Albert John Ensz, age 93, died April 7, 2017 in Hesston, Kansas.
Albert was born near Beatrice, Nebraska October 16, 1923 to Gerhard and Barbara (Jantzen) Ensz. He grew up working on the family farm, instilling a lifelong interest in the weather and concern for how the crops were doing. After World War II, he answered the call to help transport animals to Europe, serving on the USS Morgantown carrying 700 horses to Poland. Being a “seagoing cowboy” was a significant experience in his life, and he enjoyed many reunions over the years with fellow ship mates. In the early 1950’s he applied for service with Mennonite Central Committee, and was sent to Paraguay, South America. He did maintenance work and was a driver for the Mennonites working with the leper colony.
After returning to the states, he was looking for work and left Nebraska to visit a cousin in the Newton area. He landed a job at Claassen Lumberyard so he moved to Kansas. He married Bertina Schmidt in 1955 at Grace Hill Mennonite Church. In the late 1960’s he changed jobs and spent his remaining work years at Kropf Lumber in Hesston. He was known as the man in the “striped overalls.” Church memberships in Kansas included Grace Hill, Hesston Inter Mennonite, and Faith Mennonite in Newton. In his leisure time he enjoyed family vacations spent camping; woodworking projects; gardening, and watching any Nebraska sports event. He could strike up a conversation and share a laugh with anybody anywhere in English, German or Spanish. In his later years he made new friends, old and young, at Schowalter Villa.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings William, Johanna, Ruth (Schultz) and Dorothy (Claassen); and his wife Bertina after 60 years of marriage. He is survived by daughter Rhonda (Anthony) Horsch, son Jonathan (Denise) Ensz; grandchildren Rachel Horsch Andreas (Jason), Stephan Horsch, Ashley Ensz Chambers (Jason), Nathan Ensz, Michael Dukes, Brian Dukes, Danielle Dukes Janzen (Travis); and great grandchild Evie Chambers.
Visitation will be held at Petersen’s Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 12th from 5-9 pm with the family present from 6-8 pm to greet friends.
A graveside committal service will be held on April 13th, 9:00 am at Grace Hill Mennonite Church Cemetery. A memorial service will be at Schowalter Villa
Chapel on Thursday, April 13, at 10:30 am.
A memorial has been set up for: Schowalter Villa, 200 W. Cedar, Hesston, Kansas 67062. Petersenfamilyfuneralhome.com.