I Love My Church

It always makes me smile when I see someone wearing a t-shirt that says, “I love my church”.   In four words I have just learned that this person belongs to a church fellowship that cares about them and is dynamically invested in people and faith.

David, the Psalmist, said, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalms 122:1).  In Old Testament times, there was only one place to worship. Jerusalem.  At the appointed times, as directed by God, people would gather and travel together in large groups to the tabernacle to worship. For many the pilgrimage covered many miles and as they walked they would be joined by others.  It was a fun, festive time of talking, reconnecting and singing.  Their love for their church was showed by the spring in their step and the joy on their faces as they set their faces towards Jerusalem.

Recently our pastor preached a sermon on “Thankfulness for the Church”.  This Thanksgiving season I want to express my gratitude for my church, Powhatan Mennonite.  It is that one special building whose doors I pull open every Sunday and walk inside. It is a haven that refreshes my spirit after a week of work. It is a community where I can share my joys, fears, concerns and grief. It is a fellowship where I am comfortable to worship with other believers and seekers. It is a church family that I know and care deeply about and they for me.  But most importantly, my church is a place where I meet God.

For me going to church is something I look forward to every week.  I anticipate and prepare for Sunday.  It has been a part of my weekly routine since I was born 63 plus years ago. I am blessed that my parents always went to church; we never missed a Sunday unless we were sick or it snowed. It was not a “negotiable” activity. If the doors were open, we were there.   When Gene and I were married we had to make a conscience effort to keep this a priority for our family also.  Going to church may be a habit but it is a good habit. We know, without question or discussion, that this is what we will do every Sunday. We are not legalistic about it but we have determined not to let anything become a routine excuse not to go.

Paul gave believers a challenge to preserve in gathering together….


Together at our church we worship, learn what it means to be people of God,  pray, fellowship, and care for others. Sometimes we laugh, cry, grieve, help, play, and even eat together.

Today our church sign reads….


This Thanksgiving season I want to say, “Thank you God for my church. You are good and I have experienced Your love through my church family”.

The Class of 1970 – 45 years later.


But this is my favorite picture of the whole day….

Note: This picture is not posed but a candid shot captured by my camera taker!  Only one, Bonnie (Barnhart) Shoemaker, is listening to instructions from our official camera taker. ALL the rest of us is….well…..


Who we were….

We were a class of 77: 42 girls and 35 guys at Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg.  We were thin and trim and most of us had lots of hair! We came from far and near: New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Florida, Delaware, Iowa, Manitoba Canada, Maryland, Honduras, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and of course, all points in Virginia.  Our yearbook, called “Ember” says that 27 of us claimed the problems and complexes resulting from a ministerial heritage, nine had the privilege of traveling abroad and two had traveled across country on bicycles.  We came from diverse backgrounds. One was a missionary kid in Honduras and there was a strong agriculture blend in the mix.

Class Theme Song…

Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Who we are today….

Forty-five years later we have aged and matured.  We have experienced many bumps, bruises, joys and successes. Some have failed marriages, a few have passed on, and several have had close calls with illnesses. Quite a few have or will soon retire.  Most are grandparents and two are great-grandparents. Wow! If that wasn’t a shocker to our process of aging! We are/were teachers, missionaries, counselors, farmers, pastors, business owners, chaplains, salesperson, truck drivers, postmaster, contractors, and the list goes on.  But the one thing that stood out to me was the testimony and deep spiritual faith of most of the group.  Church and service have been important and classmates have been involved in all aspects of church life; leadership, service, ministry, music, and teaching. Some have been involved with missions traveling the world with a humanitarian care organization, or counseling, encouraging and ministering to missionaries around the world, chaplains in prison ministry and musicians with music groups.

The funniest story of the day…. (that I heard but I did have to leave before it was over).

Terry Hawk.  His parents were missionaries in Honduras and his wife’s family were missionaries in Africa. When he asked his wife’s parents for her hand, her dad said…. “In African tradition you purchase the bride and numerous tribal leaders have asked to buy her. The highest offer is 75 cows.” So he paid 75 cows for his wife. (At this point this wife chimes in saying that the story is true).  With a chuckle Terry says, “I am still paying for those 75 plastic cows”!!!

