Hillsboro – Malinda Nikkel, 91, died February 15, 2018 at Hillsboro Community Hospital in Hillsboro. She was born January 28, 1927 to Dave and Marie (Wiens) Penner in Hillsboro. Predeceased by her husband: Irvin Nikkel; brother, Donald Penner; sister, Esther Penner. Celebration of Life Service 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church officiated by Pastor Loyal Martin. Interment 10:00 a.m. Tuesday at Hillsboro M.B. Cemetery in Hillsboro. Family will receive guests from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Memorials to Tabor College in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, Kansas 67063. Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com
Life Sketch taken from The Funeral Bulletin
Family Life: Malinda was born on January 28, 1927 into the loving family of David J. and Mary Wiens Penner. She joined a sister, Esther and brother, Donald to make the family complete. Sadly her brother, Donald died at age 15 in 1948 in a car accident. This was a great sorrow for the family. Her sister, Esther died at the age of 92, leaving three daughters and their children.
Malinda was led to the Lord at a revival service at Tabor College and then was baptized in French Creek and became a member of the Mennonite Brethren Church at the age of 12. She and her family were active in the life of the church, especially in the field of music.
Education: Malinda enjoyed her pursuit of education in the Hillsboro elementary schools and graduated from Hillsboro High School in the spring of 1944. When enrolled at Tabor College to earn her BA, she excelled in her classes and taught in the Tabor College Academy, graduating in 1948. During summer vacations she worked in a packing shed in California, and taught in a DVBS program in Arkansas.
She enrolled at Emporia State College where she received her Master’s Degree. After that she continued her graduate work at Kansas University in Lawrence.
Teaching: After graduation from Tabor, Malinda taught at Goessel High School, Immanuel Academy in Reedley, California and at Hillsboro High School.
From 1955 until 1977 Malinda taught at Tabor College. This was interrupted during 1956 so she could teach one year in Ashiya, Japan in a high school for American children. At Tabor, along with her work in the English department, she directed more than 30 plays and co-authored and directed two musicals.
She was honored with the Tabor College Alumni Merit award in 1983.
Committee Work: Malinda served on MB Conference committees beginning with the Southern District Youth Committee in 1957 and continuing through U.S Conference Communications, education and program committees and finally, serving on the General Conferences Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Board from 1987 to 1993.
She led “Four Year through the Bible” studies and Explorer’s Bible Study in Newton, Hesston and in Hillsboro for 25 years.
Marriage: Malinda and Irvin Nikkel were married on June 25, 1965. Their home and his business were in Newton while she taught at Tabor. Irvin went to be with the lord on May 24, 1986. In 1994 Malinda returned to Hillsboro to enjoy a very full and rewarding retirement.
Travel: During all her life, Malinda enjoyed exploring and pushing the boundaries of her life. She loved to travel, something instilled in her by her parents who took her and family on various vacations many miles away from Hillsboro. In 1954 she went on a Tabor tour to eight European countries, plus worked with PAX in Germany for a month.
In 1959 Malinda and a fellow teacher traveled by car to Alaska and back. In 1962 she met a former classmate in Paraguay and they traveled together in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chili, Panama, Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, Central America and Mexico. On their tour they visited former students and friends. Other journeys took her to all fifty states and Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii.
In 1977 she was invited to be one of the speakers at a Mennonite Women’s convention in India. In 1987 Malinda had the privilege to spend time in Greece and in the Holy Land.
Coming Home: Early last Thursday angels came to Hillsboro to escort Malinda to her new home built especially for her by the Master Builder, where in my mind’s eye I imagined her meeting Him, and Irvin, her mom and dad and Donald and Esther and a vast array of friends. And soon we will go to see her too.