Summer 2013 Mileposts

August 7th, 2013

Faculty & Staff

Vernon Jantzi ‘64, professor emeritus of sociology, gave the keynote address at the 14th annual Latin American Conference on Judicial and Forensic Psychology and the first annual Conference on Restorative Justice in Cartagena, Colombia, June 7-8. The conference explored the nature and promotion of restorative justice in Latin America. Vernon’s speech was titled “A Healing Approach: Integrating Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice, and Trauma Awareness.”

Carl Stauffer ‘85, MA ‘02 (conflict transformation), assistant professor for CJP, gave the keynote address at the 15th annual Urban Initiatives Conference in Milwaukee, Wis., on May 29. The conference theme was “Restorative Practices: Repairing Harm and Building Community.”

Elaine Zook ‘75, MA ‘03 (conflict transformation), STAR program director, and Howard Zehr, CJP professor, presented at the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council Symposium, May 9-10 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Elaine presented on “Trauma and Restorative Justice” and Howard on “Shame and the Implication for Resorative Justice.” Together, they led discussion on high-risk victim-offender conferencing.

Lori Leaman ‘88, associate professor of special education, and Judy Mullet ‘73, professor of psychology, presented “Restorative Discipline: From getting even to getting whole,” at the Association of Supervision and Curriculum development’s 68th annual conference in Chicago, Ill. on March 18.

Peter Dula ‘92, assistant professor of Bible & religion, was awarded a grant from the Louisville Institute’s Sabbatical Grant for Researchers Program. It will pay for a semester of salary while he is on sabbatical this coming academic year.

Ted Grimsrud, assistant professor of Bible & religion, has written a new book titled Instead of Atonement: The Bible’s Salvation Story and Our Hope for Wholeness, published by Cascade books. The book traces the Bible’s main salvation story through God’s liberating acts, the testimony of the prophets, and Jesus’s life and teaching. It then takes a closer look at Jesus’s death and argues that his death gains its meaning when it exposes violence in the cultural, religious, and political powers. God’s raising of Jesus completes the story and vindicates Jesus’s life and teaching.

Joan Griffing, music department chair, performed Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring at the Virginia International Arts Festival in Norfolk, Va., on May 29. The performance featured the Richmond Ballet and the Virginia Symphony. This year marked the 100th anniversary of this seminal orchestral work.

Stuart Showalter ‘67, associate director of development, and Robyn Hill, director of planned giving, worked with Mennonite Foundation and 10 other Mennonite agencies to develop and implement a workshop titled “Good Stewardship through Estate Planning” for EMU alumni and friends in Kidron, Ohio, April 25-26.

In June, 11 donors to the Suter Science Campaign posed for this EMU photo at the 2013 meeting of the Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship in Goshen, Ind.: (from left) Stanley Godshall ’65, MD, & Susan Godshall ’65 (former chair, EMU board of trustees) of Mount Joy, Pa.; Joseph Longacher ’59, MD, of Harrisonburg, Va.; Evelyn & Dan Nafziger, MD, both ’83, of Goshen, Ind.; Phyllis & Elton Lehman ’58, MD, of Mount Eaton, Ohio; Shirley ’57 & Arlen Delp ’60, MD, of Milwaukee, Wis.; Rachel ’61 & Joseph Martin ’59, MD, of Brookline, Mass.


Peggy Heatwole ’61 and Jay B. Landis ’54, Harrisonburg, Va., have each published books: Kitchenary and Verse Assignments, respectively. In her memoir, Kitchenary: From Birth to Zucchini, Shenandoah Valley native Peggy shares stories of friendship and forgiveness, heritage and hospitality, generosity and gratitude, loss and love, and the people of the lifetime with whom she has broken bread. Verse Assignments is a collection of the poems Jay has written throughout his career, centering on the classroom, family, community, and faith. Both Peggy and Jay will be selling autographed copies of their books at Homecoming in October.

