Rhoda E. Buchen, 87, Re-Uzit volunteer, active at Groffdale Mennonite, nature lover

By on September 23, 2015

Rhoda Elizabeth (Thomas) Buchen, died peacefully in her sleep, in her home in Ephrata on Sept. 18, 2015. She was 87 years old.

Rhoda was born in Willow Street, to Amos and Martha (Myer) Thomas, on Sept. 12, 1928; and spent her childhood there, along with three siblings.

She graduated from Lancaster Mennonite School in 1946. She and Kenneth Rutt Buchen were married on Aug. 14, 1948, and enjoyed 62 years of marriage before his death in 2011.

Her early years included going to the Central Market in Lancaster with her dad, and she enjoyed working in the market throughout her life. Her most recent employment was at Oregon Dairy, where she worked at the meat counter. Until recently, she also volunteered at the Re-Uzit Shops in New Holland and in Ephrata, which benefit Mennonite Central Committee.

Rhoda’s faith was integral to her life. She was a member of Groffdale Mennonite Church, where she served in various capacities over the years, including teaching Sunday School, participating in small group fellowships and working with the women’s sewing circle. She continued to sew baby layettes for Mennonite Central Committee until her death.

Rhoda loved spending time with her family and friends, playing games and visiting, and going out to eat. She had a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature, and especially enjoyed birds. She was a very generous person with an optimistic outlook and always had a ready smile of greeting.

She is survived by her children: Sue (Cliff Bollinger), Utica, Minn.; Tom (Jean Martin), Lancaster; Rebecca (John Scott), Vista, Calif.; Lois (Arlin Kennel), New Holland. She is also survived by a sister: Lois A. Thomas; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and 12 brothers and sisters-in-law.

Besides her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her brother: Leon Thomas; and sister: Miriam (Thomas) Burkholder.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Sept 27, at 4 p.m. at Groffdale Mennonite Church, 168 N. Groffdale Road, Leola, with Pastor Thomas Eshelman officiating. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m.

If desired, contributions may be made in her memory to Mennonite Central Committee, Akron; or to Groffdale Mennonite Church, Leola.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com.

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