Most grandkids….

Cheryl (Maust) Yoder. Cheryl and her husband Larry have four children, As a result they have 25 grandchildren and 1 great-grand!  None of us could top that one! (There was one other in the group with a great-grand).

Traveled the furthest to get to the reunion….

Karen Smucker and her husband Jim arrived by train from Idaho.


Ed Ranck is in charge of the dairy for State Farm prison system in Powhatan. He figures he will be 91 before he can retire. He counts the years but not the days!

Most amazing work statistic….

Randy Kiser has worked for Wilson Trucking his entire career. He has logged 3 million miles and is accident free.


Jim Eby, Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler, Dennis Kauffman, Cheryl (Maust) Yoder, and Ed Ranck.

They were high school sweethearts…

  • Joe Baer and Pat (Beachy)
  • Darrel Hostetter and Sherill (King)

Classmates whose kids married…

The son (Obe) of Darrel and Sherill (King) Hostetter married the daughter (Jill) of Gene and Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler.

Parents who married…

After the death of spouses, Cheryl (Maust) Yoder’s father, Clayton, married Leon Hershberger’s mom, Thelma. So does that now make Cheryl and Leon “almost” sibs!

Lives the furthest away…

Martha (Hartzler) Picone and her native Italian husband live in Italy.

Pictures of the day….


Jim Collins and Eldon Heatwole


Larry Yoder and Ed Ranck


Wayne Showalter


Marge Maust


Sherill (King) Hostetter


Dennis Kauffman and Darrel Hostetter


Cheryl (Maust) and Larry Yoder


Edith (Layman) Rhodes

Pat & Eldon

Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler and Eldon Heatwole


Terry and Colleen Hawk talking to Eldon Heatwole


Carl Berkey and Sherill (King) Hostetter


Micki (Maxine Horst) and Roger Till


Jim Collins, Dennis and Carol Kauffman


Sherill (King) and Darrel Hostetter


Bonnie (Barnhart) Shoemaker and Randy Kiser


Terry and Colleen Hawk


Ed and Doris Ranck


Cheryl (Maust) Yoder and her husband Larry


Ron Brown


Carl and Rosie Berkey


Karen Smucker and Carl Berkey


Marge Maust and Karen Smucker


 Cheryl (Maust) Yoder and Doris Ranck looking at the class picture taken on the steps of the Capital in Washington, D.C.


Left to right: Dwight Layman, Colleen Hawk, Linda (Hunsberger) Booker, Terry Hawk, Gerry (Godshall) Fix

Thank you….

Since I am writing this blog, I will speak for the entire class…. A special, huge thanks to our class mom, Diana (Suter) Berkshire, for keeping track of all of us, fixing a delicious soup lunch and organizing all the details of our gathering.  (I can not believe I did not get a picture of Diana so maybe one of you other photographers can help me out).

A message to the classmates who did not attend….

You were missed!  We are so desiring that you come to our next reunion, the BIG 50!  Diana and Al have let it slipped that they plan to have us at their house.  We really had a good time and it really was good to see each and every one-it was like one big family.

Those of us on fb…

John Augsburger, Rose (Carl) Berkey), Diana Berkshire, Linda Booker, Becky (Ron) Brown,  Benny Buckwalter, Linda (Dwight) Burkholder, Bernie Christner, Jim Collins, Gerry Fix, Don Gerig, Terry Hawk, Eldon Heatwole, Glenna Hertzler, Pat Hertzler, Darrel Hostetter, Sherill Hostetter, Micki Till, Phil Kanagy, Carol E. (Dennis) Kauffman,  Dwight Layman, Kirk Martin, Marge Maust, Francesco (Martha) Picone, Sherrill Jantzi Rudy, Karen Smucker, and  Elaine Strite.  Also James Rush our class sponsor.

