EMU Mourns Three Deaths
From June 2 to July 2, the EMU community mourned the deaths of three people near and dear to its heart:
EMU’s alumni council president Evelyn Hertzler ’60, who died June 3 at age 70 after struggling with Lou Gehrig’s Disease;
history professor emeritus Dr. Albert N. Keim ’63, who died June 27 at age 72, after complications following a liver transplant;
nursing graduate Matthew R. Garber ’08, who died July 1 at age 22 in a drowning accident in Costa Rica.
Evie Hertzler, who had a degree in elementary education from EMU, taught for more than three decades in New York City and West Liberty, Ohio. Upon retirement, she and husband Don moved to Harrisonburg to be near the families of their three children - Sandy ’92 (Byler), Jerry ’88, and Barry ’86.
Evie filled her time with volunteer work, including the EMU alumni council, when not watching her grandchildren’s sports events and organizing family get-togethers. She sang in numerous choirs and served on many boards, including Roberta Webb Childcare, Valley Brethren Mennonite Heritage Center, and Mennonite Women USA.
Raised Amish in Hartville, Ohio, Al Keim taught in the EMU history department from 1965 until he retired in 2000. He also served as vice-president for academic affairs and dean from 1977 to 1984. He was the author of four books, all on topics pertaining to the role of Anabaptists in history or society.
In 1972-73, Keim led EMU’s first semester-length cross-cultural seminar in Europe, which paved the way for cross-cultural education becoming a graduation requirement in 1982-83.
Honors student Matt Garber graduated with a BS in nursing and a minor in Bible and religion. He went to Costa Rica for the summer to help a missionary family and to learn Spanish. At summer’s end, he planned to return to his home area of Elizabethtown, Pa., and begin work at Lancaster (Pa.) General Hospital’s emergency room.
Matt was a student who almost everyone knew, or felt as if they knew. He was seen in chapel after chapel, often singing with others, but sometimes as speaker or music leader. He was a residence hall community advisor for three years, active in the Young People’s Christian Association, and a member of Chamber Singers for four years.
Mostly, he always seemed to be smiling, whether on photos for EMU marketing materials or simply strolling across campus. At graduation, he was one of 10 seniors to receive EMU’s top recognition, named to the “Cords of Distinction” group.
Read more about Matt at www.emu.edu/news/matt-garber.