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Cornelius Lohrenz

Cornelius P. Lohrenz, 95, passed away March 13, 2011.

Cornelius was born March 30, 1915, near Collinsville, Okla. He was the third of seven children born to the Rev. Gerhard W. and Mary (Penner) Lohrenz. He received his early school experience in the Sperry, Okla., school system. When he was 13, the family left Oklahoma and moved to Marion County.

In the spring of 1930, upon confession of faith, he was baptized and became a member of Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church.

After completing high school, he spent his freshman and sophomore years at Tabor College. He completed his junior and senior years at Friends University, Wichita, and graduated in 1940, majoring in business administration.

In the early 1940s, he devoted four years to the Civilian Public Service Program. Here he met Elizabeth Claassen, a summer employee in the Mennonite Central Committee program in Ypsilanti, Mich. They were married June 16, 1946.

To this union four children were born, Ruth, Paul, William who died in infancy, and Thomas. Elizabeth died Feb. 9, 2000, ending a happy marriage of 53½ years.

In 1948, Cornelius and Elizabeth accepted an appointment by the MCC and devoted two years to the refugee resettlement program in Paraguay. Cornelius spent his entire working years in the accounting field, first at Beatrice, Neb., and then in Chariton, Iowa.

After his retirement in June 1980, he volunteered much of his time to the senior citizens programs in southern Iowa. He was elected to the Older Iowa Legislature, sometimes also called the silver-haired legislature. He served four years and was an active member of the Ways and means Committee.

In the late 1980s, his name appeared with those cited by the Governor of Iowa for their voluntary and leadership work in Elder Affairs.

Survivors are a daughter, Ruth Schnaufer and husband John of Quincy, Ill.; two sons, Paul and wife Nancy of Silverthorne, Colo., and Thomas and wife Lori of Wichita; and eight grandchildren.

Services had not been arranged at press time. Visit Devorss Flanagan-Hunt Mortuary at http://www.devorssflanaganhunt.com to view service times.

A memorial has been established with Tabor College General Fund, 400 S. Jefferson St., Hillsboro.

Last modified March 17, 2011

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