NAPPANEE — Rufus S. Martin, 80, Nappanee, IN, 14th child of 17, was born to Joseph E. and Mary (Shaum) Martin on August 14, 1933 near Wakarusa, Elkhart County, Indiana. In July 2013 he found out the prostate cancer from 21 years ago had returned. He died Tuesday evening at 5:25, October 8, 2013 at Miller’s Merry Manor, Wakarusa, IN, where he had been cared for since September 20, 2013.
Rufus grew up on the family farm, attended the one-room school at Morningstar, and furthered his education with high school correspondence, and one term at Goshen College. As a conscientious objector he served two years in Voluntary Service under Mennonite Central Committee at Eureka, Illinois at what is now called Maple Lawn Homes, a senior care facility. He was a farmer, construction superintendent, owned his own construction company and after retirement delivered mobile homes throughout the US and Canada until December 2012.
He was active within his church family, Yellow Creek Mennonite Church for over 56 years, where he served as Sunday School teacher, elder and Stephen’s Minister. During this time he also served as assistant pastor of Wildwood Mennonite Church, Engadine, Michigan for one year and helped with a church plant, Community Mennonite Church, South Bend, Indiana for twelve years.
On September 26, 1954, in Harrison Township, Elkhart County, Indiana, he was married to Thelma Lucile Hoover, daughter of George E. and Kathryn (Schmucker) Hoover. Together they had six children: Tina Dawn Weldy (Marge Farr), Goshen, IN; Kent Jay Martin (Lita Horst), Kalamazoo, MI; Evan Ross Martin (Jennifer Konecny), Osceola, IN; Gail Renita Blum (Peter Blum), Hillsdale, MI; Craig Ruskin Martin (Laura Iverson), Brookings, SD; and Roma Jo Miller (Brent Miller), Goshen, IN; all of whom survive.
He took great joy in his family that includes 16 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren: Heidi (Weldy) and Steve Yeung, with Samuel and Liliana Yeung, Streamwood, IL: Kristen (Weldy) and Jeff Wills, Round Lake, IL; Braden Weldy and Krystal (Kalb) with Declan Weldy, Granger, IN; Mackenzie (Martin) and Greg Snader, Lancaster, PA; Aaron Martin, Holland, MI; and Avery Martin, Grand Rapids, MI; Austin Martin, New Orleans, LA;, Nicholas Martin, Mishawaka, IN; Emily Martin, Avon, CO; and Carley Martin, Osceola, IN; Abigail (Blum) and Colin Sudds, Hillsdale, MI: and Elaine Blum, Lafayette, IN; Amanda and Jessica Martin, Brookings, SD; and Kelsie (Miller) and Adam Friesen Miller, Goshen, IN and Joseph Miller, Johnstown, PA.
He is also survived by four sisters; Edna Brubaker, Nappanee, IN; Miriam (David) Hoover, Goshen, IN; Rhoda Martin, New Paris, IN; and Suetta (James) Bechtel, Goshen, IN; three brothers: Naaman (Ruth Lahman) Martin, Wakarusa, IN: Allen (Ruth Nussbaum) Martin, Goshen, IN; and Benjamin (Edith Lahman) Martin, New Market, VA; and two sisters-in law: Katherina (Brubacher) Martin, Nappanee, IN; and Mary (Baer) Martin, Goshen, IN.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers: Daniel Martin, and Jason Martin; seven sisters and brothers-in-law: Barbara (Sidney) Brubacher, Susie (Mervin) Ramer, Ida (Ira) Ramer, Emma (Nathan) Ramer, Bertha (Irvin) Martin, Grace (Ben) Shirk, and Ruth (Harvey) Brubaker; and two brothers-in-law, Clayton Brubaker and Leonard Martin.
Rufus requested that he have a simple burial as soon as possible following his death. The family burial service was held Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at the Yellow Creek Brick Cemetery, Harrison Township, Elkhart County, Indiana.
Family visitation will be at the Yellow Creek Mennonite Church on Friday, October 11, 2013 from 2 to 8 p.m. A remembrance of life service will be Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the same place. The church is located at the corner of Elkhart County Roads 38 and 11.
The family wishes to express their appreciation for the loving care he received at Miller’s Merry Manor, and for the support and concern shown by Yellow Creek Mennonite pastors and friends.
In recognition of Rufus’s love for children we suggest that any memorial contributions be given to Yellow Creek Day Care.
Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret-Lienhart Funeral Home, Wakarusa, handled arrangements and online condolences may be sent at www.rrefh.com.