Gloria N. Hostetler 1936 ~ 2020

Gloria Nan Hostetler, 84, died July 24, 2020, at Country Living in Anthony, Kansas.  Gloria was born at the Grace Hospital in Hutchinson, Kansas, on April 24, 1936, the oldest child of Emery and Bernice (Miller) Bontrager.  The first 12 years of her life were on the family farm north of Yoder, Kansas and attending the Daisy school along with many Amish children.  In 1948 the family moved to a farm in Scott County, Kansas.  There she attended school in Shallow Water where she participated in basketball, cheerleading, and many other functions.  She liked to tell people that she graduated high school as salutatorian while in the bottom 2/3 of her class of 3.  She began playing the piano at a young age.  She played the piano and organ for church music, weddings, funerals, and school functions, accompanying soloists in college, which she continued doing all her life until arthritis told her to stop.  She also enjoyed giving piano lessons to many young children.  She loved to hand-quilt and was a regular quilter with the weekly quilting sessions of the Piecemakers group of women from the church.  She also quilted several quilts for friends by herself.  Again, only stopping when arthritis told her to stop.

            Gloria attended Hesston College in Hesston, Kansas, taking part in basketball, school chorus, expression club, feature writer, and piano accompanist for voice students, graduating with an A.A. degree in 1956.  She began college towards a degree in education, for teaching, but after meeting Spike she says she changed her edu. degree to a Mrs. degree.  On June 10, 1956 she married Spike “Dwight” Hostetler and continued farm life, driving trucks and tractors, and raising four children, three sons and one daughter.  On a whim in the 1970’s she decided to take an accounting course offered by a Junior College through the local high school.  Soon after, she was offered the position of treasurer for the South Central Mennonite Conference which included more than 30 churches in 5 states.  She enjoyed the challenge of keeping the books and traveling to all the different churches and held the position for more than 20 years.  During this time, she also served terms on the Board of Directors of Hesston College, and the General Board of the Mennonite Church U.S.A.  She became known and appreciated for her quick wit and spontaneous comments during committee meetings as well as in her everyday life.  She also took advantage of her accounting expertise by keeping the financial records during the 11 years that she and Spike owned and operated the OTASCO retail business in Harper.

            Gloria enjoyed working as a volunteer in the kitchen of Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp in Divide, Colorado.  She would drive a van load of campers to the camp and work during the week of camping.  After Spike’s retirement they both spent several weeks each summer for 13 summers as volunteers at the camp.  An example of her “quick wit and spontaneous comments” was during a Blue Grass Music Camp at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp.  Tim May, a professional guitarist and teacher, one day asked Gloria to come and sit in for one of his classes.  She replied that she didn’t play any instruments.  Tim said, “Oh, I want you to come to my class and sit there and just say things.”  Gloria loved to travel, including several trips to Europe and Mexico.  One special trip she enjoyed was accompanying her husband on a three month trip following a 20mph lawn mower driving from California to North Carolina; a fundraiser for Hustler Equipment raising money for Richard Petty’s camp for chronically ill children, the Victory Junction Gang Camp.  She also enjoyed traveling with Spike all over the United States as he demonstrated and delivered equipment for Harper Industries.

            Gloria was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewey Body Dementia at the age of 76 which slowly affected her health and ability to function.  In 2017 she moved to Country Living, an assisted living facility in Anthony, with her husband, where she appreciated their care for the rest of her life.

            Gloria was preceded in death by her parents; sisters-in-law: Annie Bontrager, Joyce (Hostetler) Landgraf, and Ardyth (Hostetler) Steckly; and brother-in-law, Jerald Hadley.  Survivors are her husband and four children: Doug (Rachel) of Banner, Wyoming; Mike (Betty) of Harper, Kansas; Rod (Patti) of Castle Rock, Colorado; Lisa (Mark) Longacher, of Castle Rock, Colorado; grandchildren: Candice (Adam) Neisen, Jordan Hostetler, Jessica (Austin) Norman, Brandon (Cassie), Austin, and Ryan Hostetler, Andrew, Isaac, and Eli Longacher; great-grandchildren: Veronica and Van Hostetler, Lane and Finn Norman, Abby and Alex Neisen, Liam Hostetler; brothers, Emery and Barry (Darlene) Bontrager; sister, Karen Hadley, nieces and nephews and many friends.

            Gloria has been cremated and a private family burial will be at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.  Due to the COVID-19, family only will attend the Memorial Service at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 1, 2020 at Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church with Pastors Kenzie Intemann and Royce Vogt officiating.  Friends are welcome to attend via Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/prairierosefuneralhomes.  The video will remain on the Facebook page.

            Friends may register at the funeral home from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, July 31, 2020.

            In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Gloria to Country Living, Anthony, Kansas, or Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp, Divide, Colorado and can be sent in care of Prairie Rose Funeral Home, 613 W 14th St ~ Harper, Kansas 67058.  www.prairierosefuneralhomes.com

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