Archive for Hertzler Family

Gone Except for the Memories

Today we went to Denbigh (Newport News) to attend the 120-year homecoming celebration at Warwick River Mennonite Church in Newport News. But first, we had to drive past the farm-Quarterfield Farm, Gene’s home place fronting on Colony and Hertzler Road.  Well, it used to be a farm, now it is just a memory.

 

The house site

The garden plot

For 118 years, it was a fertile, productive farm (dairy, then a horse boarding facility) within sight of the Warwick River and belonged to the Hertzler family: Great-grandpa, grandpa and then dad Hertzler.

The once lush meadows and pastures are now pushed over trees, tractors have given way to bulldozers and houses are starting to grace the landscape instead of pecan, walnut, crepe myrtle and oak trees. They tell us the house, barn, machine shed, milk house and shop were demolished 2 weeks ago. What once was a familiar homestead is now a dirt construction site. The pecan trees and shrubbery are still standing marking the outline of the yard but we were told they too will soon be gone. All traces of history have been removed, never to be recovered or preserved. This history was more than just Gene’s family. It was an important part of the history of Mennonites who came to Denbigh. In 1897 D.Z. Yoder and Isaac D. Hertzler (Gene’s great-grandpa) came to Denbigh and purchased a 1200 acre plantation for $10 an acre. This quickly attracted the interest of many other Mennonites in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other parts of Virginia who moved there. The land was divided between the families forming a very unique close-knit faith and agricultural community called  “The Colony”.

A new house now built in the front pasture.

The neighbors fought hard against city hall pleading for a park, a preservation of the cherished land. They fought City Hall and City Hall won. A sign saying “Hertzler Meadow” almost feels like a taunt.

It feels sad and as a family we now only have a marker in the church cemetery a mile from the farm to document Oliver and Anna Mae Hertzlers’ existence.

But, they are not forgotten. We have memories, lots and lots of memories, precious memories and pictures that we do and will continue to cherish. Dad Hertzler knew the inevitable was coming and he had worked out the plans before his death. We are just glad he didn’t have to see the reality of it.

It reminds us of the frailty of life. We are only here for a few short years and then we are gone, never to return.

What will be our legacy?

How will we be remembered when there is nothing left but a tombstone?

 

All flesh is like grass, and it’s loveliness as the flower of the field.

Isaiah 40:6

As for man, his days are as grass; as the flower of the field so he flourished. For the wind passes over it and it is gone; and the place remembers it no more.

Psalms 103: 15-16

This is a unique, to scale model of “The Colony” made by Sam Brunk for the 100th Anniversary showing how it was in 1947. It is now solid development. The 60 acres owned by Dad Hertzler was the last piece of land to be sold. He held on to the land tenaciously even though the city was determined to force him out.

Quarterfield Farm, farm of Henry-Anna Hertzler, Gene’s grandpa.

 

Some related blog posts about the farm.

Emily’s Graduation and Party

Our oldest granddaughter, Emily, has received her high school diploma!  This is a huge life achievement that signifies the beginning of “adulthood”! I am posting some pictures to honor her graduation last Saturday and the party this weekend. Just beware, being a proud grandma I have 164 pictures I could post between her Uncle Obe and myself, but I will attempt to limit myself!

Emily plans to attend community college this fall and then she has her eyes set on several options for college. At this point, she wants to major in social work, especially in the area of adoptions.

Graduation Day

Her proud papa!

Awaiting the magical moment

Keith, Alivia, Emily, Lauren and Noah

 Grandparents with the happy grad

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Graduation Party

A behind the scenes peak at the fun getting ready for the party.

The girls had great fun working together.

  Cleaning chairs

 

 Grandpa Hertzler’s old truck. He would be proud!

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the best thing is to sit and watch!

Food-ready!

Slushy machine-ready!

Picture board-ready!

Seating-ready!

Decorations-ready!

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Let the celebration begin…

The star of the party!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating 100 Years

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“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Uncle Harry. Happy 100th birthday to you!”

One hundred years old!  Uncle Harry’s self-proclaimed goal has been to celebrate his 100th birthday.  And he did it!!!  Saturday family and friends gathered to celebrate this amazing man who outlived all his eight siblings. Ironically, one month ago, we laid to rest his younger sister, Osie, who was 98.

