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Family Newsletter - Fall, 2007

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We lost our so-much-loved Paul on March 11th. This is the obituary from his funeral at Wellspring Church, Skippack, Pennsylvania, March 17th.

Paul Gordon Hiebert

The Rev. Dr. Paul G. Hiebert, missiologist and missionary to India, has died of cancer on March 11, 2007 at the age of 74. After six years of service as a missionary under the Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions, Hiebert earned a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology, and taught for some years in secular universities. Subsequently, he taught missions and anthropology at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California (1977-1990) and at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Highland Park, Illinois (1990-2007).

A prolific writer, Hiebert has published more than 150 articles and 10 books. His colleagues will remember him for his efforts to bring the insights and skills of anthropology to the theory and practice of Christian mission, and for his contribution to the critical realist approach to epistemology. His students will remember him for his generosity, and for his care and concern for them as people.

Hiebert was a loving husband, father and grandfather. His wife, Frances Flaming Hiebert, died in 1999. His parents, also missionaries to India, were John Nicholas Christian Hiebert and Anna Jungas Hiebert. He is survived by his sisters, Phyllis Martens, Elizabeth Dahl, Gwendolyn Schroth, JoAnne Sorensen, Margaret Hiebert, and Loey Knapp; his three children and their spouses, Eloise and Michael Meneses, Barbara and Bryan Rowe, and John and Jane Hiebert-White; and by his grandchildren, Bria Hiebert-Crape and Dan Aulisio, Holly and David Metzler, Andrew Meneses, Mary and Nicholas Hiebert-White.

His family will remember him for the following things among many others: playing rough and tumble with kids, enjoying family camping, celebrating all events at Chinese restaurants, happily eating hot curry till dripping with sweat, traveling so much he could hardly be found ('Where's Dad?'), doodling on styrofoam cups, being an honorary member of his sisters' Red Hat Society, and faithfully having family devotions.

From: Eloise

Here is a memory I have of Dad:

I remember Dad gathering the family around in Shamshabad every evening for devotions. First he would read a story to us kids, then we would read a portion of Scripture, and then we would all kneel at our chairs and each one would pray. Wonderful things happen when you don't have a TV!

From: Frank and Jo

This has been a very unusual year for us. So many events have occurred, some heart-breaking and others joyous: Paul's illness, Loey's surgery/chemo for breast cancer, Paul's move to live with Barb and Bryan, our sister gathering which had been planned as a time to spend with Paul but his illness prevented that, Paul's death and funeral, Michael's engagement to his friend Angel from the Philippines, Nikhil and Jennifer's wedding in Montana, Pete's announcement to us that they were moving to Ft. Collins and would like us to come along, sale of our house/finding a new home and our move here to mountain country. So--sorry this update is so late and some of the news is getting a bit dated, but I think life is going to slow down and I'll catch up on family events. I hope.....

We love being here in Ft. Collins, near Pete & Gang and close to Steve. Chris comes here from time to time to work with his melodrama group in Cripple Creek. We saw his play Dr. Jekyl's Medicine Show in October and will be going with Gwen, Dick and Carl to see his Christmas play, "The Angel of the Christmas Mine." Fun.

You are very welcome to come visit. We're fixing up a guest bedroom in the second-to-lowest level (we have 4 levels in this house!) and would love to have folks stop by.

I just wish Paul were alive to come visit us in our new home. I so much miss talking with him; he was a great listener. I'll be putting together his special page so if any of you have thoughts/photos to share, please send those to me. Thanks.

From: Loey

Nikhil and Jen's wedding went off beautifully - the weather cooperated and everyone arrived safely.

The timing was just right - two weeks later the resort was evacuated due to a huge fire nearby. Life has not really returned to normal as we now have a family from Kodai living in Stevensville. Rudy was my IT buddy in Kodai and he is now working for me at the University for 3 months doing much the same project as we did before. His twin 5 year old boys and 4 year old daughter make life quite a bit more active....

I'm teaching digital cartography this fall - it's fun to be with students again. Other than that, work is hectic, Gary is making clocks left and right, the kids are fine and we still love Montana. Can't wait til you all get here next year.

P.S. Does anyone need plums, apples, pears, zuchini???


For those of you that haven't received the exciting news, Michael is engaged to Resyl Bermejo (Angel) from Davao in the Philippines. They plan to have a wedding next September. Congratulations, Michael!

From: Harlan

As usual, Carol has been working extremely hard, but she managed to spend a week in Omaha (with Katie) this summer. And she's coaching Katie's soccer team and playing on two teams herself. Carol was playing goalie this summer and got kicked in the hand, resulting in a dislocation bad enough to need physical therapy. She's pretty much back to normal now, but she may always have a fat knuckle from this -- I hope that she keeps her promise to let other people be goalie from now on.

Mary was at the Ross Mathematics Program for a second year this summer, and got off to a rough start with allergy problems, then caught a bad cold that ran through the students, and finally dislocated her kneecap while running. Finally, slightly past the midpoint of the 8 week program things got better and she stayed healthy. By the time she got home she could walk without crutches. But she still enjoyed the program, made some good friends, and is interested in returning next summer. In the meantime she is studying hard, using the textbook for Math 171, Introduction to Real Analysis, at Stanford. She'll be able to get copies of the tests and homework and try to keep up with the students taking the course this fall.

