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Rachel Senner

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Born on a farm near Henderson, Neb. on Nov. 10, 1921, Rachel was the daughter of C.D. Epp and Bertha Regier Epp. She had fond memories of her childhood, caring for farm animals, carrying food and water out to the field where the men worked, going to school in a horse-drawn buggy. She had an older sister, Ruth, and when the girls were still very young, the family took in a 13-year-old Russian immigrant, Henry Remple, who became their adored older brother.

Rachel was baptized in the Bethesda Mennonite Church, Henderson, in 1939. She attended public school in Henderson and then graduated from Bethel College, North Newton, Kan. In August 1943, she married Robert William Senner from Freeman, S.D., and they started married life in Buhler, Kansas, where Robert was the high school music teacher. To this union four children were born: John, Rachel Ann, Roberta and Stanley.

Rachel was an at-home mother until the youngest child was in the fifth grade. At that time, she worked in the Buhler State Bank and also started running the small public library in town. That work inspired her to return to Bethel for further classes and her teaching certificate and then on to Emporia State College where she received a Master's degree in Librarianship. With the new degree, she became a high school librarian in Hesston, Kansas, where she worked for 19 years. During her career she was appointed to the Governor's Committee on Networking and was elected as President of the Kansas Library Association (1985-86).

In 1986 Robert and Rachel retired to Freeman, where she applied her library skills as a volunteer in the Heritage Hall Archives. In 2004 they moved to Lawrence where they could be more easily accessible to their scattered children. After Robert passed away in 2006, Rachel continued to use her library skills as a volunteer for Friends of the Lawrence Public Library and as Chair of the Library Committee at Brandon Woods where she resided. Rachel was also a tireless quilter and after all the children and grandchildren received her beautiful quilts, she made more for charity.

In addition to her husband, Rachel was pre-deceased by her parents, an infant brother Richard, her sister Ruth Luellen, her brother Dr. Henry D Remple, her niece Betty Luellen-Clarke. She is survived by her children: John Senner (Diana Taylor), Little Rock, Ariz.; Rachel Van Wingen, Ennis, Mont.; Roberta (Rod) Hofer, Lawrence; Stan (Patricia) Senner, Missoula, Mont., and sister-in-law, May Juhnke; plus eight grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, nine nieces and nephews and their grandchildren.

After a long and full life (96 years), Rachel passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at Monterey Village Assisted Living. A memorial service was held on Saturday, May 12. Memorial gifts may be made to Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas; to Peace Mennonite Church, Lawrence, Kansas; or to the charity of your choice. Rachel was strongly committed to peace, justice and nature conservation.