Miriam E. Wenger Shenk, 101, missionary and teacher, pianist, enjoyed reading the Bible, singing

By on July 15, 2015

Miriam E. (Landis) Wenger Shenk, 101, of Landis Homes, Lititz, passed away Friday, July 3, at Heart of Lancaster hospital during hip surgery following a fall.

Born March 26, 1914, in East Lampeter Township, she was the daughter of the late David L and Annette (Esbenshade) Landis. She was married to the late W. Ray Wenger with whom she went to Tanganyika (now Tanzania) as a missionary with Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions in 1938. He died in 1945, and in 1970 she married the late J. Clyde Shenk who died in 1989.

In Tanganyika, Shenk opened a home where girls stayed while attending school. Later she opened a domestic science school to train girls in sewing and cooking. She especially enjoyed teaching the Bible and singing classes. Prior to her second marriage, she served for 11 years as matron in the girls’ dormitory at Lancaster Mennonite School. She and Clyde then worked in Kenya building churches and helping the growing church there until their retirement from the mission field in 1976.

She read her Bible daily, often reading through it several times a year. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting, gardening, singing and playing the piano. When not reading she was often praying for her family and the church in the U.S. and East Africa.

At her death, she was the oldest member of Mellinger Mennonite Church where her father was pastor for 50 years. She was involved in starting the Sewing Circle of the church.

She is survived by three children: Daniel L. Wenger, Lititz; Annetta (Harold) Miller, Nairobi, Kenya; Wilmer R. (Miriam) Wenger, Bradenton, Fla.; four step-children: David W. (Grace) Shenk, Mountville; Anna Kathryn (Omar) Eby, Harrisonburg, Va.; John B. Shenk, Lancaster; and Daniel E. Shenk, New York, N.Y.; plus seven grandchildren; 13 step-grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and 25 step-great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by a brother: Joseph H. Landis; a sister: Almeda Denlinger; a step-son: Joseph Shenk; and three grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at West Bethany Chapel at Landis Homes on July 17 at 10 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service. A visitation will also be held July 16 in the East Bethany Chapel at Landis Homes from 6 to 8 p.m.

Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory can be made to Eastern Mennonite Missions, Salunga, PA 17528.

Bachman Funeral Home, Strasburg, handled the arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at bachmanfuneral.com.

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