Ethel Abrahams

Hillsboro native and Mennonite folk art author Ethel Abrahams, 92, of Hesston died July 5.

Born Aug. 3, 1923, to Gerhard and Helena (Peters) Ewert, she received a bachelor’s degree in art Bethel College and a master’s from Wichita State University.

On Sept. 26, 1944, she married Norman Abrahams, longtime Hillsboro optometrist who, along with a son, David, preceded her in death.

The couple did terms with Mennonite Central Committee in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and she served on the boards of Hillsboro Public Library, Kansas Women’s Association, Kauffman Museum, Kansas Mennonite Central Committee Relief Sale, and Bethel College Women’s Association.

In 1980, she researched and published “Frakturmalen and Schoenscreiben: German Mennonite Folk Art of the 18th and 19th Century.”

In 1988, the couple moved to North Newton, where she designed, researched, wrote, and lectured about crazy quilts and vintage doll quilts. The couple later moved to Hesston.

Survivors include children Nan Graber, Monument, Colorado; Dwayne Abrahams, rural Newton; and Nadine Abrahams, Lakewood, Colorado; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Services were last week in Hesston. Burial was at Haven of Rest Cemetery, east of Hillsboro.

Memorials have been established with Mennonite Central Committee and Kauffman Museum.

Last modified July 14, 2016