Dewey and Bernice Hostetler, 70 | Community Notes

Dewey and Bernice Hostetler will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on May 3. They were married by J. Lawrence Burkholder, Goshen, Ind., at the home of his parents, Samuel and Clara Lehman, Castorland.

The couple met in LaJunta, Colorado, at the hospital when Bernice was in school and Dewey was working as a voluntary service orderly.

Mr. Hostetler grew up in rural Harper County, Kansas. He attended the local rural school Nebo and graduated from Hesston Secondary School in 1946. After his marriage his first job was working on the railway and also drove an ice cream truck in various cities. For 50 years, he enjoyed flying the 20 planes he owned; the first being a 55 HP J2 Piper Cub and the last being a Comanche.

In the early 1960s, his love for taking care of the land and being a very creative person, he started making machinery to make farming easier. It started as the DewEze manufacturing plant, later known as Harper Industries. Mr. Hostetler retired in 1991.

Ms. Hostetler attended the local Castorland Elementary School, graduating from Lowville Academy, Class of 1946. She attended Goshen (Ind.) College and graduated from LaJunta (Colo.) Mennonite School of Nursing in 1951 with her diploma of a registered nurse. She worked at local hospitals in the Harper and Anthony area and when the new hospital opened in Harper she was a surgical nurse. She was also a school nurse for local school district -361. Mrs. Hostetler enjoyed working in her heritage flower and vegetable gardens. The family loved their cherry pies, the cherries from the large cherry tree on the farm.

Together, the couple spent 50 years volunteering for the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale, making German Kettle popcorn, helping with maple syrup production in upstate New York in the family sugar bush and attend the many activities of their children and grandchildren.

Mr. and Mrs. Hostetler made their home on the farm in Harper County, Kan., which was in the family for 100 years, until they moved to Kidron Bethel Village Retirement Center, Independent Living, 3005B, Ivy Drive, North Newton, Kan. ., 67117-8001. They are members of the Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church, Harper, Kan. After retiring to North Newton, they attended Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston, Kan.

Mr. and Mrs. Hostetler have five children, Lynn (Lisa), Bentonville, Ark.; Karen Hostetler, Valley Center, Kan.; Arlene Jantz, Wichita, Kan.; Heidi (Dennis) Coates, Buena Vista, Colo. A son, Scott, died January 7, 1972. They have 11 grandchildren: Elijah (Hannah); Ambrosia (Jubal); Nathan (Therese); Mary Caroline; Nicholas (Kara); Leia (Nicolas); Abby (Jason), Alex; She; Clare and Sarah; 14 great-grandchildren and one great-grandson who died in 2019. The family is scattered across Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas, Arizona and Italy.

A shower of cards would be appreciated by Dewey and Bernice. Plans for a celebration are in July at the Henry and Salome Hostetler family reunion in Wichita, Kan.

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