Katie has gone glamour girl. She has her braces off, has gotten contacts, and decided to try getting her hair straightened (and she and Carol came back from the salon with manicures and pedicures, too). I preferred Katie's hair curly, but it looks good this way, too. She's currently 1/2 inch shorter than Carol, and growing fast, so by Halloween Carol will surely be the little girl in the house. Katie also worked very hard on her pre-algebra this summer, doing months of work in a few weeks (over 2 months of work in the last week of summer), and was able to meet her goal of starting Algebra 1 on the first day of school. She's not a big fan of math, but now she knows that she's actually good at it.

My job is still great fun. We made fairly steady progress on our customer preference data set over the summer. It's a publicly available dataset from Netflix -- the customers are all just given as numbers, so we don't know anything about them except what movies they rated, so we can't really try things like comparing men vs. women or geography, but we've still managed to find some patterns in movie preferences, and have ideas that we hope will take us much further. Also, Carol gave me golf at the Stanford course this summer, and I've been playing a lot there. I haven't managed to master the course, although I do usually break 100 there, but now I'm much more confident playing at the local muni courses (which are much easier). I may ask for this again for my next birthday.

From: Gwen

From Texas - the rain stopped before we built the ark so saved ourselves a bundle of money. Now the fields are high with hay and gardens full of happy weeds. Some good news from our family is that grandson, Jerod Zerbe, is going to be joining the Hamburg ballet. A great honor for him and an excuse for family members to go to Germany. Another grandson, Nathan Zerbe, has joined the biology teaching staff of the high school from which he graduated in Alburqurque, and grandson, John Schweers, is working on a degree in music at North Texas.

Dick and I made a trip to visit Florida in June to visit Margaret in Tampa and our son, Ian, in Orlando. Enjoyed the space center tremendously! We and some of our children and grandchildren are booked on a cruise through the Hawaiian Islands in November. Anyone is welcome to join us. (Since the time of this note, Gwen and Company have left for this cruise and are probably having a great time eating and reading.)

Here is a quilt I just finished piecing. It's made entirely from my scraps (stash is the word in the quilting jargon) left over from 20 years of quilting. Some bits came from Grace and Betty. You can see what color is my favorite.


Gentry has really enjoyed the hikes he's been taking with Steve in the Rocky Mountains--at least he's enjoyed MOST of the experiences. He probably didn't consider hiking with sleet and ice particles blowing in his face and dealing with frozen candy bars as the highlights of these adventures.

From: Karen

I'd like to let everyone know in the next publication that Rick received his DMIN degree in December. I'm so proud of him and he is thrilled to be finished! He got it from George Fox Seminary in Portland, Or.

From: Chris

Chris just traveled to Cripple Creek to see the premiere of his new show, Angel of the Christmas Mine. This is a new script centered around three miners trapped in a mine on Christmas Eve. The local crowds greatly enjoyed the show. If you find yourself in Colorado, why not take in a show?

Family Reunion Note

If you haven't signed up for next year's Hiebert Family Reunion, be sure to do this as soon as possible. We have over 50 people already planning to come, which is a good start. It's going to be a great time together, getting to know each other again. This place is a wonderful place for all ages, with lots of activities available and amazing scenery. Do come!

Dates: August 7 to 10, 2008
Place: Double Arrow Resort, Seeley Lake, Montana
Where to reserve your rooms: call Double Arrow Resort or go to: www.doublearrowresort.com for more information; be sure to make the reservation under the "Hiebert family reunion."

Remember that you can can a 100% refund on your deposit if you cancel within 21 days of the event, so we would suggest that everyone who thinks they MIGHT attend the reunion should make a reservation as soon as possible. Cabins/rooms are limited and get filled quickly. If you have any questions, contact Gwen or Loey.

From: Marge Dick Sykes (Those of you siblings who remember the Dick family would be interested in the news that Marge Dick Sykes sent me. Marge, her sister Helen/husband Walt, brother Harold/wife Bernice (Fast) and several other relatives took a trip to the Ukraine to find their parents' early home. if you'd like to have a copy of Margie's account, just let me know and I'll get that to you. -Jo)

The main purpose for our trip was to find our roots. Our parents Jacob and Anna Dick were born and raised in small Mennonite (dutch/german) villages in the Malotschna area of the Ukraine which was under Russian rule. To make a long story short, they were able, by God's Grace, to escape by walking and going on horseback through China over five of the highest mountain passes in the world. Four of the mountain passes were in the Tien Shan, Hindukush, Karakaruum, and Himalayan mountains into India and 2 weeks after they arrived my sister was born. They felt they were called by God to stay in India as missionaries and they spent close to 30 years as missionaries there.

My brother Hal has written a book of their lives, including the escape, which will be published shortly. He has also signed a contract with a media company to make a Hollywood production of the book, which will take from 2 to 4 years. Thus the reason to find where our wonderful parents grew up. They are planning to do the movie on site as much as possible.