Ava Hartzler

Ava Hartzler (Foster)

Tuesday, February 2, 1932 - Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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Ava Louise Hartzler was born in Salem, Missouri, on February 2, 1932, and died peacefully at home on August 4, 2020, in Big Sandy, Texas, after a brief illness. She was the youngest child of Harold E. Flett and Leona Gail (Greenup) Flett. Her mother married George Hugh Foster after Ava’s birth father had a fatal trucking accident. Ava loved her adopted daddy, and he was the only father she remembered. When "Daddy Hugh" died in 1960, Leona continued with their plans to share the good news of Jesus with the people of Mexico. She lived there as a single missionary for more than 20 years.

Ava enjoyed growing up in Greeley, Colorado; later, attending high school and a year of college at Wheaton (Illinois). While at Wheaton, she gave her life to Jesus Christ and continued to serve Him as her LORD and Savior the rest of her life. On June 24, 1952, Ava married Sanford Hartzler (1930-2016), son of Amandus Peter Hartzler and Lavina (Balmer) Hartzler, stepbrother to Ellis, Elmer, and Marion Hartzler (sons of Barbara Widmer) and brother to Orpha Jean (Stucky) and Marvin Hartzler. Sanford and Ava lived on the Hartzler Dairy until 1954 when "Sammy" was called to preach. They moved to Phoenix and later to Siloam Springs to attend Bible school. Ava worked as a medical transcriptionist to help with school expenses. With Ava at his side, Sam pastored Calvary Bible Church (1958-1963), Rogers, AR; Cumberland Community Church (1967-1970), August, KS; Newton Bible Church (1970-1975), Newton, KS. Sam taught weekly Bible studies until the year of his death. Ava moved to Big Sandy, Texas, to live with her daughter Melodie, husband Terrel Hendrich, and their children. Ava most often had a song on her heart and a twinkle in her eye, even traveling back and forth with the family between Big Sandy, TX and Portis, KS, to the family farm.

Ava was a loyal companion as dairyman’s wife, farmer's wife, pastor’s wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed baking, walking, tole painting, antiquing furniture, water aerobics, canning produce, making crafts and playing dominos. She could not walk past a pretty wildflower, tree or hear a bird's song without commenting on it. This love for God's nature was passed on to her children and grandchildren, who treasure their special times of walking with her.

Ava was preceded in death by her husband, Sanford; her parents; older brother, Gail Edward Flett Foster, and sister, Lola Marie Flett, (died in infancy). Ava is survived by her children: Byron Hartzler (Doreen) of Wichita, KS; Joy Wolff (Frank) of Oakland, FL; Ken Hartzler (Jenny) of Broken Arrow, OK; and Melodie Hendrich (Terrel) of Big Sandy, TX; and her 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

If you were to ask Ava what was the most important thing she did in her 88 years, she would say it was surrendering to the Lord Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Her favorite verse was 2 Corinthians 5:15 says “He [Christ Jesus] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.” She loved God’s Word and singing praises to her Lord. Her family is sad that she will no longer be with them, but they are rejoicing that she is no longer in pain and is resting in her Savior’s arms!

A memorial service of gratefulness to the Lord for her life will be held at Country Acres Baptist Church, 8810 W. 10th St. N., Wichita, KS 67212, on Friday, August 14, at 5:00 pm, followed by a dinner for visiting with the family. If you would like to remember Ava with flowers, they may be sent to the church (after 1 pm on Friday). Memorial donations may be made in her memory to Rejoice TV (
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, August 14, 2020 | 5:00pm
    Friday, August 14, 2020 5:00pm
    Country Acres Baptist Church
    8810 W. 10th Street North
    Wichita, Kansas 67212
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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