OBITUARY: Velma Swartzendruber

Velma Swartzendruber, 89, of Hesston passed away of natural causes on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, at the Schowalter Villa in Hesston.

Velma was born in Newton on June 21, 1932, to Reuben and Helen (Vogt) Ewy. She met Gene Swartzendruber at Hesston Academy (now Hesston College), and the couple married there on Oct. 26, 1950. They lived in the Hesston area all of their married life. Three children were born to them: Sharon Joy in 1951, Stanley Gene in 1953 and Mafra Jane in 1961.

Beauty, creativity, music and the arts were all important to Velma, and those values were reflected in her life in many ways. She was a stylish lady in her fashion choices and decorating style. Through her gift of music, she contributed much to the community and church. For many years, she was an organist at Whitestone Mennonite Church. She enjoyed participating in various choirs and ensembles and also passed on the love of music to all her children. Her creativity was also evident in her love of plants and gardening.

Velma was a private person and like all of us she experienced difficulties in life. The example of holding onto Jesus even in the midst of hard times is one of the greatest legacies that she has given her family.

Surviving are their three children, Sharon (Carl) Weaver of Hesston, Stanley (Sharon) Swartzendruber also of Hesston, and Mafra (Rene) Maust of Goshen, Ind. Also surviving are seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Preceding her in death are her husband, Gene, and her only sibling, Earl Ewy.

The timing of Gene’s death, along with COVID-19 restrictions, prohibited a memorial service for Gene.

A service of remembrance for both Gene and Velma will be at Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. Visitation will be at 3 p.m., and the service will follow at 4 p.m.

Memorial gifts given in Velma’s memory will be directed to Hesston College and may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home in Newton, Kansas: 120 E. Broadway St, Newton, Kan., 67114.

Condolences may be left at

Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.

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