Eva L. Osborne, 99, died at Schowalter Villa, Hesston, on December 20, 2012.
She was born Eva Troyer on Nov. 18, 1913, in Miami County, Indiana, the daughter of Emanuel and Maizie Troyer. She was the middle child of seven children, all of whom helped with the farm responsibilities. She married Chester Osborne on December 24, 1933.
She attended high school at Howard Township School and graduated in 1931, valedictorian of her class. She studied at Ball State Teachers College in Muncie, Indiana, earning a teaching certificate. She and Chester moved to Germfask, Michigan, in 1936, where Chester pastored a small Mennonite congregation and Eva initially worked part-time as a substitute teacher.
They lived in Michigan for 10 years during which time five children were born. In 1946 the family moved with five children to Indiana where Chester pastored a Mennonite church in Kouts until 1952, when the family moved to Hesston.
Eva completed her undergraduate education degree with honors at Bethel College in Newton in 1957 and also took several graduate level teacher education courses at Emporia State Teachers College. She began a long teaching career in Hesston’s elementary school, beginning in the newly-established kindergarten class and then moving to second grade where she taught for 20 years. She was a member of Hesston Mennonite Church since moving to Hesston.
Because the youngest child of the family, Grace, was born developmentally disabled, Eva and Chester, along with a small group of other parents of developmentally disabled children, founded a training school in Newton, known as the Opportunity School and then later as Northview Developmental Services. Chester and Eva served many years as strong, active advocates of education and training for the developmentally disabled.
She is survived by three daughters, Zonda (Lloyd) Befort of Mazeppa, MN, Rachel (Ron) Koppenhaver of El Dorado, KS, and Grace of Newton; daughter-in-law, Lila (Conrad) Osborne of Wichita; and three sons, Phil (Sue Lafferty) of Evanston, IL, Dave (Sena) of Hesston, and Stan (Beth) of Wichita. Her family includes 18 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, five siblings, her husband, Chester, son, Conrad, son-in-law, Ron Koppenhaver, and grandsons, Tony and Lance.
Eva’s family will greet friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m on Friday, December 21, at Schowalter Villa’s chapel in Hesston.
The private committal service will be at 9:30 a.m. at Eastlawn Cemetery on Saturday, December 22, followed by a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church.
Memorial donations are suggested to Northview Developmental Services Inc. in care of the funeral home, Miller-Ott Funeral Home, 107 S. Lancaster, Hesston KS 67062.