Elizabeth Bender, 90, of Kalona, left the loving arms of her family to be embraced by her Lord and Saviour on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
She is survived by her husband of 64 years, John; her daughter and son-in-law, Bob and Dorothy Simmering; and her sister-in-law and friend, Elva Bender.
One of Elizabeth’s greatest joys was visiting with and talking about four grandchildren, Marcia (Steve) Dickerson of Ruston, La., Nathan and Jennifer Simmering of Muscatine, Vanessa (Andy) Best of Madison, Wis. and Erin (Grant) Elliott of West Branch. She was especially proud of her eight great-grandchildren, ages 1 through 9.
Also surviving are her brother, John Nisly of Shipshewana, Ind.; a sister, Barbara Yoder of Partridge, Kan.; and two brothers, Fred Nisly and Raymond (Mary) Nisly of Hutchinson, Kan.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Orpha Mae in 1966; her father, Levi Nisly; her mother and stepfather, Mary and Noah Nisly; her oldest sister, Emma Stutzman; her younger brother, Henry Nisly, both of Hutchinson, Kan.; and her youngest brother, Rufus Nisly of Goshen, Ind.
She also had very special and lasting friendships with Grace Miller of Kalona, Rozy Brasnett of Alberta, Canada, Iantha Goshgarian of Soquel, Calif. (her grade school friend with whom she remained in contact) and the late. Jane Gingerich of Kalona.
Elizabeth was loved and respected by all. In addition to hosting hundreds of visitors in her home over the decades, she volunteered at Pleasantview Home in Kalona, the Crowded Closet in Iowa City and visited shut-ins in the Washington area. She copied and handed out hundreds of cassette tapes of the Word to anyone who desired them.
Two of Elizabeth’s greatest loves, after the Bible and her relationship with the Lord, were her garden and her quilting. She was a very talented pioneer woman who could bake, cook, can and create anything from scratch. Many people enjoyed her home cooked meals and traveled great distances to bask in her hospitality. She helped many in need, taking meals to families, giving gifts and providing assistance whenever possible.
She stayed in touch with her many friends, cousins and family members by writing and receiving letters.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at the First Christian Church, 301 W. Second, Washington, Iowa. A time of fellowship will follow the service with lunch being served.
The family requests memorial donations through the church in Elizabeth’s name in lieu of flowers.
Online condolences may be sent for her family through the web at www.gayandciha.com.
Published in The Gazette Feb. 5, 2013.