Letter to the Editor: Former Sabetha resident publishes book

Dear Editor,

Some in the Sabetha area will remember Carroll and Betty Eichelberger and their children Terri and Bruce. Carroll and Betty lived and worked in Sabetha, and Terri and Bruce attended elementary school classes in the mid 1950s to 1963. Terri, Robin and I had stayed friends all these years, having left Sabetha, at about the same time. Betty had written for her family, a manuscript about the lives and work of her parents, Gail and Alma Grosdidier. Gail was the pastor to 20 different Methodist Churches from 1919 to 1969, serving some churches even after his first retirement. His service began in pastoring three churches in and near Knowles, Okla., and ended at Seltzer Springs, Kan. Except when they were in Knowles, their churches were all in southern and southwestern Kansas. Terri Eichelberget Patton has now edited and published her mother’s manuscript and published it as a book, “Prairie Preacher Family,” by Betty Fugier and Terri Patton, available on Amazon. The back cover states, “The story of a small town Kansas preacher and his family through the tumultuous times of the 20th century.” It includes the growing-up years of their children Eileen, Herbert and Betty. Gail and Alma worked together as a team and they were very successful in guiding Methodist Churches to revive and grow. Gail was a successful pastor-preacher and Alma was a talented pianist, vocalist, educational leader and guide for women’s ministry. They must have been very inspiring, lovable leaders. I found the book to be interesting and it also brought back my memories of growing up in the Sabetha Baptist Church, our changes of pastors, the work of my mother teaching, taking part in all of the women’s work which included cooking big meals in the church kitchen to serve at different, local events to make money. These dinners were served in the nice Church basement. I caught glimpses of her along with other women happily preparing the pastor’s house for their next husband and wife team. In those days, the pastor and his wife worked together as a team. Terri has published a good, Christian book available on Amazon.

Cleta Gresham Rokey

Springfield, Ore.


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