Ruth Alderfer Wismer Cender

Ruth Alderfer Wismer Cender, 95, died Feb. 7, 2024, in Goshen, Ind. She was born March 15, 1928, in Harleysville, Pa., the firstborn of Leroy and Alice Wismer. 

As a child in Souderton, Pa., she became the older sister to Lois (Lowell Bishop), Mary and Paul (Sue). As a child she developed a strong faith and commitment to Christ, which lasted her whole life.

She graduated from Goshen College and began teaching in Illinois, where she met her future husband, Milton Cender. They were married Aug. 18, 1957, and made Gibson City, Ill., their home. Their family grew to four with the births of Karl and Greta. Ruth taught elementary students at Rantoul, Gibson City and Melvin-Sibley schools during her teaching career of more than 25 years. 

Ruth was a visual and musical artist, singing in a traveling quartet as a teenager, in college choirs and at East Bend Mennonite Church. There she taught Sunday school and Bible school to many children and participated in the Mennonite Women group. She enjoyed sewing, baking and hosting many people at her home for meals and conversation. 

Retiring in 1991, Ruth became a quilter and created many quilts with others from her church that were auctioned for charities through Mennonite Central Committee. 

She relished time with family, Karl and Wilma (Ressler) of Valparaiso, Ind., and Greta and James (Poplett) of Plymouth, Minn.; and four grandchildren.

After 51 years in Gibson City, Ruth and Milton moved to Goshen in 2008. She attended College Mennonite Church and participated in numerous activities there. She experienced a stroke in 2021, which accelerated her Alzheimer’s disease, requiring nursing care. 

She was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Wismer; and daughter-in-law Wilma Cender. 

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