Bessie Darlene (Yoder) Hochstetler, the daughter of Jerry P. and Catherine (Gingerich) Yoder was born in the home of her parents on October 12, 1926 in Pierce County, North Dakota. She died at the age of 86 years on Sunday, September 8, 2013 in her home in rural Wolford, North Dakota.
Bessie was raised on a farm near Wolford and completed her education at a country school. As a teenager, she worked for a harvest crew in the cook car. She attended a six week term of Bible School at Hesston, Kansas. On December 24, 1948, Christmas Eve, she was united in marriage to Vernon Hochstetler. They made their home near Wolford until the winter of 1951 when they moved to Kitchener, Ontario, where Vernon attended Bible School, and their third child was born there. They returned to Wolford for a short time before making another move to Graceton, Minnesota, where Bessie took on a new role as a pastor’s wife. In 1967, the couple made their final move back to rural Wolford, North Dakota. Over the years, she graciously hosted and served many visiting ministers and others. She was able to make tasty meals with very limited supplies! Her children and grandchildren have enjoyed many delicious meals around her table. Some of their favorite goodies from her kitchen were Whoopie Pies, Maple Twists, and cookies of many kinds. In her later years, she enjoyed trying new recipes which were usually a hit. She was very content to be at home and was an excellent seamstress and did many alterations. How did a mother of twelve have time to sew dresses for her girls? After her children were grown and gone from home, she kept busy making comforter tops which she gave to those in need. She enjoyed doing all her lawn care until this summer and was saddened when she knew she would not be able to do it anymore.
Bessie was a longtime member of Lakeview Mennonite Church and did what she could to support her husband and later pastors, as well as her congregation. She always greeted others with a warm and firm handshake. She enjoyed the monthly women’s sewing circle where she put in nearly perfect tiny stitches in many quilts. The only outside of the home job she had was working as a teacher’s aide at Wolford School for several years. To her children, her greatest accomplishment and lifetime work was raising her large family. Her love, support, correction, encouragement, and prayers have covered her children well and they have all chosen to follow and serve the God she loved.
Bessie is survived by her children, Verlin (Cynthia Hall) Hochstetler of Amarillo, TX, Glenn (Betty Mullet) Hochstetler of Sarasota, FL, Lila (Fred) Kanagy, Barbara (Floyd) Slaubaugh, Marlys (Dan) Slaubaugh, Glenda (Greg) Graber, all of Wolford, Roland (Sharissa Hatcher) Hochstetler of Valley City, Elwood (Marilyn Erb) Hochstetler of Fargo, Linden Hochstetler of Sarasota, FL, Jolene (Richard) Shue of Sarasota, FL, Mark (Janelle Nelson) Hochstetler of Sarasota, FL, and Rhonda (Todd) Smucker of Goshen, IN; 27 grandchildren; 30 great grandchildren; siblings, Bernice (Albert) Erb of Wisner, NE, Loretta Yoder of Rugby, Bonnie Stoll of Montgomery, IN, Dewey (Carol Graber) Yoder of Kirbyville, MO, and Vera Yoder of Grand Forks; many nieces, nephews; other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon, who died on April 13, 2002; a son, Eldon; sisters, Ethel, Ellen, Alice, and Evelyn; brothers, James, Earl, Ralph, Loren, and Ray; and her parents.
Graveside committal services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 14th, 2013 at the Lakeview Mennonite Cemetery in rural Wolford, followed by a life celebration service at 11:00 a.m. in the Lakeview Mennonite Church.
Casket Bearers: Sons: Verlin, Glenn, Roland, Elwood, Linden, & Mark Hochstetler
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby. Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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