Naomi Kauffman Lederach

Naomi Kauffman Lederach, 88, of Goshen, Ind., died July 24, 2021. She was born Oct. 22, 1932, to Amsa H. Kauffman and Nona Marie Miller Kauffman in Goshen.

Naomi Lederach
Naomi Lederach

With her parents serving in South Texas under Mennonite Board of Missions, she attended grade school in Texas and completed high school at Hesston Academy in Kansas. In 1954, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science and nursing from Goshen College. She completed her master’s degree in nursing with honors at Wichita State University in 1978.

She married John Mensch Lederach at Clinton Brick Mennonite Church, Goshen. Starting their marriage in Dunlap, John served as the pastor of Sunnyside Mennonite Church, and she worked as a nurse in the Elkhart Hospital. In 1957, the young family moved to Hubbard/Whiskey Hill, Ore. For the 10 years that John was pastor at Zion Mennonite Church, she used her musical gifts to lead children’s choirs. In 1968, they joined the faculty at Hesston College, where they taught for 16 years. During a sabbatical year they lived in Jerusalem, where she taught at Bethlehem University and helped create the curriculum for the Arab School of Nursing in Ramallah. By 1984, they had moved to Lancaster, Pa., to serve as master clinicians with Philhaven Hospital. They jointly developed and served as founding directors of Recovery of Hope, a marital therapy program.

Upon retirement from Philhaven, they volunteered with Mennonite Central Committee in Northern Ireland. She worked with cross-community groups during the “Troubles” between Catholics and Protestants. Over the decades, she and

John host more than 40 TourMagination trips to the Middle East, Europe, Scandinavia, the Caribbean and Alaska.

Through her extraordinary grace and deeply held convictions, she showed others through her life that actions and voices must always bend toward justice. Her life illustrated the essence of compassion.

Survivors include her husband, John; three children, John Paul (Wendy Liechty) of Silverthorne, Colo., Philip K. (Lisa Herr) of Goshen and Elizabeth Marie (Lori Clanton) of Clovis, Calif.; 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church in Goshen. Memorial gifts may be given to Beth “Let Her Rock” Lederach Social Justice Scholarship, Clovis High School.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!