If you are not on this list, send me a message at the very bottom of the blog. Thanks.

There is a fb page for our class called “Eastern Mennonite School 1970”. This is a “closed group” so no one except classmates can see the posts.


I know some of you were also taking pictures. If you have a picture to add or corrections to the info in the blog,  please email it to me at pathertzler@gmail.com.  If anyone would like a copy of the crazy class picture just send me your email.

  • Thanks Carol Kauffman for the pictures you sent me.

The Scoundrel


This dude has taken a  liking to broccoli, lettuce and cabbage.  So do I and I do not like to share with a rodent. He has been lurking on the fringes of my yard for several years, skillfully avoiding all attempts of capture. I smoked his hole but he must have been visiting his girlfriend at the time. I baited him with fresh sweet corn, but he preferred to pick his own. He really wasn’t making a nuisance of himself so I have tolerated his presence.  But this summer and fall he began eating my veggies, digging holes in my raised beds and destroying what I planted, toting off my tomatoes (I saw him running with a tomato in his mouth) and biting holes in the cantaloupes.  He apparently doesn’t know the saying, “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”



He has been very sly and only on occasionally would I catch glimpses of him.  He has three strategically placed holes. One under the storage building by the garden, one down the hill by the pigeon pen where he can salvage seeds the pigeons dropped, and one across the driveway at the front of the house.  That gives him a fairly long run and he can haul tail!

But lately he has gotten very bold. This morning I watched him sit on his hind hunches by the edge of the garden and tauntingly eat his lunch in full view. Then he went to the sunflower stalks and helped himself to fresh sunflower seeds. He has gotten rather plump over the summer and I do not have a trap big enough to catch him.

War has been declared and he has been warned!

Plan number 2.

This evening “papa” target practiced, sighting in his rifle with the new scope.


He set up his target.


Shooting from close range.



After a while I saw him setting up sticks. At first I couldn’t figure out what he was doing but then realized he was fine tuning the placement of his shots.


He moved further away.


Finally he was satisfied that he was hitting close to the bulleye.

It was dusk and we figured the scoundrel was “holed up for the night”.  Gene went ahead and set up his ambush area for morning. The gun and shells were by the patio door and a chair was in place to lean on.

About fifteen minutes later I spied him.  On the back side of a chainlink dog kennel.


Gene quickly and quietly moved into place. It only took one shot.


Rest in peace Mr. Groundhog.

Just Another Day on the Farm

Some days you build or fix fence. Some days you mow hay or sort and haul cattle, or plant grain, cleanup trash, mix feed, haul manure, chop weeds, repair equipment, fix a leaking water trough or……. you name it, a farmer does it! He is “jack of all trades and master of most”!!! Then there is the occasional day when a new or “new to you” piece of equipment arrives. This is always a boost to a farmer’s spirit. He loves seeing that truck roll in with his needed purchase.

This past week Gene purchased a used no-till Krause grain drill from Kentucky. Because of the width, they had to remove the wheels and tongue (hitch) for transport. The trucker called before he left Kentucky and wanted to be sure he had a way to unload the drill when he got here. Gene assured him that he had a plan!


The first thing he did was put the wheels back on the drill.


Using a tractor and forklift, he carefully lifted both sides of the drill and the trucker pulled away.  When the drill was safely sitting on the ground, I heard Gene let out a sigh of relief.  It always makes me a little nervous that things are going to go the way they should. Usually they do and I have fretted for nothing but I also know Gene does not take safety for granted and it is a relief to him also when his plan works.

It was just another day on the farm.

Watch the video clip unloading the drill.


Heatwole Family Reunion-2015

Life has been busy and full this summer and I think all the big major events have now taken place!  This weekend was our Heatwole family gathering here in Powhatan. Each of us siblings (Me, Rich, Evelyn and Ed) take turns hosting. Every four years it is my turn.

My siblings/spouses and parents arrived on Friday evening. We enjoyed supper on the deck and as a side benefit watched six turkeys grazing in the field behind the house.




