Inman – Helen Marie Vogel, 82, died November 2, 2018 at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. She was born June 16, 1936 to Henry J. and Elizabeth (Klaassen) Voth at Mt. Lake, MN. She married Ralph Vogel August 8, 1958 in Hillsboro at the Hillsboro M.B. Church. Survivors include: husband, Ralph Vogel of Inman; son, Brad (Beverly) Vogel of Hillsboro; daughter, Kim (Don) Sawyer of Hutchinson; 5 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Predeceased by brothers: Bud and Carl Voth; sister, Lois Ediger. Celebration of Life Service 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at Zoar Mennonite Brethren Church in Inman. Family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday at the Church. Memorials to Central Christian Schools of Hutchinson or Tabor College Music Department in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063. Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com
Life Sketch taken from the Funeral Bulletin
On June 16, 1936, Helen Marie Voth Vogel was born in Mt. Lake, Minnesota, the fourth child of Henry and Elizabeth (Klaassen) Voth. She was named for her grandmothers, Helena and Maria, and was always grateful her parents had the foresight to drop the “a” endings.Helen came along late in her parents’ lives, with siblings ages 6, 10, and 18 when she joined the family. Her father often teased that she was the best “whoops” they ever had.Helen had the privilege of being raised in a Christian home. At the tender age of 6 she made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior, and she learned early to lean into His strength when, at the age of 10, she lost her mother in a freak accident. Shortly thereafter, her father began suffering a series of strokes and she became his caretaker. Despite these difficulties, she never adopted a complaining spirit.When her father was placed in a nursing home, Helen was sent to Kansas to an uncle and aunt, and she attended Central Christian School in Hutchinson—a member of its first graduating class. Her aunt Sadie offered to send her to college, and she enrolled at Tabor, where she earned a two-year teaching certificate. She took the position of second grade teacher first in Meade, Kansas, and then in Durham, Kansas.A co-teacher in Durham invited her to a junior high basketball game where she observed a young man enter the gymnasium. She told her friend he looked like someone she would like to date. The friend arranged an introduction, and four months later, on August 8, 1958, she exchanged vows with that young man and became Mrs. Ralph Vogel.Not long into their marriage, Ralph indicated he would like to go to college. Helen agreed, but she refused to wait until he’d finished his schooling to start a family. Kim was born in 1961, and a few weeks after Ralph’s graduation in 1963, son Brad arrived. When Brad was only six weeks old, the family moved across Kansas to Garden City where Ralph took his first teaching position. Over the next 18 years while Ralph advanced in his teaching career, Helen followed him through no less than ten moves involving seven different cities and two states. Each time the family saw a U-Haul on the road, she would tease, “There go the Vogels.” She never complained about packing and moving, because she loved and supported her husband.
Helen enjoyed teaching, but after Ralph earned his degree she turned her sights to working as a clerk in various businesses including Peoples Natural Gas Company in Garden City and Northern Natural Gas in Mullinville. Ralph and Helen briefly co-owned Burke’s Cafe in Greensburg, where Helen did most of the cooking. People raved about her fried chicken.After their children graduated from high school, Ralph and Helen settled in Inman, where they have lived for the past 35 years. Helen worked at Prairie Bank of Kansas until her retirement in 1998. She was active in the Zoar Mennonite Church, participating in choir, a women’s choral group, and teaching Awanas. She enjoyed being part of Lions Club, playing “elf” for Santa at grade school Christmas programs, and—in her retirement years—meeting friends for coffee at the local cafe each morning.One of Helen’s favorite roles was that of grandma. She loved her grandchildren and relished time with them. She attended music programs and plays, sporting events, and graduations. In return, her grandchildren adored her.Helen particularly enjoyed going on antiquing jaunts or bus trips with Ralph. As her health failed and pain became her constant companion, her activities slowed. Even so, she never complained, but leaned into Jesus’ strength to sustain her. She set an example of faithfulness and steadfastness her children and grandchildren seek to emulate.Helen is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ralph, of Inman; daughter, Kim Sawyer (Don), of Hutchinson; son, Brad (Beverly), of Hillsboro; granddaughters Kristian Libel (Allen) of Wichita, Kaitlyn White (Dustin) of Hutchinson, and Kamryn Payne (Christian) of Lawrence; grandsons David Vogel (Hanna) of Wichita, and Nathan Vogel (Mallea) of Campti, Louisiana; great-grandchildren Connor, Ethan, Rylin, Adrianna, Alana, Logan, Jacob, Cole, Kaisyn, Kendall, Claire, and Beckham; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Elizabeth; her brothers, Bud and Carl; and her sister, Lois. Helen was a mighty prayer warrior, a loyal friend, a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, and—most important to her—a daughter of the King. Her family is certain she heard those lovely words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” when she crossed Heaven’s threshold.