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Pankratz, Gerhard G. (1880-1975) | Mennonite Archival Commons

Name: Pankratz, Gerhard G. (1880-1975)

Historical Note:

<em>Mennonite Weekly Review</em> obituary:

Gerhard G. Pankratz was born April 20, 1880, near Goessel in Marion County, Kansas, to Peter and Elizabeth (Goertz) Pankratz. The last surviving member of his family, he died Sunday, July 13, 1975, at the Bethel Deaconess Hospital.

He attended the Springfield Grade School and received two years of training at the Hillsboro Preparatory School. He was baptized in 1901 by Elder Peter Balzer and received as a member of the Alexanderwohl Church.

On Nov. 11, 1904, he was married to Anna Frey at the home of the bride's parents near Goessel. Seven children were born to this marriage of almost 57 years: three sons, Gustav of Augusta, Theodore of Cassoday, and Peter of Goddard; and four daughters, Mrs. Sam (Amanda) Schrag of Cheney, Linda (Mary Ann) Blosser of North Newton. He is surved by his children, 21 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren. Preceding him in death were his wife on Oct. 31, 1961, a son-in-law, C. F. Epp, one granddaughter, and one great-grandson.

The family resided at the farm home in Marion County until 1920 when they moved to Thomas County, Kansas. Here, together with three other families from the Alexanderwohl community, they organized the first Mennonite Sunday school in Thomas County. After six pioneering years, they moved to Burrton, Kan. where they united with the Burrton Mennonite Church. They later resided in the Whitewater community for several years, coming to Newton in 1938 and uniting with the First Mennonite Church.

Dad was a farmer and carpenter most of his life. For some years after retiring he helped his family wherever needed, doing such things as carpentry, cabinet work, furniture refinishing and reupholstering, and rug weaving. He was an avid reader, with a special interest in Mennonite history. One of the joys of his life was sponsoring and corresponding with various school children in India.

He greatly appreciated visits from relatives and friends, and one of the high points of his past year was the open house held for him on his 95th birthday. He remained alert until his final illness.

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