On Saturday the rest of the gang arrived.  There were 40 present with several not able to attend. The kids had a great time playing in the wading pool and playing kick ball and  corn-hole. The adults were content to sit and talk and catch up on what is happening in our families and life. I didn’t get very many pictures this year.  (I’m not sure what happened to me-the camera buff that I am!)






IMG_8752  IMG_8755 IMG_8754

In trying to pump up the soccer ball with more air the needle broke off in the valve.   Obe tried his best but could not get it out.


The “pirate” boy (Ryan Hostetter) collided with another boy a day or so early and took a hard blow to the eye.




We had lots of good food including smoked beef brisket.


Filling the wading pool with water.


 Cheryl Yoder and Jase, the newest member of the family.


Let me tell you about Jase…..

Jase was born 4 weeks ago. Remember our journey two years ago with little Ariel who had SMA?  This is her little brother and he has been diagnosed with the same disease. This is devastating news not only for Jeremy and Cheryl but also for the whole family and a host of friends and loved ones who love and care for the Yoders.

Jeremy and Cheryl shared with the family where they are at in their journey with Jase and there is exciting developments in research to find a cure for SMA.  Forty years ago when our two children died, there was no research, no diagnostic test, no hope.  It was a death sentence with no survivors. Then came Truman in 2011 and Ariel in 2012.  At that time there was a blood test to reveal the dreaded diagnosis but still no exciting medical research to embrace.  I have been keeping a  journal as we get information on Jase’s journey.

Family Connections:  To those who are reading this and do not know the family connection…. Rich is my brother and his wife is Marj.  Cheryl is their daughter and Jase is Rich and Marj’s grandson.   The disease first showed up in our family when Gene and I lost 2 children with Werdnig-Hoffman disease, now called SMA: Karla in 1978 and Greg in 1982.   Gene has a sister who also had a child with the disease.  Years went by and then came little Truman, son of Micah and Krista Heatwole. Micah is Rich and Marj’s son.  The disease had once again reared it’s ugly head.  Jase.

Jeremy Yoders-July 2015

Jeremy and Cheryl, Max, Bo and Jase


July 16, 2015: Cheryl

He’s here! Jase Marius arrived yesterday – all 9 lb 9.5 oz of him! – arrived yesterday at 3:36pm. Jase means “healer”. Marius, a take off of Mark in honor of Jeremy’s Dad, means “manly”. So grateful for this gift!

Jase Yoder-birth July 16 2015

July 25, 2015

Richard called to tell us that the blood test has come back and little Jase has tested positive for SMA.

July 26, 2015

Richard & Marj sent the following note to family and friends: Jase’s blood test results came on Fri. His DNA shows the same gene abnormality as Ariel’s. He tests positive for SMA. This is an unexpected blow. Thanks for your prayers for us and ours.

August 4, 2015: Sharing our journey… from Cheryl

We’ve already introduced Jase Marius here. We’re enjoying him immensely!

We learned on Friday the 24th, half of Jase’s lifetime ago, that he is missing both copies of the SMN1 gene – just like Ariel – and is expected to be affected with SMA. In spite of fully knowing our “odds”, we were not prepared for this report. It was extremely disappointing to say the least. Many of you have been praying for our family. You carried us through the journey with Ariel and anticipated this baby (Jase) with us. Here we are in a vulnerable, heart-breaking position and find that we’re able to stand, over our heads in grace. God is with us. You can rejoice in answered prayer!

We maintain that now is the time to trust and to savor life for it is truly a gift. Look at these pictures – can you acknowledge with us that our God is beautiful and kind?

Yesterday we took Jase to the same neurologist who saw Ariel. I was not super excited about the appointment. Jase is not showing symptoms of SMA…”Why are we even going? Just to have him scrutinized and look for the problem we’re praying not to see?” But I did have some questions and it can be difficult to land an appointment, so when they had an opening yesterday we took it.

There’s a lot I could say, but to get more quickly to the point, Jeremy and I – and Jase, but he isn’t concerned one hoot about it. We left the appointment hearts throbbing with hope, kind of floored into silence, with big silly grins on our faces. We had just received really good news for Jase!