Blair Seitz ‘67, West Reading, Pa., shares his journey through the world, the people he has met, the stories he has been told, and how his relationships have led him to believe in a better path of peace for the world in his memoirs titled Turn the World Around: A Photojournalist Discovers Paths to Peace Traveling a War-torn Planet.

J. Larry Neff, class of ‘67, South Bend, Ind., president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Michiana, announced that he will retire in December after 40 years on the job. Under his direction, an Industrial Services Department was developed to provide light manufacturing assistance to area businesses. Later, vocational services expanded to include the Welfare to Work program. Larry has received recognition for his service to the organization from Goodwill Industries International. Over the years, he has been asked to mentor other Goodwill operations and serve on many local boards. He was inducted in the South Bend Community Hall of Fame in 2005.

Richard ‘70 and Laurel Horst ‘68, Orrville, Ohio have experienced a family tragedy: the death of their 11-year-old graddaughter, Marcia Lynea Horst, following a sudden illness. You may read more about Marcia in the 1990-99 class notes section.

Vernon ‘68 and Linda Alderfer Martin, class of ‘71, Harleysville, Pa., hosted the first summit meeting of the Mennonite Early Childhood Network (MECN) Council. The three-day summit included time to reflect on the mission statement, explore current trends in care and education of young children, and brainstorm about ways that MECN can continue to provide support for others in the early childhood field. As an initial outcome of the summit, MECN will invite responses from churches, child-care and education programs, and parents through a needs-assessment survey to learn how MECN can best serve young children through the adults who teach and care for them.


Gladys Nolt ‘72 Boettcher, Amarillo, Tex., retired from Northwest Texas Healthcare System in February after working almost 40 years, the last 30 of which were spent as a charge nurse on a medical/surgical floor.

Earl Burkholder, class of ‘72, Las Cruces, N.M., was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Mexico Professional Surveyors (NMPS). Earl is a licensed professional surveyor, a licensed professional engineer, and is a fellow and life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The award was based, in part, on Burkholder’s efforts to promote the use of 3-D digital geospatial data for surveying, mapping, and engineering projects. His book, The 3-D Global Spatial Data Model: Foundation of the Spatial Data Infrastructure, published by CRC Press in April 2008, offers a diverging model for the methods for handling spatial data. In retirement, Earl is engaged in several volunteer activities with NMPS and ASCE.

Cheryl Weaver ‘74 Landis, Paradise, Pa., was selected to do a poster presentation titled “Bridging the Classroom and Clinical Learning Gap: A Clinical Simulation Design for Caring for the Patient with Chemotherapy-Induced Bone Marrow Suppression” at the Assessment Technologies Institute National Summit for Nurse Educators in Las Vegas, Nev., in April of 2013. She also presented the same simulation concept at the Pennsylvania Association of Practical Nursing Administrators annual conference in Lewisburg, Pa., where she won first place in the Best Practices session.

Faith Eidse ‘79, Tallahassee, Fla., adjunct professor of English at Barry University in Miami, Fla., has captured the vision that drove the 1950’s missionary movement from Southern Manitoba, Canada around the globe in her parents’ memoir titled Light the World, the Ben and Helen Eidse Story as told by Faith Eidse. In it, Faith describes the personal pilgrimage her parents took in partnering with the Chokwe-Lunda tribe of the Congo, learning their language and culture, and empowering them through advocation whenever possible. The book is now in circulation at the EMU library.


Marlisa Yoder-Bontrager ‘80, Lancaster, Pa., joined the Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN) Creation Care Council in April 2013. She brings a decades-long commitment to sustainable living and creation care with specific interest in living more with less and a full-fledged desire to do as much as possible to take care of God’s creation. When Marlisa is not developing her small, sustainable, urban garden, she is a nurse who works with low-income, first-time mothers for up to two years of their babies’ lives as they learn to be good mothers. MCCN welcomed her experience, insight, and energy.

