Margaret Ruth Epp

Margaret Ruth Epp

Margaret Ruth (Tieszen) Epp, 102, died Nov. 29, 2023. She was born April 7, 1921, to Abraham V. and Jacobina (Tiahrt) Tieszen in York, Neb. She was known to her family as Ruth. She lived briefly in Henderson, Neb., before settling in the Freeman and Marion area of South Dakota.

She had four younger siblings, all of whom she outlived: Norma Reimer, Paul Tieszen, Dorothy Ann Gunnels and Karl Tieszen. She was baptized into membership at Bethesda Mennonite Church near Marion and graduated from Marion High School in 1939.

Ruth earned an elementary teaching certificate from Freeman Junior College and taught in a one-room school from 1940 to 1942. World War II took her to Washington, D.C., where she worked in the Department of Commerce. Upon returning home, she was employed at a Dolton, S.D., bank and later studied at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan.

On May 22, 1948, Ruth married Carl H. Epp in her home church and transferred membership to Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson. They first made a home near Lushton, Neb., and later moved to the family farm near Henderson.

Ruth’s partnership with Carl included short terms of service with Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia (1976-77), Dominican Republic (1980), Honduras (1985), Mexico (1986) and Nicaragua (1989). Ruth served MCC as a bookkeeper, cook and visitor hostess. Through these experiences, Ruth and Carl cultivated life-long friendships with their coworkers and neighbors.

Ruth is survived by a son, Mark J. Epp (Catherine Wismer) of Henderson; two daughters, Mary E. Klassen (J. Tyler) of Goshen, Ind., and Carmen J. Shelly (Andrew) of Lenexa, Kan.; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Carl preceded Ruth in death in 2009.


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