There is a lot of research going on right now regarding SMA. Up to this point it’s been, “We’re learning really exciting things, but there’s nothing we can do yet.” That was our experience with Ariel. But yesterday the doctor, for the first time in his career was able to say to someone, “There is a promising drug that is in clinical trials. There is a trial open right now. Your son looks like a perfect candidate.” That someone was us!

There is hope that this therapy could prevent the onset of SMA symptoms. There are no guarantees – this is a clinical trial. Eligible infants are those who have been diagnosed but are not yet symptomatic (which is uncommon). That’s Jase. So! We are extremely excited and grateful. We have blindly placed our hope in our strong God and it is exhilarating to feel like we very likely are beginning to glimpse His answer.

God’s fingerprints are all over the timing of test results, appointments, the clinical trial itself…. We rejoice and worship and continue to trust and pray. The medical people are in a flurry to get things moving so that Jase can enter the trial before he develops symptoms. My mommy heart has urged, “hurry, HURRY!” My heart that has been tucked pretty hard under the Father’s arm says, “He’s got this one. You don’t know how, but everything is going to be okay.”

We will probably be traveling to Chicago this week, yet, for initial screening and possibly the first treatment if everything clears. Probably. Possibly. If. That’s exactly how sure we are about what’s next. Please continue to pray. And be sure to direct all praise to God!


August 5, 2015: A note from Marj

I’m assuming ya’ll have seen the latest developments concerning Jase on FB. We’re about to leave for church, but I wanted to let you know that Jeremy, Cheryl & Jase are flying to Chicago this evening. Jase’s first app’t is at 8:00 tomorrow morning. They’ll be doing a screening to make sure he meets all the qualifications for this experimental test. Jeremys were told to go prepared to stay until Tues. Max & Bo are at Jeremy’s folks in DE. Thank you so much for your interest and your prayers. We wonder what God is up to, what may come of this; what His plan is for our little Jase. It’s pretty exciting, and a bit surreal.


August 6, 2015: A note from Marj

I just got off the phone with Cheryl. They’ve had a big day, are weary and ready for a good night of sleep. But pleased and excited with Jase’s performance today. Like Jeremy said, “he passed his tests in flying colors.” They drew blood for a chemistry panel, checked his urine for whatever, did an EKG, an EMG (shock to his funny bone to test his response – which will frequently show SMA before any other symptoms. His strength is good, they see no manifestations of SMA, and unless something shows up in the blood panel tomorrow they plan to give him his first injection on Mon. They’ll return to Baltimore on Tues.

Just for interest sake, they were picked up at their home last pm. Rode in a shiny black Suburban to the airport. Plane left over an hour late so it was 11:00 when they arrived in Chicago. They were met by a man holding a placard with Cheryl’s name on, were escorted by him to another shiny black SUV to the motel. And were at the hospital for Jase’s appointment at 8:00 this morning. Now after the blood test tomorrow, far as they know, they’ve got the rest of the weekend to wait out (while test reports come back) in the big city. I guess it’s good they’re more used to that than I am. I think I’d be inclined to stay put in my room so I wouldn’t get lost!

Praise the Lord for whatever His plan is and how He is working it out. Thank Him for the strength that Jase has today, for this opportunity, for hope. Pray that they’ll all get a good night of sleep tonight.


August 16: Pat

We do not know the future implications of the clinical testing for Jase.  This opportunity is brand new and Jase is the third infant in the world to be admitted into the program since the trial opened two weeks ago.  Jase will receive a series of 10 shots over the next 2-1/2 years. At this point Jase is symptom free even though blood test have revealed a grim diagnosis. Each healthy person has a SMA1 and SMA2 gene.  Jase is missing SMA1 and has 2 of SMA2. Our family carries the most acute form of the disease which means the symptoms start showing at or soon after birth and their life expectancy is only 1-2 years.  There are so many questions. Will God use this as a miracle cure or will it just prolong the evidence of symptoms? What happens at the end of the trial? What are the side effects? Can it really be possible that Jase could live a symptom free life? Why has this disease hit our family so many times? What is the genetic path in our family line?