Starla Byler ‘81 Fogleman, Belleville, Pa., has been approved by the board of trustees as the new superintendent of Belleville Mennonite School (BMS). She brings a wealth of experience in education and a strong background in working with students and their families. Starla began her career teaching high school English at BMS before being employed as the Title 1 reading specialist for the Mifflin County School District for 10 years. She has taught reading and first grade at Union Elementary school for the past six years and served as building leader for the past five. Having been a BMS student herself in the late 70’s, Starla is excited to return to her alma mater to help strengthen it’s tradition of excellence.

Phyllis Good ’82 Yoder, Bay Port, Mich., was honored as the state School Nurse of the Year by the Michigan Association of School Nurses Conference (MASN). She is a registered nurse with the Huron Intermediate School District. Each year MASN honors one school nurse who demonstrates excellence in school nursing practice and leadership in school health.

Alice Stubbs ‘83 Wisler, Durham, N.C., recently published a book on grieving and loss titled “Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache.” It is a tribute to her late four-year-old son Daniel and is filled with prayers, scripture, and thoughts on walking through life seasoned with sorrowful moments.

Karl Frey ‘86, Chevy Chase, Md., works for Save the Children, specializing in food security during emergencies. His duties include advising a program in northeastern Kenya that gives pastoralists hit hard by a drought in 2011 an immediate and future source of milk. It would seem that Karl’s life was preparing him for his current humanitarian position. He attributes growing up Mennonite on a 117-acre dairy farm in Lancaster, Pa., with his strong work ethic and states that it equipped him with the tools he would later need to help improve distribution processes and the quality of the milk in the Wajir district of Kenya.

Luke Miller ‘87, Plymouth, Minn., is design manager for Cargill, the largest privately held U.S. corporation specializing in agriculture, food, finance, and industry. He leads Cargill’s global process design in the Order-to-Cash space, specifically designing and implementing common processes across the company with particular regard to the customer. Four years ago, he joined Tartan, a project within Cargill with the goal of developing a common way of doing business across approximately 70 business units.

John Denlinger, MDiv ‘87, Lancaster, Pa., has taken a new position with Lancaster Mennonite School as advancement associate. He previously held the position of executive director at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Mt. Pleasant, Pa.

Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider ‘89, York, Pa., a farmer and poet, has published her debut volume of poetry titled The Song of the Toad and the Mockingbird with Skunk Holler Poetryworks. The work examines the act of noticing, whether of the changing season or the flash of color from a passing bird, the shape of an internal mood or the homeland of the self. Her poems are set in the realm of the natural world, in the heart and hopes of a mother, in the mysterious and mythic landscape of the growing and awakening soul.

Heidi King ‘89, Wakarusa, Ind., graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary on May 25 with a master of divinity degree. She will pursue administrative ministry.


Gary Chupp ‘92, Shipshewana, Ind., former head men’s basketball coach and assistant director of athletics at Goshen College, has been named the athletic director at Bethany Christian Schools (BCS) in Goshen, Ind. Being a 1987 BCS grad, himself, and having served in a number of church-related colleges over the years, Gary looks forward to his new role as administrative leader of the athletic program and has this to say about the new position: “I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to return to my alma mater in the role of athletic director. Transitioning from coaching to administration will be a challenge that I am looking forward to. I have very fond memories of my athletic experience at Bethany, playing for coaches who placed high expectations on athletes while caring about us as individuals. Working with an outstanding coaching staff, faculty, and administration, I hope to continue that culture of excellence surrounding the athletic department.”

Valerie Weaver-Zercher ‘94, Mechanicsburg, Pa., priovides a discourse on the allure of Amish romance novels in contemporary society in her book Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. She combines research and interviews with devoted readers, publishers, and authors to produce a lively and provocative examination of the Amish romance novel and discusses strategies that literary agents and booksellers use to drive the genre’s popularity. By asking questions about authenticity, cultural appropriation, and commodification, Valerie also considers Amish fiction’s effects on Amish and non-Amish audiences alike. At EMU’s 2013 Homecoming in October, Valerie will be the keynote speaker for the Language and Literature reception; she also will be selling autographed copies of her book.

Kevin Strite ‘95, Goshen, Ind., continues to be employed as a project manager, just at a different place of employment. He accepted a position at the University of Notre Dame in June of 2012. Previously he worked for Everence Financial.

