Memorial Services will be 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at Bellwood Mennonite Church, Milford, with Pastor Stephen Griffin officiating. A private family burial will be held prior to the services at Blue Mound Cemetery, Milford. In lieu of a visitation, the family invites everyone for refreshments following the service Tuesday at the church for those who would like to have the opportunity to visit with the family. Memorials have been established to the Peoples City Mission or to the Cedars Home for Children.
Eileen Margaret (Ehrman) Hostetler was born April 12, 1928 to William and Alice (Showalter) Ehrman on a farm near Roseland, Nebraska. Eileen passed away on Monday, August 23, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska at the age of 93 years 4 months 23 days.
Eileen was raised on a farm near Roseland, Nebraska with one older sister and a younger brother during the depression and the dust bowl. Eileen often told the story of how her Mom would use a rope to hook herself to her two girls so the three of them could get through the dust from the house to the barn to do the farm chores and feed the cattle. As a young girl, Eileen accepted Christ as her personal Savior and was baptized at Roseland Mennonite Church. She completed her senior year of high school at Hesston Mennonite College in Hesston, Kansas and later received her teaching certificate. During her time in Hesston, she met three of Eldon’s sisters who were also attending Hesston. Eileen taught all 8 grades in a one room schoolhouse District #80, Seward County and then moved back to Roseland to teach one more year at a country school near her family home. On August 15, 1948, Eileen was united in marriage to Eldon Hostetler and to this union three children were born, Bonnie, Roger, and Marcia. Together Eileen and Eldon and the children made their home on a farm close to farm property owned by Eldon’s parents, Elbert and Clara. When the grandparents retired from farming, Eileen and her family moved to the family homestead and continued farming. Eileen packed up the kids and took many lunches to the fields when Eldon was working. She was involved with farm chores, helped move and sort cattle, and helped unload corn or beans in the bins during harvest time. Eileen and Eldon became charter members of the Bellwood Mennonite Church in 1957, where Eileen enjoyed teaching children in Sunday School and Bible School for many years and was active in numerous church activities. Eldon built a one-bedroom home on the farm on the banks of the Big Blue River in 1979, where they lived for twelve years. During this time, Eileen spent the winter months for nine of those years with Eldon in Winter Voluntary Service, serving people in poverty stricken areas in Mississippi, Indiana, Arizona, South America and St. Croix. In later years, she volunteered time at the Et Cetera Shop in Seward, the Bellwood Montessori School, the City Mission and the Food Bank in Lincoln. In 1991, Eileen and Eldon moved to their home in Milford. While living in Milford, Eileen did lots of needle work, cross-stitching and embroidery. She loved to bake and always had baked deserts because she said her family did not have a lot of extra food around during the depression. Her favorite activity was walking around the streets of Milford, and she used a pedometer to make sure she walked 10,000 steps a day until her mid-80’s.
Eileen was married for 66 years at the time of Eldon’s death in 2014. After Eldon’s death, Eileen continued to live in the home until July of 2015, when she moved to The Country House in Lincoln. In January of 2019, Eileen moved to Bickford Senior Living in Omaha, to be closer to her daughter Bonnie, where she lived until her death.
Eileen is survived by children and spouses, Bonnie Hostetler, Omaha, Roger and Holly Hostetler, Milford, and Marcia and Rex Van Andel, Milford; five grandchildren, Chris and Jessica Hostetler, Overland Park, KS, Michael and Krista Hostetler, Beaver Crossing, Corey and Valerie Hostetler, Ramstein, Germany, Jill and Chad Drake, Lincoln, and Doug and Christie Van Andel, Lincoln; seven great-grandchildren; brother-in-law and sister-in law, Gene and Vada Clemens, Elizabethtown, PA; sister-in-law, Eleanor Ehrman, Roseland, and other relatives and friends, including Shirley Kness, who came to visit Eileen often in the nursing homes as her friend and beautician. Eileen was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Eldon, sister, Helen Hilger, brother, Richard Ehrman, brothers-in-law, Zane Koger and Harold Hilger, brothers-in-law/sisters-in-law, Robert and Wilma Phelps, Robin and Edith Reed, Paul and Leila DeVoe, Wayne and Margie Swartzendruber, and nephews, Benton Reed and Ron Koger.
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