Uncle Harry is living out his days at a retirement center in Pennsylvania. He is hard of hearing, suffers from memory loss and walks with a cane, but otherwise is relatively healthy. When you talk to him, he always mentions the Lord; sometimes with a verse, sometimes with a blessing or admonition.

Later in the afternoon, I watched him get up from his chair and quietly stride unnoticed out the door of the reception room and down the hall towards his room.  Apparently he had enough of being the celebrity of the day and left his party for quieter quarters. He was later found sitting in the lounge entertaining other home residents with stories about his day and how popular he was with all the picture taking.

While his brothers pursued farming, Harry was the studious, academic child in the family.  For a while he tried dairying in Amelia County, but his true love was books, teaching and preaching. His story, which he wrote himself, is posted below.

“My Story” by Harry Hertzler

(Shared & edited by David Hertzler)

Harry has lived a good, full life. His life has exemplified a godly man of faith who has sought to be faithful to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in every aspect of his life. And now he says, “I am starting on my next 100 years!”

When “antique” is used as an adjective it means: having a high value because of considerable age.  Antique Harry.  I think the adjective fits and the Hertzlers have their own antique-a gem of precious value!

Uncle Harry with 7 of his children. His first wife, Edna, and daughter Mary June are deceased.

Back: Daniel (Danny, Michael, Henry, John Paul (JP) and Joe.

Front: David, Harry and Lois (Danner).

Spouses are added to this picture.

Back row: Marvin Rohrer (Mary June’s husband), Ruth & Danny, Michael & Kay, John Paul (JP’s spouse, Alma, passed away last year), Gwen & Henry, Philip Danner (Lois’s spouse) and Joe.

Front Row: Jean Rohrer (Marvin’s spouse), Ilva & David, Harry, Lois Ann, and Norma (Joe’s spouse)

Grandchildren who were present were added to this picture along with their parent’s name. I am not relabeling the siblings.

Back row: Three on left: David Hertzler (Daniel), April Garthwaite (David), Ed Hertzler (Dave) and two on right: Lucy Miller (Joe) and Veronica Hochstetler (Joe).

Front row: Yolanda Brubaker (JP), Joanna Yoder (Mike),  Lucinda Hostetter (JP),  Ernie Danner (Lois Ann), Timothy Danner (Lois Ann), Raphael Hertzler (Henry), Karl Hertzler (Joe), Wendall (Lois Ann) and kneeling in the front, Jeremy Hertzler (Henry).

Other Pictures From the Day

Four generations of Hertzlers

Harry with son, Joe, Grandson Karl, and two great-grandsons, Levi and Kurt

Uncle Harry and Gene Hertzler

John Paul (JP) Hertzler

Dave Hertzler, Gordie Ziegler, Kathy (Brunk) Stoltzfus and Danny Hertzler

Michael Hertzler

Margaret (Shank) & Daniel Lehman

Gordie and Bertie Ziegler

Lois Ann (Hertzler) and Philip Danner

Kay Hertzler, Jean Rohrer and Ruth Hertzler

Janice (Hertzler) Gerber and Bertie Ziegler

Ilva Hertzler loving on two of her granddaughters

Ilva Hertzler with two more grandchildren

Taylor & Brianna Hostetter (JP-Lucinda) and Annika Miller (Joe-Lucy)

Ed Hertzler and his dad, Dave Hertzler

Dale & Kathy Stoltzfus and Gene Hertzler

Ilva and Dave Hertzler

JP,  Gwen & Henry Hertzler

Joe & Norma Hertzler with children Lucy (Hertzler) Miller and Karl.

A few pictures from the history table…

Harry and Edna’s wedding picture -1941

Harry on his wedding day

Harry and Edna….later in life

Harry Hertzler Family-1948

Harry Hertzler Family 1961

Harry Hertzler family with his parents (Henry & Anna Hertzler) -1968

50th wedding anniversary of Harry’s parents, Henry & Anna Hertzler

The entire clan of Hertzlers – 1956

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 Pictures taken by Ed Hertzler

Ed Hertzler (Dave) and Harry

 Lori Jo Hertzler, Ed’s spouse.

First Cousins

Lucinda Hostetter (JP), Yolanda Brubaker (JP), Joanna (Mike),  April (David), Veronica Hochstetler (Joe) and Lucy Miller (Joe).

