Hillsboro – John F. Wiebe, 84, died April 23, 2018 at Hillsboro Community Hospital in Hillsboro. He was born February 19, 1934 to David V. and Martha (Frantz) Wiebe in Hillsboro. He married Caryl Friesen September 6, 1955 at Gnadenau Church rural Hillsboro. Survivors include: wife, Caryl Wiebe of Hillsboro; son, Jon C. (Ellynne) Wiebe of Hillsboro; daughters, Dorie (Linden) Thiessen of Rural Hillsboro, Colene (Joel) Wiens of Porterville, California; brother, Raymond F. Wiebe of Hillsboro; sister, Connie (Don) Isaac of Hillsboro; 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Predeceased by a brother David F. Wiebe. Celebration of Life Service 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 27, 2018 at Parkview M.B. Church in Hillsboro. Interment 10:00 a.m. Friday at Springfield Cemetery rural Hillsboro. Family will receive guests from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Memorials to Tabor College Athletics 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
John F. Wiebe was born to David V. and Martha (Frantz) Wiebe on February 19, 1934, welcomed by his older brothers, Raymond and David. Seven years later Connie (Constance) joined the family.
The family lived on a farm between Lehigh and Goessel. John went to grade school at Maple Hill. In 1941 they moved to Hillsboro, where he attended Hillsboro Grade School for one year.
The family moved to Reedley, California in 1943 to farm. This involved moving their large furniture and farm machinery via train. They enjoyed their stay in California. In addition to farming, John’s father was a pastor of the Zion K.M.B. Church. John attended Windsor Grade School and then went on to Immanuel High School in Reedley.
To take a break from ongoing requests for pastoral duties, they decided to move to British Columbia, Canada, where they had a large dairy and lived there for 2 years. It was a beautiful area and the family enjoyed their life in Canada. They returned to the Reedley farm two years later where John finished his high school years at Immanuel.
In the fall of 1952, they moved back to Hillsboro. John attended Tabor College and his father pastored the Gnadenau Church. This is where John met Caryl. After the first choir practice, he asked to take her home. This began three years of courtship. On September 6, 1955, they were married in the Gnadenau Church.
After John finished his college education, they moved to Clay Center where he taught at McKinley Grade School, a position he enjoyed very much.
Two years later, John was contacted by Tabor to be the alumni director and also work in the business office. John accepted the invitation and he and Caryl moved to Hillsboro. Dorene (Dorie) was born shortly after their move. Three years later Colene joined the family. During this time he also served as Pastor at Canton Baptist Church for three years.
John decided he would like to pursue more education, so they moved to Emporia where John earned his Master’s and Specialist’s Degree at Emporia State Teacher’s College. He became principal/superintendent/history teacher/bus driver at a small rural school in Neosho Rapids. During their first year there, Jon joined the family.
After five years in Emporia, he accepted a position as Superintendent of Schools in Burton, KS, where he worked for three years. Following that the family moved to Wichita where John became Business Manager for the Haysville School District. While living there, it became a dream of John’s that the family should form a singing group. He purchased guitars for the girls and they began weekly lessons. The Wiebe Family Singers was born.
In 1972, he was hired by the Fairfield School District in Reno County for the position of Superintendent of Schools. The family moved to a rural home where they raised a few cattle, many domestic rabbits, chickens, a dog and cats. The family enjoyed the country life.
After 3 years he took another superintendent position in Marion. This move allowed John to work at Springfield Park, which he had been developing out of pastureland near Lehigh. The family worked together there on weekends and over the summer, enjoying fishing and swimming in between work projects.
His entrepreneurial spirit continued. His dream of a singing family and his passion for the land spurred an idea to host Singing Conventions at the park. The first staging platform was a flatbed trailer. After a year or so he built a small shelter with a cement stage floor. Singing Conventions were held monthly on a Sunday evening during the summer. Area wide vocal and instrumental groups, along with professional groups, joined the Wiebe Family Singers for an evening of Christian music as people from neighboring counties enjoyed lakeside seating on the grass.
John became intrigued at the possibility of hospital administration. He pursued the necessary training and received a position at Salem Hospital, where he remained for eight years while the family continued to live in Marion. He then received a call from the Clay Center Hospital Board to serve there. By that time the children had graduated from high school and were either going to Tabor or on their own so John and Caryl moved to Clay Center. Having lived there as newlyweds, they were able to pick up the friendships they had already cultivated. Those nine years were so precious during their empty nester years.
John was ready to retire and often mentioned to Caryl his desire to pastor. They also wanted to move back to Hillsboro to be near their land. Opportunity came through one of the deacons from the Ebenezer Church (rural Abilene) to fill the pulpit. He served in an interim position for a time and then accepted the call as Pastor. For 15 years John and Caryl served as he preached and ministered to families, and she typed up bulletins, played the organ and taught Sunday School. They developed wonderful friendships and found ministry fulfilling as they served together.
John and Caryl enjoyed traveling when the family was young and then as a couple. They traveled to all the U.S. States except Hawaii. The 30-day trip driving to Alaska was definitely their favorite.
Early 2018, John began experiencing some health issues. Although he experienced occasional set-backs, he was usually able to rally and remained at home under the loving care of “his girlfriend”. After a good morning together on April 23 he unexpectedly but quietly slipped away to the Home he always talked about. His family who rejoices in his home-going but greatly miss him include:
Wife Caryl of 61 years
Daughter Dorie and husband Linden Thiessen, rural Hillsboro
children Tyrell, Shaq (Paige), Taylor (Kenton Lonberger), and Sharisse
Daughter Colene and husband Joel Wiens, Porterville, CA
children Karlin, Rachelle (Joey) Agustin, and Alex
Son Jon and wife Ellynne, Hillsboro
children Matthew (Clarissa) and Joshua (Krista)
And five great grandchildren