Lisa Rene Wiebe was born in Scott City, Kansas, on September 30, 1974. She was adopted as an infant by Ted and Nettie Wiebe and grew up on the family farm located northeast of Garden City, Kansas.
As an infant with Down’s Syndrome, Lisa faced multiple health concerns. These included a heart defect that constantly threatened her life until surgery was possible at age four. Both during this time of uncertainty and following the successful procedure, Ted and Nettie spent hours teaching Lisa to sit and walk. Lisa continued to learn other skills, including a love of riding her bike, as she grew older.
Lisa’s younger sister, Lori, was also adopted by Ted and Nettie and became a beloved playmate and companion to Lisa. After Lori died in a childhood accident, Lisa became the focus of her parents' attention. She was especially fond of special meals made by Nettie that often included Lisa’s favorites: cherry pie, rhubarb plotz, and ice cream.
Lisa attended public school in Garden City until she was 21 and enjoyed her time with teachers, para-educators, and other students. She worked at a local Garden City restaurant, wrapping silverware with napkins and stacking plates. She loved participating in the many different activities at Garden Valley Church in Garden City, Kansas, especially being part of prayer meetings with her parents.
Following the death of her mother and during the time her father developed health problems, Lisa moved to Hesston to live with her cousin and guardian, Bev Wiebe (and Bev’s son Michael), in June 2005. Bev encouraged Lisa to continue drawing pictures and coloring, working on puzzles, and playing the piano. During her time with Bev, Lisa also volunteered at the Hesston Community Childcare Center, where she adored spending time with the younger children.
Lisa was a great hugger. Her infectious smile was her way of making friends wherever she went. Bev recalled how, during walks through Hesston, people she didn’t know would come up to Lisa to greet her as an old friend and would need to introduce themselves to Bev. It wasn’t just people. Lisa loved petting her cat, Calico, and singing Sunday School songs to her dog, Tracy.
Lisa recently moved to Showalter Villa in Hesston, where she continued to connect with other residents and staff. Following an intense bout with pneumonia, Lisa passed away and returned to her heavenly home on May 5, 2019.
Lisa is survived by her cousin and guardian Bev Wiebe, Bev’s son Michael, Janice and her husband Ben Ollenburger, Carl and his wife Marcella, Dale and his wife Elizabeth, Glenn and his wife Maura, and Virgil and his wife Susan Schmidt.
Lisa is preceded in death by her sister Lori, her mother Nettie, and her father Ted.
A memorial service will be held in the Showalter Villa Chapel in Hesston, Kansas, on Friday, May 10, at 11:00 with a graveside service at Valley View Cemetery in Garden City, Kansas, at 11:00 on Saturday, May 11th.