Yolanda Brubaker (JP), Ed Hertzler (Dave) and Veronica Hochstetler (Joe)

Michelle Hertzler  (Spouse of Joe’s son Karl)

Pictures taken by Ilva Hertzler

Joe, Harry and J.P.  Hertzler

Michael Hertzler and Gordie Ziegler

Philip Danner, Harry Hertzler, Janice Gerber and Henry Hertzler

Note: If anyone has pictures of people I don’t have posted I would love for you to send them to me at pathertzler@gmail.com. If you know the names where I have ? marks, I would love your help.

Aunt Osie’s Memorial Service

In loving memory of Osie Ola Hertzler Ziegler

September 26, 1918 – April 9, 2017

(She was 1 year, 6 months shy of her 100th birthday!)

It was a special service for a special lady. For those who couldn’t attend, I have included pictures of the cousins who were there, and a “Eulogy of Memories” by Laurie Kutchins, a long-time friend and neighbor.

An open grave ready to receive the ashes…

It was a dreary, rainy day and somehow that seemed fitting to reflect our loss.

Burial completed, it was time to go and celebrate her life and glorious homegoing.

Together, the assembly of friends and family joyfully sang in four-part harmony several of her favorite hymns.

Verse 1. “Lift your glad voices in triumph on high, For Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die….

Verse 4. But Jesus hath cheered the dark valley of sorrow, and bade us, immortal to heaven ascend. Lift then your voices in triumph on high, for Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die.”

Pictures of the Cousins

Tedrick Grandle and  Audrey Ziegler

( ? granddaughter of Audrey)

Gordie and Bertie Ziegler

Gordie Ziegler, Dave Shenk, and Harold Wenger

Marie and Bob Hertzler (Bob is the oldest of the cousins)

Joe and Norma Hertzler

Marjorie Swartzentruber and son Dean

Diane Harman (daughter of Bill & Carolyn Presley)

Dave and Janice Gerber

Kenny and Gail Brunk

Gene and Pat Hertzler

Ed Hertzler (son of Dave and Ilva Hertzler)

Jill Hostetter (daughter of Gene and Pat Hertzler)

Bob Hostetter

Bob Hertzler,  Diane Hertzler, Diane Harman, and Melanie (daughter of Diane Hertzler)

Linford and Louise Sommers

Randy Hertzler and daughter Lucy. (Randy is son of Jim and Alta Hertzler)

Judy Humphrey

Sidney Wenger

(If any one can help me with a few names, I would appreciate it)

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Osie Hertzler Ziegler-Memories

Eulogy for Osie Ola Hertzler Ziegler, April 22, 2017

Lindale Mennonite Church

Prepared and offered by Laurie Kutchins

Aunt Osie’s Poetry

In memory of Osie Ola Hertzler Ziegler

1918-2017

Osie and Ralph

This evening as I was thinking about Aunt Osie, I pulled out her book of poetry (Homespun Verse: A Mother’s Medley) and entered her world of life….

Just Wishing

I’d like to be a buzzard bird

Away up in the sky,

I’d hop upon the strongest wind

and go so very high.

The earth would be an Esso map,

The roads would ribbons be,

And fields look just like patchwork quilts

As far as I could see.

I’d find another bird and have

A grand old pillow fight

With little clouds the wind blew by,

all soft and fluffy white.

I’d dip and soar an hour or more,

As happy as could be,

And then at night I’d perch upon

The very tallest tree.

I suspect she is now flying higher, faster and grander than any buzzard ever dreamed of flying! I think I would think of a prettier bird I’d want to be but buzzards do know how to soar and glide. But that was Aunt Osie, she somehow managed to see the beauty in the sometimes not so lovely.

This is My Task

God did not choose to send me across the sea

To spread the gospel story of Calvary.

But placed instead in my arms for loving care

Some of his little lambs, tender and fair.

Then bid me take these small ones and day by day

Love, them, guide them aright, teach them to pray.

This, then, is the work He has given.

This is my task.

This is my whole life’s endeavor, nor would I ask

any greater. I only pray wisdom to guide

These tender lambs one by one to the Shepherd’s side.

Gypsy Flair

Some day I’m going to break loose

From the chains of daily grind

And capture every fancy

Of my restless Gypsy mind.

