Maxine E. (Ruth) Fast died Wednesday, Dec, 13, 2017, at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.
Maxine was born June 15, 1928, in Newton to Homer G. and Lydia (Krehbiel) Ruth. Her maternal grandparents were Valentine Krehbiel and Mary Dester, and her paternal grandparents were Henry G. Ruth and Maria Hirschler, all of whom were settlers on the Kansas prairies.
Maxine grew up on her family’s farm southwest of Moundridge. She attended the Garden Township Mennonite Church and was baptized on Aug. 29, 1943. Maxine attended Liberty Grade School and graduated from Moundridge High School in 1946. She attended Bethel College for two years and earned an associate degree in secretarial studies.
Maxine married Orlando Fast from Goessel, Kan., on March 20, 1949, at the Goessel Mennonite Church. They lived in Goessel for one year and then moved to her family’s farm near Moundridge and became members of the West Zion Mennonite Church. Their family grew to four children, Barbara, Arlen, Russell and Galen; and five grandchildren, Elise, Evan, Jon, Renee and Sarah.
Maxine was a consummate homemaker, but she also loved helping out in the fields, driving an array of tractors for haying and even the combine at harvest.
Using her secretarial degree, she worked at the Bethel Deaconess Hospital for 10 years in the medical records department, then the Moundridge bank, and from 1984 until her retirement in 1996, she worked at the Alumni Office at Bethel College.
A love of music permeated Maxine’s life. She played the flute, was a member of a longstanding flute quartet and also taught privately. She also loved the harp, and learning to play the one that Orlando recently made for her was her latest musical pursuit.
As a couple, Maxine and Orlando enjoyed travelling, especially to visit their children wherever they lived. They also participated in various voluntary service programs.
In 1992, Maxine and Orlando moved to North Newton where they joined the Bethel College Mennonite Church. In 2011, they moved to Kidron Bethel in North Newton and had just recently moved to Pine Village in Moundridge. At the time of her death, Maxine and Orlando had been married 68 years.
Maxine enjoyed people and easily built meaningful friendships throughout her life. She considered her family and friends her special treasures. Her words of wisdom were: “Treat others as you would like to be treated and be grateful for the beauty of each new day.”
Maxine was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Emry Ruth; and sister, Elinor (Ruth) Ewy.
Survivors include her husband, Orlando Fast; daughter, Barbara of Norman, Okla.; son, Arlen and his wife Anne Ediger of Teaneck, N.J.; son, Russell and his wife Irma of Dickinson, N.D.; son, Galen and his wife Cindy of Wichita; and five grandchildren, Elise, Jonathan, Renee, Evan and Sarah Fast.
Graveside committal was on Saturday, Dec. 16, at Goessel Mennonite Church Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m. at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton Kansas, with Pastors Dawn Yoder Harms and Susan Wheeler presiding.
Memorials are suggested to Mennonite Central Committee or Bethel College Mennonite Church in care of Petersen Funeral Home in Newton.