Our family gathered around Rich, Marj and all their children and prayed for them. This is not just their burden, it affects us all. Micah and Krista are expecting in November and we stand with them as they wait and anticipate the birth of their little one. We value life.  We know that God is the creator of all life and we do not take health for granted. In the midst of great sorrow and disappointment we have found the peace, mercy and love in our Heavenly Father in whom we can trust.

Jase means healer.  We ask God for the desire of our heart, that He will heal little Jase. We know that good can come from all of our earthly struggles and trials. If Jase is not healed, we pray that his young life will at least help grant healing to thousands and thousands of other children in the future as the medical world searches for a cure.  We truly desire for God to receive glory and honor regardless of the outcome.


Links to my blog posts on Truman and Ariel

July on the Farm-2015

I  have to share a few pictures that I have taken around the farm the past several weeks.

Like the rest of you, my garden is producing a bountiful harvest-except for tomatoes.




Better Boy tomatoes.

I finally picked my first two little ones last evening. I have beautiful vines with lots of green tomatoes hanging on. They are just slow!

I am canning snaps and the okra is just starting to produce.




We are eating cucumbers and Incredible Sweet Corn.


The Hales Best cantaloupes are huge. Some critter was in the process of helping himself but I found it just in time. They are large teeth marks but it didn’t not penetrate the skin of the melon.


I brought this cantaloupe in last evening and it is 10 inches long and 7 inches high.



The twins.


The family portrait!

IMG_8597The cows were contently grazing in the pasture until we rode out with the golf cart. They had worked their way up to the corner where there is a gate into another pasture.  They thought “daddy” was going to open it and let them in. The video clip tells their displeasure when he didn’t.


Big Daddy


Huge, fluffy, magnificent clouds.


A deer on the pipeline. I never understand why environmental groups complain about pipelines. The gas line is buried deep in the soil. The gas company keeps it mowed. It makes a wonderful place to see, take pictures and yes, even hunt, deer and turkeys as they  pass from the woods on one side to the other.


Venus shining brightly above the moon.


The tiny spot on the far right is Jupiter.


Rose of Sharon bush


The bees bury their noses into the blossoms sucking up the nectar.



The butterflies love the Gold-Mound Lantana


Black-eyed Susans






Totally Lost

I had a bad dream last night and I awoke at 6 a.m. this morning, unable to go back to sleep.

I dreamed that another lady (I don’t remember who she was, but I will refer to her as friend), and I were exploring in my car and my friend was driving. We were going across a series of steep, windy mountains and we were lost.  Totally lost! We had no idea where we were at. After discussing our situation we decided that we would keep going as the road had to come out somewhere.  We kept noticing that the road was getting more narrow and less traveled. It had been hours since we passed another vehicle. The houses were fewer, just small homes tucked along the ridges and there was very little sign of life. The few remaining businesses were deserted clapboard buildings of yester years. We began to note that we had not seen a gas station in a long time.

I kept hinting that we needed to turn around, that we were lost and we would soon be in trouble. My friend did not heed my hints.  Finally the road was no longer paved, just a roughed mountain trail. My friend kept pressing on. In my mind I was processing our situation; no cell phone service, low on gas, our husbands had no clue where we were at and I could not walk with my injured ankle. Walking really was not an option as we would have to walk for days to back-track. The gravity of the situation was weighing heavy.

We passed a deserted looking house and my friend started down a rough, rocky incline in the depths of the forest that only a 4-wheel drive could navigate.  I also knew that darkness was falling. There was no way to turn around and we were at a dead end.  My frustration exploded and I awoke.

Disturbed and unable to go back to sleep, I pondered the dream. I said, “Lord, is there a special meaning to this dream?”

For me the dream had an instant spiritual understanding. I will simply ask you a few questions to ponder.