I’ll follow little side roads

That peek out along the way

That beckon with crook’d finger

And tangled flowers gay.

I’ll climb them to the highest hill

And scan the scene below

Where neat farms lie with field and fence

Like patchwork quilts in row,

Or woodlands flaunt their colors

Against the distant hill.

I’ll stay and watch the setting sun

And let its colors thrill

My heart, or else perchance I’ll take

A road that’s going down

Where woods are deep and silent,

and all I hear’s the sound

of little brooklets tossing

Their laughter back at me

As they twist and turn among the fern

In bubbling gaiety.

I’ll pass by cozy cottages

Where little children play,

And pause beside a field that’s steeped

In scent of new mown hay.

I’ll find myself a quiet place

Beneath a shading tree,

With only ants and spiders

To keep me company.

I’ll pillow down on soft new grass

And here I’ll take my ease,

Where nature’s air conditioned

By a whisper of a breeze.

Then I’ll come back where taut-faced friends

Still hurry in their way,

Richer far for having been

a gypsy for a day.

Thank you Aunt Osie for a life well lived.  I loved to stop in for a chat and your words of cheer always encouraged me. I knew several weeks ago when I stopped in that your time on earth was drawing to a close.  As you laid curled in your bed, you were still wanting to work in your flower beds. You are now home… truly home with your Savior, husband and many other loved ones.  Gypsy lady, your chains are gone and you are now free to climb the highest hill, find that quiet place and enjoy the most beautiful gardens imaginable.

Twins: Oliver (Gene’s dad)  and Osie (on the right)- 1919

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 I would like to suggest you leave a comment or memory of Osie and/or Ralph. It would such a blessing for the family to read. The comment link is at the top of the page, just under the title.

Local Hertzler Get-Together 2016

There is just something about kinfolk that is extra special.  There are three family lines of Hertzlers living in Cumberland, Powhatan, Buckingham and Prince Edward counties. We all connect to the same genetic pedigree several generations back. We love to visit together, live within easy visiting distance but just don’t get together very often.  We decided it was time to get together for a reunion.

Joe and Norma Hertzler graciously hosted the evening at their lovely, manicured homestead in Cumberland. The evening turned out to be perfect weather after a rainy week and morning and the turnout was great. I even heard something about this being the first annual!!!

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Helen and Tom Hertzler

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Betty and Ray Hertzler

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Tony Hertzler

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Bob Hertzler

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Marie Hertzler

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Norma Hertzler

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Joe Hertzler

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Bobby and Bob Hertzler

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Gene Hertzler

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Annette Hertzler

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Phil Hertzler

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Jeremy Khosropanah

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Lucy Miller

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J.R. Hochstetler

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J.R. Hochstetler and Jesse Hertzler

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Freeman Hertzler grilling his marinated venison tenderloins. They were delicious. This guy knows how to cook.

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Felicia Miller

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Michelle Hertzler

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Allie Hertzler

 

There were lots of things for the children/young folks to do:

Dutch Blitz, volleyball, target shooting, Corn Hole, play set, sandbox, dressup, and chasing bubbles.

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Cassidy played “dress-up”. I wonder how many different times she changed clothes during the evening.

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Allie Hertzler

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The setting and weather was perfect.

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Beef, turkey or sausage dogs and venison tenderloin.

Highlight: Gospel Hoe-Down

Some of the Hertzlers are fortunate to have inherited the music gene and they entertained us by playing their instruments and singing toe-tapping, old-time, gospel favorites. It was a fun, fun time listening and singing along.

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Joe Hertzler

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Paul Hertzler

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Gery Hochstetler

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Joe, Michelle and Phil

Videos

My camera battery died and I missed getting a hilariously funny performance by Joe called “The Tickle Song” and a crazy rendition of  “Black Gold Fever” by Tom.

“Jesus, Tender Shepherd” by Cassidy Miller

Joe shared some thoughts about his “pop” who is 99 years old and in his honor sang “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

 

 This picture taken by Annette Hertzler is my favorite of the evening.

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It is priceless and we dubbed it “The Hertzler Boys”!

