Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 9, 2013

Helen Alderfer

Aug. 27, 1919-Sept. 5, 2013


— GOSHEN — Helen Alderfer, 94, of Waterford Crossing, died Sept. 5.

She was born Aug. 27, 1919 in Whiteside County, Sterling, Ill., to Clark Wade and Mary Graber Conrad Wade. Helen grew up on the family farm and graduated from Sterling High School and Goshen College.

She married Edwin Stover Alderfer, Aug. 12, 1944, in Sterling, Ill. He died in 2004. Surviving are one brother, Harold C. Wade; four daughters, Ann (Ned Kauffman), Faith (Rod Summer), Mary (Merle Snyder) and Amy (Steve Bell). She is also survived by four grandchildren, Seth Kauffman, Greta Kauffman, Chase Snyder and Sophie Snyder; and four great-grandchildren. Her son, Eric Alderfer is deceased.

Helen, along with her husband Ed, was active with the Mennonite Church in Canton, Ohio, Barto, Fla. (Civilian Public Service Camp), the Philippine Islands (Mennonite Central Committee), the mission church and school, Culp, Ark., Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, Lansdale, Pa., Kingview and North Scottdale churches, Scottdale, Pa., and College Mennonite Church, Goshen.

Helen taught for 11 years and was an editor for the Mennonite Publishing House for 25 years, working with publications including “Christian Living” magazine and “On The Line.” Her work also involved her in the wider church where she served on the Faith, Life and Strategy Commission, with the Mennonite Central Committee Board, and in conference offices. She led adult retreats and met children in school settings. A collection of her poems, “The Mill Grinds Fine,” was published in 2008.

Helen willed her body to Indiana University Medical School. A memorial stone in West Goshen Cemetery for Helen and Ed includes a haiku written by Helen: “Two who loved the earth and all its riches, have heard the call and gone home.”

A memorial service will take place Oct. 12 at 10:30 a.m. at College Mennonite Church in Goshen. Visitation is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 11 at the church.

Memorials may be given to College Mennonite Church Student Aid Fund.