  • Are we being guided by a GPS or road map or just hoping  that somehow, somewhere we will come out and everything will be ok?
  • Are we traveling along with no sense of direction, no landmarks, and no signs.
  • Are we afraid to speak the truth before it is too late?
  • Is our tank running on empty?
  • Where do we receive our source of fuel (power)?
  • Who is our navigator? Who is driving our car?
  • Where do we place blame?
  • Do we heed sound advice?
  • Are we aware of the terrain and sense the direction the path is headed?
  • Do we press stubbornly forward, blindly unheeding the impeding doom?
  • Is there any hope of rescue?
  • Have we lost our way?

I am reminded of a few verses.

  •  Psalms 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
  • Proverbs 2:10-12a “When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you and understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil.”
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”



H. P and Anna Hertzler Reunion-2015

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, descendants of Henry Peter and Anna Hertzler gathered at Shady Oak in Harrisonburg for a family reunion.

Here are a few family facts:

  • They had 10 children; Arthur, Milford, Menno (died as a youth in a boating accident), Lois (Hostetter), Ruth (Shank), Harry, Oliver, Osie (Ziegler), Edith (Wenger), and Dora (Brunk).
  • There are 44 cousins with Bob Hertzler (81) the oldest.
  • The closest we could figure, there are now 634 living descendants including spouses with approximately 60 (10%) in attendance. They came from Arizona, Florida, Chicago, Delaware, Pennsylvania and points in between!
  • Harry (98) and Osie (96) are the only living children and they were both there!  We weren’t sure on either one until the last minute.


This was a touching moment as siblings, Harry and Osie, greeted each other. It has been quite a few years since they have been together and it was the highlight of the reunion.

With a huge grin he took his hat off and got down on his knees in front of her.




They were obviously both really happy.

They sat and held hands-it was so precious. It made you wonder what was going through their minds.





Each family unit was represented and had their picture taken with Harry and Osie.


Arthur and Edna Hertzler family

(Kim, Rachel, Caleb Snyder, Bobby Hertzler, Bob & Marie Hertzler)


Milford and Ada Hertzler Family

(David Gerber, Harrison Elmore, Christina Harman, Keith Harman, Jan Gerber, Catherine (Presley) Elmore, Diann (Presley) Harman and Annalena Elmore)


Lois and Virgil Hostetter Family

(L-R:  Nancy & Bob Hostetter, Margie Swartzentruber)


Ruth and Byard Shank Family

L-R: David & Lois Shank, Daniel & Margaret Lehman, Brandon & Heather Byler, John & Patricia Martin, Ray & Merietta Shank)


Harry & Edna Hertzler Family

(L-R with wives in front of men) Michael & Kay Hertzler, J.P. & Alma Hertzler, Joe & Norma Hertzler, David & Ilva Hertzler)


Oliver and Anna Mae Hertzler Family

(Back row L-R: Jill & Obe Hostetter, Gene & Pat Hertzler

(2nd row:  Ryan & Karla Hostetter)


Osie and Ralph Ziegler Family

(Audrey Ziegler)


Edith and John Wenger Family

L-R: Sidney Wenger, Howard Wenger, Elba & Harold Wenger, Louise and Linford Sommers


Dora and Dan Brunk Family

(Kenny Brunk and Dale & Kathy Stoltfus)

Other pictures


Newlyweds, Harold & Elba Wenger, married April 10, 2015 and hailing all the way from Arizona.


Linford Sommers and Ray Shank


Alma, Norma and Ilva Hertzler


David and Lois Shank


Gene Hertzler and Keith Harman


Osie and Bob Hertzler



Marie Hertzler and son, Bobby Hertzler


Howard and Sidney Wenger


Obe and Ryan Hostetter


J.P. Hertzler and Patricia Martin

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Marie Hertzler and Pat Hertzler (Photo by David Hertzler)


Father and son; Harry and David Hertzler


Playing games – Christina Harman and Analena Elmore


Kim, Caleb and Rachel Snyder


 Karl Shenk  and Ray Shank


Judy Humphrey and Catherine Elmore

IMG_8332Lois Shank and Merietta Shank


Kenny Brunk

IMG_8334Kathy Stoltfus and Marie Hertzler


David Gerber and Keith Harman

IMG_8338Gene Hertzler and John Paul Hertzler

IMG_8335Harry Hertzler and David Shank

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Howard Wenger, Sidney Wenger and Michael Hertzler (Photo by David Hertzler)

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Harold Wenger introducing his new bride, Elba, to Osie. In the background Margie Swartzentruber and Audrey Ziegler.