 

Attending were:

  • Brothers Phil (Annette)and Tom (Helen) Hertzler from Prince Edward county and some of their children.
    • Phil’s son Freeman (Allison) and son
    • Tom’s daughter Michelle (Karl) & family (Note: Michelle married Joe’s son Karl)
  • First cousins Bob (Marie), Ray (Betty), Joe (Norma) and Gene (Pat) Hertzler from Powhatan and Cumberland counties.
    • Bob’s sons: Bobby and Tony
      • Tony’s son-in-law, Jeremy Khosropanah, and grandson
    • Joe’s children:
      • Veronica (J.R. Hochstetler) & family
      • Lucy (Roy Miller) & family
      • Karl (Michelle) & family
      • Jesse and his children
  • None of the Howard Hertzler line were able to attend.

 

 

Alma Hertzler’s Funeral

For the Hertzlers who could not make it to Alma’s funeral on June 21 in Fair Play, South Carolina, I took a few pictures.

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She may have lost the fight with cancer, but she did not lose the battle.

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Alma… back in the day!

 I took a few pictures of Uncle Harry’s tribe.

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David and Ilva Hertzler

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Joe and Norma Hertzler

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John Paul (JP) and Alma Hertzler  -taken from a picture.

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Daniel Hertzler (I failed to get a picture of Ruth)

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Michael and Kay Hertzler

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Philip and Lois Danner

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Henry and Gwen Hertzler

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Cousin Bob and Marie Hertzler talking to Henry.

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The church was packed to overflowing and the accapella singing was heavenly. I recorded one song, “Shall We Gather At the River”.

It was so obvious that this sweet, gentle lady was so  loved by many and will be greatly missed. But because of the awesome, incredible love of Jesus Christ, we will be together again!

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Arthur and Edna Hertzler family

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

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Milford and Ada Hertzler Family

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

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Lois and Virgil Hostetter Family

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

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Ruth and Byard Shank Family

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

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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)

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Oliver and Anna Mae Hertzler Family

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

(2nd row:  Ryan & Karla Hostetter)

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Osie and Ralph Ziegler Family

(Audrey Ziegler)

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Edith and John Wenger Family

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

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Dora and Dan Brunk Family

(Kenny Brunk and Dale & Kathy Stoltfus)

Other pictures

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

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Linford Sommers and Ray Shank

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Alma, Norma and Ilva Hertzler

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David and Lois Shank

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Gene Hertzler and Keith Harman

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Osie and Bob Hertzler

 

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Marie Hertzler and son, Bobby Hertzler

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Howard and Sidney Wenger

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Obe and Ryan Hostetter

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J.P. Hertzler and Patricia Martin

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Marie Hertzler and Pat Hertzler (Photo by David Hertzler)

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Father and son; Harry and David Hertzler

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Playing games – Christina Harman and Analena Elmore

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Kim, Caleb and Rachel Snyder

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 Karl Shenk  and Ray Shank

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Judy Humphrey and Catherine Elmore

IMG_8332Lois Shank and Merietta Shank

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Kenny Brunk

IMG_8334Kathy Stoltfus and Marie Hertzler

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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.

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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”.

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

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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

pathertzler@gmail.com

 

Bringing Closure

Yesterday coming home from church Gene said, “Where are we going to ride today? Do you want to go to Denbigh?”  One year ago that meant, do you want to go see Daddy?  But times have changed and Daddy is no longer at 567 Colony Rd. Denbigh. He now has a much grander address on a street of gold in heaven.  This trip was on our bucket list for this spring but now going to Denbigh is just a trip down memory lane, a reflection on the has-beens of life.

We had a cd playing as we cruised along but just as we approached the Newport News exit we suddenly became aware of the song that was playing; “I Can Only Imagine” by Bart Millard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xwzItqYmII

This song had become one of Daddy’s favorites in the last months of his life as he anticipated “going home”.  Somehow it seemed like a God-moment as we listened to the song and remembered Daddy.

