Hillsboro – Vida Bartel, 83, died November 30, 2019 at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro. She was born July 1, 1936 in Dodge City to Jude and Elsie (Hiebert) Neufeld. She married Vernon Bartel October 21, 1955 in Cimarron. Survivors include: daughter, Ronnda Bartel of San Diego, California; brothers, Melvin Neufeld of Garden City, J.D. Neufeld of Sand Springs, Oklahoma; sisters, Joyce Prather of James Town, KS, Karen Friesen of Wellington, Colorado. Predeceased by her husband, Vernon Bartel. Celebration of Life Service 3:00 p.m. December 14, 2019 at The Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro. Committal service 2:00 p.m. December 14, 2019 at French Creek cemetery rural Hillsboro. Memorials to Hillsboro M.B. Church 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
My Life History
Vida Delores Neufeld Bartel
I’m sitting at the computer this cold January day to think of my past and the future. After completing the work of our family history, “Our Family Journey from 1736 to 1996,” I was encouraged to write my life’s story!
I was born July 1, 1936 in Dodge City, KS and given the name of Vida Delores Neufeld by my parents Henry Julius (Jude) Neufeld and Elsie Frieda Hiebert Neufeld. My Spanish name was given me as a tribute to a 1930’s employer of Jude.
I’m told that the summer of my birth was a very hot, windy, and dusty one. I was taken home from the Dodge City hospital to a simple wooden farm home that was not well protected from the western Kansas dirt storms of the 1930s. This home was north of Cimarron and Ingalls, KS. Later our family moved about three miles northwest to my grandpa D. K. Hiebert’s farm where I spent my childhood and high school years. This farm has been in our family nearly 100 years, and now in the 2000s is owned by the fourth generation in our Hiebert family.
My Hiebert and Neufeld extended families surrounded me in the early years. We were a part of community of the Ingalls Mennonite Brethren country church with the families of Cornelson, Penner, Hagen, Wiens, Loewen, Huebert, Unruh, Wiebe, Friesen, Plett, Brandt, Siemens and others I don’t recall. These western Kansas farm families became one large family in their efforts to bring up the children in the ways of Jesus within the larger community. These families were a praying body that depended upon the Lord for their daily needs at home and for the church and its mission.
As a result of the godly living in my family and the church body I recognized my need to accept Jesus as Lord of my life when I was thirteen years of age. Rev. Dave Wiens came to visit me about baptism and I asked him to help me find the peace that Jesus gives. A week later, Rev. J. W. Vogt, from Hillsboro, baptized me in the Scott County Lake along with nine other young people in the church. Our baptism and becoming members of the Ingalls M B Church was in August 1950. This membership was later transferred to Hillsboro M B Church in 1957.
Born the eldest, I experienced our family’s growth to five children. My brothers Melvin Neufeld and Maxine, a farmer and KS Representative from Ingalls, KS and retired in Garden City; and J D Neufeld, a farmer, convention center manager, and a handyman in Sandy Springs, OK; two sisters Joyce, Mrs. Vaughn Prather, a teacher, librarian and farmer’s wife of Jamestown, KS; and Karen, Mrs. Elgie Friesen, a Registered Nurse and farmer’s wife of Aurora, NE to Wellington, CO. We were taught to have family values and support each other, even in our differences!
The Ingalls, KS Consolidated School provided my twelve years of education. I graduated in May 1954. During my high school years, the school board contacted Tabor College for teaching staff. I was among the first to benefit from a Tabor music teacher, Mrs. Marlys Groening Hershey. The fall after my graduation from high school I attended Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS. There I received vocal lessons from Herbert C Richert and became a member of a Tabor College choir.
During that year in Hillsboro, I met Vernon A. Bartel. We were married October 21, 1955 and remained life companions for 59years.
The day after our wedding we moved to Denver, CO for Vernon’s two years of I-W service in the Denver General Hospital. I found employment in AT&T’s Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph billing department in the early days of the keypunch process. While in Denver, we were privileged to be a part of the beginnings of the Garden Park Church, pastored by J. J. Gerbrandt. Vernon was a welder on the church building construction led by Johnny Klassen from Hillsboro.
