Mary Norene Zink
Mary Norene Zink, 91, passed away at Presbyterian Hospice Care Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 2, 2009. She was born to George and Sylvia (Brott) Johnson on May 9, 1918, the 7th child of 10, near Farnam, Nebraska. During her early years the family lived in a sod house and raised a big garden to survive.
At 16 years of age, Norene attended a tent meeting near their home with other family members. She was saved in that meeting along with other siblings and mother. As she rode her horse home that night, she felt as though she was flying, not riding, so light did she feel after the load of sin was removed.
Norene went away from home for high school to McCook, NE, graduating in 1936. She attended Bresee College in Hutchinson, Kansas, where she became close friends with her future husband, Ernest Zink. They were married November 2, 1939, in Durango, Colorado. To this union were born nine children: Sylvia Goodrick of Mitchell, Nebraska; Edith Taylor of Papua New Guinea; Emma Lou Maxey of Atlanta, Georgia; Daniel Zink of Dodge City, Kansas; Martha McCasland of Torreon, New Mexico; Lois Zink deceased; Samuel Zink of Nampa, Idaho; Stephen Zink of Ardmore, Oklahoma; and Jonathan Zink of Nampa, Idaho. Norene and Ernest were co-laborers and lovers for 58 years.
After marrying, the Zinks attended Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa. They ministered in Idaho, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Oregon, Illinois, Missouri, and Colorado. Having lived most of her life in Idaho, Norene moved back to Nebraska in July, 2005, to be cared for by her oldest daughter, Sylvia Goodrick and attend the Gering Bible Missionary Church.
Norene was first a mother to her nine. Also she was an ordained elder, pastoring and preaching along with her husband; she taught or worked in several Christian schools; wrote Primary Sunday School literature for several years; a sweet singer, a faithful letter writer, a prayer warrior, and a general encourager.
Norene had an out-going, mischievous personality. She knew how to work hard on the farm, organize the kids to work, and cook good meals. In later years, family will remember her sweet, gentle spirit of helpfulness with an undemanding attitude. Church friends will miss her readings, especially in later years when her singing waned with hearing failure. Her letters and birthday cards were written in that beautiful, exact, cursive handwriting. As a prayer warrior, she interceded for others with fasting and regularly scheduled prayer meetings. Her shouts of victory and encouraging testimonies are part of our spiritual heritage.
Norene had a great heart for missions. In her book Frustrations and Triumphs of Parents published in November, 1984 by Conquest Press, page 147 she wrote:
"As we drove home from the missionary meeting my heart was broken. The needs presented were so great, but we had nothing to give, not one dollar! My tears and sobs would be held in no longer!
'What's troubling you, Mom? Didn't you enjoy that missionary rally?' Daddy asked.
'Oh, Daddy, we couldn't give anything to help the missionary cause.'
'Who said it is more important to SEND missionaries, than to RAISE them for the Lord?'
Five of Norene's children and five of her grandchildren have served as missionaries. Edith Taylor has served over 40 years and now four grandchildren are serving as missionaries. Joanna Sturtevant, a granddaughter serving in Ukraine, said during a recent call, "Grandma, I won't be able to attend your funeral, but I feel I am fulfilling your desire--to spread the gospel in foreign lands."
Norene is preceded in death by all but one of her immediate family, her companion, Ernest P. Zink, and a daughter, Lois Zink. She leaves behind a sister, Edna Clymore of Billings, Montana; eight children, thirty-nine grandchildren, and eighty-nine great grandchildren. Yes, Norene, Sis Zink, Grandma, "I will meet you in the morning just inside the Eastern Gate."
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, December 7, 2009 at the Midway Bible Missionary Church, 3200 E. Ustick Rd., in Caldwell with Pastor Paul Dodd officiating. The family will receive friends at Dakan Funeral Chapel in Caldwell from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Memories and condolences may be shared with Norene's family in her online guestbook at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com. Memorial contributions may be made to foreign missions of your choice.
Nampa Idaho Press-Tribune, 5 December 2009.
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