In May 1897, D.Z. Yoder and Isaac Hertzler (Gene’s great grandpa from Long Green, Maryland)  purchased a 1200 acre cotton plantation for $10 an acre. They very quickly generated interest in numerous other Mennonite families who came to the Tidewater area, drawn by the lure of affordable farm land. The group became known as the “Colony”.  They tilled, planted and rejuvenated the worn out, overgrown land turning it into productive fruit orchards, dairy, poultry and produce farms.  This fascinating story is told in  the book “Fifty Years: Building on the Warwick”. During the next 100 years, the land was divided, subdivided, developed and sold until only 45 acres remained in the middle of the city where Mama and Daddy Hertzler lived. Daddy tenaciously withstood pressure to sell and held on to his beloved farm. But now that era and the “Colony” are officially gone. The streets; Colony Road, Hertzler Road and Miller Road surrounded the farm like a hedge of protection, keeping the city at bay.

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We circled the block around the farm twice and snapped a few pictures from the road. Someone else now lives in the house and owns land. It is no longer in the family.  The farm still looks the same but it is definitely missing Daddy’s magical touch.

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After circling the farm, we stopped at the Warwick River church cemetery, opened the wrought iron gate and quietly walked to the gravesite to pay our respects.  It almost seemed like hollowed ground. We know a cemetery is just a bone-yard but they are beloved bones and their resting place is the only spot on earth that is still a connection to them. Someday those old bones will come to life as they spring out of the grave and meet the Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4: 16-17).  Daddy loved trees and his burial spot is underneath the boughs of an old tree, the only tree in the cemetery.

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We walked among the headstones and talked about the many familiar names; Issac and Fannie Hertzler (Gene’s great-grandparents), Henry P. and Anna Hertzler (grandparents), Menno Hertzler (an uncle who died in a boating accident on the river), Uncle Dan and Aunt Dora Brunk, and many other relatives and church acquaintances with the names of Yoder, Burkholder, Fisher, Moyer, Nice, Hahn, Shank, Hostetter, Ziegler, Schaefer, Brunk, Miller, Shenk, etc. Each headstone represents a life lived, some briefly, some many years. Each was a life with a story to tell and most had a huge impact in the Warwick River Mennonite Church community and beyond.

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I took the next three tombstones because they were a part of the many folks who migrated  west to Powhatan and have had significant influence in the church and community here.

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Finally we were ready to leave. With a few backward glances we got in our car and drove away.

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We decided to stop by a friend’s home on our way out of town. The hours ticked by as we talked about Mama and Daddy and some of the many challenges they faced, particularly in their last years. This friend understood and the time spent there was life-giving and healing.  We left feeling that, finally, we could have closure on that chapter of life.

A few final pictures:

Great-grandparents, Isaac and Fannie Hertzler, build a stately house with a white picket fence on the bank of the Warwick River just a stone’s throw from the farm. The lot was part of the farm at one time. The house and grounds have been very well maintained through the years. I had to take a picture of the old wagon sitting in the front driveway.

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Family Camping-2014

This was the first time our family did a little vacation together. We went camping at Paradise Lake Campgrounds in Appomattox, Virginia.

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Obe, Jill and family were the true campers and thanks to them we all had a good time sitting around the campfire and eating from the grill over the firepit.

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The rest of us were “sissyfied” or “comfyfied”-and proud of it!

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Keith and Alivia, Noah & Lauren had a cabin. It had a small refrigerator and microwave.

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Gene and I, along with Emily had the only cottage. (Only 4 people were allowed per site). It had a kitchenette with stove, refrigerator, microwave and sink. We also had our own bathroom with shower!!!

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We took the golf cart along and thoroughly enjoyed cruising the trails and grounds.

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Fished all morning, caught no fishes…fished all morning,  caught no fishes….the problem was Jesus didn’t stop by and tell them to cast on the other side of the pier!

(The ladies, except for Lauren, went antique and thrift store shopping in historic downtown Appomattox)

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We celebrated three birthdays, Ryan, Noah and Grandpa.

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The chain goes around and it makes a noise!  He played all afternoon with it, pretending to cut down trees.

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Noah also got his first legos which the children had fun putting together.

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Playing with legos

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Ryan wanted tools and he got a real cordless drill.

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Surprise!  Grandpa got cashews!!!

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Obe, Karla, Ryan and Lauren braved the COLD water.

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Lauren…I think I will, I think I will….

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Karla keeping her head above the water.  She finally after much encouragement took the plunge into the cold!

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Emily

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Grandpa-tuckered out!

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Lauren and Karla

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Lauren, Karla and Noah

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Jill and Ryan

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Obe-I wonder what he is thinking???

I looked around the campfire and liked our feet!

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