Returning from Denver to Hillsboro in 1957 we established our home on Vernon’s grandpa Penner’s farm north of Hillsboro, KS in the French Creek community. When the farm was sold, we move to George Jost’s farm before purchasing our own farm northwest of Hillsboro. This farm was purchased so we could be near Vernon’s childhood home where his brother, Eldon lived. The brothers worked together with their farming ventures until Eldon’s death in 1984.
In order to become acquainted with the people of the community I immediately sought work, and spent a few months sewing in each of the two sewing factories in Hillsboro in the late 1950s, and as receptionist in the office of the Tip Top Dairies in Hillsboro. There were a few months of Avon sales for the local representative while she stayed home with her new baby.
A year after returning from Denver to the farm our daughter, Ronnda was born. My life’s focus was to teach her love, discipline, and to help her achieve her life’s goals in the Lord’s will and love. It was rewarding to know she achieved the education of a PhD in Biochemistry and to corporate positions making use of the knowledge she obtained.
As a volunteer, I served in the community with the Red Cross Blood Mobile as chairperson, a Salem Hospital delegate, and the PTA president in Hillsboro Grade School. Over many years, I was the Marion County Fair Home Economic superintendent, fair board member, manager of the fair, fair board president for 4 years, past president for one year, and served on the Marion County Planning Commission. And, there were the 25 years of maintaining my ‘interior decorating’ business to paint and hang wallpaper in many homes and businesses.
My service in the church included teaching children age two through fourth graders in Sunday school, teaching mid-week Bible study to 7th and 8th graders, in the summer’s Vacation Bible School assisting with the children’s choir with Jetta Feil, and directing the Junior High Choir. I participated in the adult education several years as the Sunday school superintendent. The music committee was a part of my early years in the church and again at the time of the church fire in 2004. Throughout the years, I was a member of the adult choir, singing solos, and member of a ladies’ trio with Darlene Franz and Leora Grunau. As chairman of the music committee, I was a member of the church council.
During the 1976 summer, I was privileged to be a member of a summer touring-drama with Tabor College’s ‘Anna Barkman Story,’ written and directed by Jack Braun. The adventure of travel took our group of fifteen to parts of Kansas and Oklahoma. It was a time of building relationships with others from our community and students from Tabor College.
Along with the variety of service in the community the 27 years of work for Parkside Homes Inc. were the most challenging. It was a ministry of service that I enjoyed from 1986 to 2013. The elder residents had much to teach me in my daily walk with them in the five different positions I’ve held over the years that I spent with them.
For me, a goal was met in 1996 when I completed the compilation of my mother’s diaries and family trees onto pages of information for my family. It truly shows a background of faith and trust in the Lord’s guidance from Holland and Germany to Poland on to Russia’s Ukraine and to Kansas on a 200-year journey. God has guided, protected and provided for our family throughout the years.
My faith and trust has faltered many times in my life, but I know the promise of John 3:16…’God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ is as true in my later years as it was in my salvation experience at the age of thirteen. God has carried me through good experiences and more difficult times, but He walked with me to the goal. Blessed be the Lord our God.
In summer of 2011, I was told I needed to address cancer. Through the many doctor appointments and treatments, I was never fearful, because I knew God is in control. Thanks to Ronnda for her trips home to support us during this time. After a 5-year study period, I continued cancer free. And have energy to volunteer at Et Cetera shop, attend a Community Bible Study group and learn to know new neighbors after moving to town in 2014.
Thank you to those who have come in support to say goodbye. I ask you to keep your eyes on Jesus to lead you through your years to the eternal goal that I have reached.
Vida died at the age of 83 on November 30, 2019 at after suffering from metastatic breast cancer. Preceding her in death were her husband, Vernon, parents, Jude and Elsie Neufeld, parents-in-law, Albert and Anna Bartel, brother-in-laws Eldon Bartel, Larry Bartel and Aaron Reimer and sister-in-laws, Margie Reimer, Ruth Bartel, Ethel Bartel and Eunice Nachtigall.
Her daughter, Ronnda Bartel of San Diego, CA, brothers and sister, nieces, nephews, and friends survive her.