Interviews

This section is a compilation of the interviews with key people who appear in the documentary Henry D. Remple: Finding Hope in Troubled Times.

Henry's Story
What Happened? The Historical Context

Paul Toews is a professor of history and director of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies at Fresno Pacific University. His BA is from Tabor College, and he received an MA from the University of Kansas and a PhD from the University of Southern California. He is the author/editor of six books on Mennonite history including Mennonites in American Society, 1930-1960: Modernity and the Persistence of Religious Community, Volume 4 in the Mennonite Experience in America series (1997). He also is the author of more than forty scholarly articles on diverse aspects of Mennonite history. Toews received National Endowment for the Humanities awards in 1975 and 1988 and was a recipient of a Lilly Endowment Research Grant, 1994-95. He was a Fulbright scholar at Zaporizhzhia State University, Ukraine, 2003-2004

Read the interview transcript. (opens in a new window)

 

Henry's Story
How His American Family Helped Him Deal with Loss and Achieve New Goals

A daughter of C.D. and Bertha Epp, Rachel Epp Senner was born on Nov. 10, 1921.  At the age of two she became Henry D. Remple's American sister. Growing up on the farm taught her a love of nature.  She graduated from Bethel College in Newton, Kansas, and twenty-some years later continued her education with a master's degree in library Science.  In the meantime, she married Robert Senner, a musician and educator.  They had four children, John, Rachel Ann, Roberta and Stanley.  She was a high school librarian at Hesston, Kansas,  for nineteen years.  Since then, she has volunteered in libraries and archives.  She moved to Lawrence in 2004 and works as a volunteer in the Lawrence Public Library.

Roberta Senner Hofer was born on April 8,1948, in Newton, Kansas, and grew up in Buhler, Kansas.  She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Bethel College in 1970.  She married Rod Hofer in 1971, and they have raised three children.  In 1991 she earned a master of arts degree from the University of Kansas,  where she taught English as a second language for  fifteen years. In 2003 she earned a paralegal certificate from Johnson County Community College.  She is currently employed with Knox, Johnson, Rockwell & Babbit as a paralegal.

Read the interview transcript. (opens in a new window)

 

Hope and Resiliency in Family Stories

Larry Nikkel is the president of Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Tabor College in 1964 and his MPH degree from the University of North Carolina in 1974. He served as the chief executive officer at Prairie View Inc., a private nonprofit mental health center in Newton, Kansas, and with Mennonite Health Services in Goshen, Indiana from 1967 to 1998. He also served on and chaired numerous regional and national boards during those years and served as a consultant in two foreign countries. He is now in his sixth year as president of Tabor College. His interest in the history of the German speaking Russian Mennonites who settled in Kansas and founded Tabor College is evident in planning the centennial celebration of Tabor's founding in 1908. He intends to conclude his tenure at Tabor at the end of December 2007.

Peggy Goertzen is an archivist, historian, author, speaker, teacher, and German translator. A graduate of Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas, Goertzen has researched and written a number of historical and genealogical books, including two Mennonite Brethren church histories and local histories. She has served as consultant and speaker for a number of historical and family gatherings and served as chair of the Hillsboro Historical Society, Hillsboro, Kansas,for twelve years. Currently she serves as a member of two Kansas state historical committees and is a adjunct instructor in English and sociology at Tabor College. She has been director of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies at Tabor College since 1992. She has also served as a pastor's wife in the Mennonite Brethren denomination since 1978.

Read the interview transcript. (opens in a new window)

 

Instilling Hope, Building Resiliency

Shane J. Lopez is associate professor of counseling psychology at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where he teaches courses in positive psychology, psychological assessment, and educational leadership. He also is a Gallup senior scientist, a role through which he consults primarily with the Gallup Education Division and Gallup University. He serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Positive Psychology and on the advisory board for Ready, Set, Learn, the Discovery Channel¹s preschool educational television programming.   Through his current research programs, Lopez is examining the effectiveness of hope training programs in the schools (under the auspices of the Making Hope Happen Program), refining a model of psychological courage, and exploring the link between life skills and outcomes in education, work, health, and family functioning. His books include The Handbook of Positive Psychology ( Oxford) and Positive Psychological Assessment: A Handbook of Models and Measures (American Psychological Association Press), both with C. R. Snyder. Lopez and his wife, Allison, live with their son, Parrish, in Lawrence, Kansas, where they attempt to live the good life every day and long for the temperate Louisiana winters of their childhoods every February.  

Read the interview transcript. (opens in a new window)

 

Hillcrest Elementary School's Heritage Project
Kathy Farwell and Hillcrest Students

Katherine Ann Farwell, (Bachelor of Science, Emporia State University; English Language Learner Endorsement, Kansas State University) has been a teacher for fourteen years and has maintained an avid interest in learning about diversity and culture through her students and families. As a first-generation immigrant from Brazil herself, she was granted undergraduate student-teaching placement at Hillcrest Elementary School in Lawrence, Kansas, home of the University of Kansas. Hillcrest is Lawrence's school with the most highly diverse and international enrollment. Hillcrest is commonly referred to as Lawrence's School of the World. Hillcrest represents an average of forty cultures and thirty--four languages. Ms. Farwell taught for six years at a Hispanic community within the Topeka District before returning to Hillcrest as a teacher with third grade students. Within curriculum development and teaching third-grade writing, her most passionate unit was the Heritage Project that was created to reflect and record the amazing everyday stories the children had to tell about their coming to America. Edgar Krieger, who is the son of Dr. Remple's sister Agatha Rempel Krieger and a retired teacher himself, as well as a faithful volunteer for the children of this class, introduced Ms. Farwell and the children to his uncle, Dr. Remple. The day Dr. Remple made his first presentation to the Hillcrest children lives were changed, and a living education was created by Henry's breath-taking accounts of immigrating to America. The children found themselves in Dr. Remple's tale, only in a different time and place.

Read the interview transcript. (opens in a new window)

 

Remembering a Welcome to the USA

Leona Dalavai Scott was born in Hyderabad, India, and immigrated to this country with her parents and two brothers when she was six years old. Thanks to her parents' upbringing, she was exposed to Indian language, food and culture while assimilating to American life in Topeka, Kansas. Having a keen interest in writing and politics, she earned degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Kansas in 1993. In her professional life, Leona has worked for nonprofit associations as a communications director and editor. In addition, she takes on various freelance writing and editing projects. She is currently editor of AutoInc., a magazine published by the Automotive Service Association. She lives in Bedford, Texas, with her husband, Robert, and daughter, Jaia. In her free time, she loves cooking, reading, playing with her baby girl and black and white photography.

Read the interview transcript. (opens in a new window)

 

Roles of Parents and Schools in Developing Hopeful Attitudes and Resiliency

Deanne Epp Peter, (B.A. Sociology, University of Western Ontario; B.Comm, University of Windsor; MBA, McMaster University). Deanne has a successful career in corporate finance. She enjoys hiking and spending time with her husband and three school-aged children in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, and has become an active advocate of parent/teacher/community involvement in children's education. She is a great-niece of Henry D. Remple. Her grandmother, Agnes, (1906-2000) was one of Henry's two siblings who also survived the family's escape from Bolshevik Russia. Her father, Eric James Epp, was the son of Agnes and D. D. Epp, on of Henry's three American uncles.

Read the interview transcript. (opens in a new window)

back to top