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Alfred H. Claassen



Alfred H. Claassen

Alfred (Al) H. Claassen passed from this life into the arms of his Savior Sunday, December 2, 2018 at Landis Homes in Lititz, Pennsylvania.  He was born February 2, 1925 in Beatrice, Nebraska, the eldest of six children born to Aron N. and Helen (Wiebe) Claassen.

Alfred grew up on the family farm south east of Beatrice, Nebraska.  He was a hard worker from an early age, taking special interest in the registered polled Hereford herd developed by his father and uncle.  He traveled with Aron to show and sell cattle in Nebraska and other states, often traveling in the train box cars used to ship the cattle.  Alfred was a member of both 4-H and FFA achieving State Farmer status in the latter.  He attended Stall Country School before spending a year at a local German school.  A good student, he graduated from Beatrice High School and received a Union Pacific Scholarship.  He chose to remain on the farm where he was needed.

On August 2, 1950 Alfred married Valois Penner at Beatrice Mennonite Church.  They lived briefly on the family farm, where daughter Sharon was born, and then at Plymouth, Nebraska.  They moved to a ranch near Fairbury, Nebraska where daughter Carol and son David were born.  Early in their marriage, they volunteered on a building project on the Hopi School at Oraibe, Arizona, sparking a life-long love of active service.

In 1970, the family moved to the Imperial, Nebraska area where Alfred worked for many years with German Land and Cattle Company.  He became involved in CROP walks (his 40th and final walk was in 2013).  After 28 years of marriage, Valois died in a tragic truck accident.

In 1988, after his retirement, Alfred moved to Akron, Pennsylvania for a short term volunteer service assignment with Mennonite Central Committee.  He met Gladys Moyer, a fellow volunteer, and they were married on August 12,1989 at Zion Mennonite Church in Souderton, Pennsylvania.  They lived in Akron following many avenues of volunteering and service.  They also enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends and were active members of Akron Mennonite Church.  Alfred and Gladys moved to Landis Homes in Lititz, Pennsylvania in 2014.  Gladys preceded Alfred in death in 2016.  Alfred's faith was strong and sure; evident to those who knew him.  He was gentle, compassionate, and generous.

He is survived by brothers Howard (Faye) Claassen of Albany, Oregon and Richard (Mary) Claassen of Grand Island Nebraska; sisters Lois (Paul) Unruh of North Newton, Kansas and Geraldine Major of Moundridge, Kansas; daughters Sharon (Bob Still) Claassen of Steilacoom, Washington, Carol (Vern) Friesen of Wallace, Nebraska, and Janelle (David) Moyer Zigon of Vandling, Pennsylvania; son David ((Sharon Starr) Claassen of Great Stukeley, UK; grandchildren Josh (Krystle) Friesen and daughters Lydia, Miriam, Albany and Estella; Megan (Ignacio Elias) Friesen; Katie (Wiley) Sowle and son Elijah; Amber Still; Jeremy Starr, Sarah (Bradly) Starr-Douglas and son Gabe; Andrea Starr (Greg Pettiway) and sons Logan and Theo, and Jarrett (Sylvia Tidey) Zigon.

Alfred was preceded in death by wives Valois and Gladys, sister Helen Irene Hamm and brother-in-laws Bill Hamm and Fred Major.  A Celebration of Life was held December 9 at Akron Mennonite Church with Rachel Nolt Officiating.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Mennonite Central Committee, P.O. Box 500 Akron, PA 17501 https://donate.mcc.org or Mennonite Economic Development Association, 1891 Santa Barbara Dr., Suite 201, Lancaster, PA 17601 https://www.med.org.



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