Sister-in-laws: Norma, Ilva, Alma and Kay Hertzler

IMG_8341This amazing man who is 98 years old is agile, stands tall and steady, and still walks with a spring in his step.

He is a man of God who, in his younger days, was a preacher and teacher.

IMG_8294Osie, a twin to Oliver, is loved by everyone who knows her.  Her husband, Ralph Ziegler, was a plumber and preacher.

They were instrumental in helping to start the Mennonite Church in Richmond, Virginia and later pastored at Woodland Mennonite.

Osie wrote poetry and those attending the reunion were rewarded with a treasured book of her poems, “Homespun Verse: A Mother’s Medley”.


Blessing on the meal by Uncle Harry. Thanks Catherine Presley for sharing this video.


Note to family: If I have anyone mislabeled or labeled with a ? please let me know so I can make corrections.  There were a few I just didn’t know!  Thanks, Pat



Ryan’s Baptism

Today we rejoiced with Ryan on his baptism into the family of God and we were so glad to join other family members and Lindale Mennonite Church in celebrating this special day.


Ryan sharing his testimony which he wrote himself. It was amazing. He said he is taking a stand for Jesus!

Ryan’s Testimony:  https://vimeo.com/130750100

That’s what it is all about.


Gathering at the creek.


Pastor Duane Yoder asking Ryan his baptismal vows.



The creek is so lovely but not very deep.


Each one knelt in the creek and they poured water over their heads. They were given the pitchers as a memorial to their baptism.

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‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

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IMG_8356Praying over him.


“Arise and walk in newness of life”.








One happy fella!

Ryan’s baptism:  https://vimeo.com/130748614

Ryan's Baptism-June 14, 2015The grandparents: Gene and Pat Hertzler,  Darrel & Sherill Hostetter

Ryan's Baptism-family picGreat-grandparents: Dwight and Fannie Heatwole and grandparents; Gene and Pat Hertzler, Darrel and Sherill Hostetter


In his testimony, Ryan mentioned that he was baptized once by his sister. Here is that story.

A Dear “Lorded” Baptism

Even though our worship services are usually adult-oriented, they are also a vital part of a young child’s spiritual training.  In between the wiggling, coloring, eating, pouting and playing, they hear the songs of praise, sense the spirit of worship, and observe the adults giving testimony to their faith.   Sometimes weary parents feel that it almost isn’t worth the effort to battle another Sunday until they observe their little ones at play.

Karla, almost three, and Ryan, almost one, were in the living room playing when their mother who was in the kitchen suddenly became aware of what they were imitating.  Karla had her hands cupped above Ryan’s head and she was praying in earnest…

Dear Lord….(this was followed by jibberish that her mommy could not understand)….Amen.” 

Then she carefully poured the pretend water over Ryan’s head and gently pressed her hands on top of his head.  Finished, she went to the kitchen and announced to her mother, “Mommy, I dear Lorded Ryan!”

August 27, 2006


Sunday Evening Ride-May 2015

Just a few pictures of our Sunday evening golf cart ride over the farm.


Newborn calf sleeping and hiding in the grass.


It didn’t take long to figure out who the mama was. She may not have been beside her calf but she knew what was going on and I did not venture far from the golf cart!


I saw something way across the field on the lower post and zoomed my camera on it. That is when I saw the buzzard on the top post.

Then I saw the next picture….


The one in the middle and on the far left are bucks!




Where, oh where, are the American Pickers?????


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