John Ferd Kasper was born on March 24, 1936, to Ferdinand and Gertrude Pankratz Kasper at Cordell, Okla. He passed away in the Cedar County Memorial Hospital in El Dorado Springs, Mo., on June 27, 2007, reaching the age of 71 years. Most of his growing-up years were in the Winton, Calif., area.
On Sept. 19, 1954, he was married to Vinieta Merkey, at Edmond, Okla. They shared life's joys and sorrows for 52 years. He was blessed with two sons and four daughters. He lived for a few months in Oklahoma, then moved to California, where he resided for nearly 17 years. His mother had passed away when he was 12 years of age. Since he was the oldest of the children in the family, he felt a keen responsibility for his brothers. They lived with him for some time while he resided in California. Welding and mechanic work were his main occupations. The last 33 years he lived at various places in Missouri.
In August of 1965 John was baptized into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, at Winton, Calif. He encountered struggles in his Christian life; but a few days before his passing he left his testimony of being ready to meet Jesus.
John's grandchildren were special to him. He encouraged them to make right choices in life. He enjoyed fishing with them, as well as other activities. He often gave them money for Christmas or birthdays. He loved singing and music of any kind, often joining in.
Those left to cherish precious memories are his loving wife Vinieta; his sons, John W., of Dederick, Mo., Bruce and wife, Kathy, of Weatherford, Okla., his daughters, Ethel and husband, Monroe Koehn, of Moundridge, Kan., Karen and husband, of Owens Crossroads, Ala., Dorothy Covey, and Pearl Rasper, of Schell City; 17 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, and several stepgrandchildren and stepgreat-grandchildren; four brothers, Frank and wife, Patricia, George and wife, Janice, Donald and wife, Anne, Roy and wife, Carol all of California.
Those who preceded him in death were his parents, one sister, one grandson, and one infant niece.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 30, at the Living Faith Mennonite Church in Walker, with brothers Ron Koehn, Robert Smith, and Herbert Leatheman officiating. Musical selections were provided by the Mennonite Choir. Pallbearers were Devin Schmidt, LeRoy Covey, Wyndale Koehn, Jordan Kasper, Jerry Koehn, Mario Koehn, Jaimie Covey, Chris Gurley, Sabino Selano, Oran Dirks and Steve Schmidt. Interment in the Living Faith Mennonite Cemetery in Walker. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Living Faith Mennonite School or the American Diabetes Association in care of the Lewis-Hoagland Funeral Home whom were entrusted with the arrangements.