Miriam Kuhns Liechty

Miriam Kuhns Liechty, 92, of Berne, Ind., died Jan. 3, 2021. She was born Feb. 14, 1926, to Anna (Shupe) and Allen Kuhns in La Junta, Colo.

Her childhood was spent in multiple locations throughout Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. She attended high school at Hesston Academy in Kansas and graduated in 1950 from the La Junta Mennonite School of Nursing. After graduation, she was employed at the Mennonite Deaconess Hospital in Beatrice, Neb. While there she met and married Edmund Zehr, who was serving as hospital administrator.

After Edmund’s death in 1957, she relocated to Goshen, Ind., and during these two years she took advanced training at Wesley Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University in Chicago to become an anesthesia practitioner. She completed training in 1959, becoming one of the nation’s first Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. She practiced anesthesia at Caylor-Nickel Clinic in Bluffton. Bluffton being close to Berne, she chose to relocate her young family to Berne and attend First Mennonite Church in Berne. There she met Robert Liechty, whom she married in 1961. Robert lovingly adopted all four of the Zehr children, and they were blessed with two additional children.

She was born into a faithful Mennonite family, and during her adult life she was a member of Mennonite congregations in Hesston, Beatrice, Goshen and Berne.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Liechty; six children, Edward (Mary Purves) and Daniel (Naomi Wilansky) Liechty, Mary (Peter) Graber, Martha (Paul) Conrad, Margaret (Phillip) Sprunger and Janet (Phillip) Liechty Martens; 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Edmund Peter Zehr; sisters Helen Freeman, Hazel Hershberger, Eunice Shellenberger, Anna Inez Fry and Lois Ramseyer; and brothers Paul Kuhns, Allen Kuhns and James Kuhns.

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