO). Clara had five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, who brought her much joy.

Clara and John loved planning family summer vacations, often going far away via the Santa Fe Railroad. Clara had a passion for visiting widows and shut-ins, making the rounds weekly to those on her list.

Clara retired from the Bethel Deaconess Hospital’s dietary department in 1986. She and her husband then spent the next 20 years delivering for Meals on Wheels. Clara also volunteered on the Harvey County Election Board for 15 years. She and John greatly enjoyed traveling during retirement.

Clara and John moved to Schowalter Villa in 2005. John passed away in 2009. She was blessed to be surrounded by an understanding and compassionate group of staff and employees and friends.

Clara became a member of First Mennonite Church in Newton in 1957. Clara’s love for the church and her faith in the Lord never ceased throughout her life. She looked forward to heaven.

Along with her parents, husband and daughter, Clara was preceded in death by her brothers, Wesley and Clinton Ratzlaff; and two sisters, Hilda Mitchell and Frances Decker.

Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at the chapel of Schowalter Villa in Hesston.

Graveside and interment services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Greenwood Cemetery in Newton, followed by a luncheon at First Mennonite Church in Newton.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home Friday, Jan. 12, between 6 and 7 p.m.

A memorial has been established with the Mennonite Central Committee; 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.

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