The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 22, 2013

Eugene L. Janzen

Published 4-23-13

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Eugene L. Janzen, 82, passed away Saturday, April 20, 2013, at his home in Fairview, Okla. He was born Nov. 21, 1930, near Hooker, Okla., the first child of Arthur and Sarah (Voth) Janzen.

They moved west, and he grew up in northern California near Orland, where he graduated from the local schools.

He continued his education at Pacific Bible Institute in Fresno, Calif., where he met his wife, Lillian Wichert. They were married in 1954.

He enrolled as a student at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, which prepared him for Christian ministry. While studying, he served as pastor of a small church in Fresno.

They then moved to Los Ebanos, Texas, a small community on the Rio Grande River, where he pastored the church and assisted in the parochial grade school. Three years later, they were called to serve as missionaries in a rural area in the state of Durango in Mexico. He dearly loved and appreciated the people he lived with, served, taught and mentored in the town of Nuevo Ideal and in the surrounding villages.

In 1968, the family returned to the United States and made their home in Fairview, Okla., where he began his business in carpets and flooring to support his family.

Gene was actively involved in his church, teaching Bible classes, serving as deacon and in other committees. He loved spending time with family and friends. He often took the family camping and enjoyed motorcycle trips traveling together with friends.

Gene is survived by his wife, Lillian of almost 59 years and their four daughters, one son, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They are: daughter, Lynette Lucas and husband Loren and their three sons of Johnson, Kan.; daughter, Susan Morris and her two sons of Tulsa, Okla.; son, Steven Janzen and wife Mary and their two daughters of Elmira, Ontario, Canada; daughter, Ann Yarrow and husband Jeff and their daughter and two sons of Wichita, Kan.; and youngest daughter, Lois Enomoto and husband Kazuhiro and their daughter and son of Fresno, Calif.; two sisters, Josie Doerksen and husband Vern of Globe, Ariz., and Virginia McCarthy of Shingletown, Calif.

Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at Mennonite Brethren Church, Fairview, with Pastor James Suderman and Pastor Marlin Hiett officiating. Interment will follow in South Menonnite Brethren Cemetery under the direction of Pierce Funeral Home, Fairview. Viewing will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home and prior to the service at the church.

Memorial donations may be made to Mennonite Brethren Church for mission work in the country of Thailand, with the funeral home serving as custodian at P.O. Box 15, Fairview, OK 73737.

Condolences may be made online at

(Submitted by family)