David (Dave) Bechler ‘96, Harrisonburg, Va., athletic director and coach at Eastern Menonnite School (EMS), was selected as the Independent Athletic Director of the Year by the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. In his two page nomination letter, Paul Leaman ‘86, EMS head of school, had this to say: “Most impressive for me, however, is Mr. Bechler’s commitment to EMS programs, development of student leadership, energetic work ethic and his life example of continuous improvement… As a coach and AD he continually explores, analyzes and tries new strategies for improving player skill and team dynamics… he goes out of his way to build relationships within our community… [he] is an accomplished AD because of his tireless work ethic and ability to rally and empower others to help make a difference.”

Laura Brenneman ‘96, MA ‘00 (conflict transformation), Champaign, Ill., had, until recently, been associate professor of religion and director of peace and conflict studies at Bluffton University. She now is an academic and peace activist who teaches as an adjunct for both EMU and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, as well as the University of Illinois, including a program in a local men’s prison. In addition to teaching and writing, she volunteers with restorative justice programs in her community.

Dana Shively ‘97 and Ronald Horst, class of ‘98, Orrville, Ohio, have experienced a terrible loss: the death of their 11-year-old daughter, Marcia Lynea Horst, following a sudden illness. Marcia was a fifth grade student at Central Christian School in Kidron. With her parents, she attended Chestnut Ridge Mennonite Church in Orrville, where she was a member of the Junior Youth Group. She enjoyed soccer and softball, and loved animals. She also loved music, singing, and playing her viola and piano. Marcia is the granddaughter of Richard ‘70 and Laurel Horst ‘68 of Orrville, Ohio.

Rebecca Wentz ‘98 Smith, Palmyra, Va., was one of six teachers to be honored by Fluvanna County Public Schools as “Teachers of the Year.” She is the foreign language exploratory teacher at Fluvanna Middle School (FMS) and has 12 years experience under her belt. Frank Leech, FMS principal had this to say about Rebecca: “Ms. Smith is always willing to go the extra mile for each student. She is organized, creative, and upbeat.”

Christina (Tina) Hartman ‘99 Campbell, Lancaster, Pa., was appointed as Events Liaison at Lancaster Mennonite School. She handles events such as homecoming, the golf outing, the auction, and the phonathon.


Jessica Penner ‘01, Harrisonburg, Va., has published her first novel titled Shaken in the Water with Foxhead Books. The novel follows the life of a Mennonite woman that bears a birth mark known in Low German as Tieja Kjoaw, the Tiger’s Scar, a portent of greatness or tragedy. Jessica earned her MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2006 and has been published in Bellevue Literary Review, Center for Mennonite Writing, Rhubarb, and the anthology Tongue Screws and Testimonies. She won honorable mentions in fiction and nonfiction from Open City and Bellevue Literary Review and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Kurt Schenck ‘01, Lititz, Pa., partnered with Prudential HSG Realty to better assist businesses, investors, public entities and non-profit organizations in the acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate assets. Kurt’s mission is to deliver superior results for stakeholders by putting his client first, collaborating with peers and colleagues in the market, thinking innovatively but acting practically, and providing a rewarding work environment.

Carlissa Blosser ‘02, Harrisonburg, Va., was one of eight registered nurses at Rockingham Memorial Hospital to receive an Excellence in Nursing Practice award. Carlissa was honored with the Excellence in New Knowledge and Innovations award. To be nominated, a nurse must promote and advance the nursing profession; display a caring commitment to patients, families, and co-workers; and demonstrate leadership. The Excellence in Nursing Practice awards are given annually during National Nurses Week. Each recipient receives an engraved custom-designed plaque.

Donald (Don) Henry, MA ‘03 (business), West Augusta, Va., is the immediate past president of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), now serving on its executive board. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and established Valley Animal Hospital in Staunton, Va., in 1980, which in 2002 merged with Augusta Veterinary Hospital to form the Augusta/Valley Animal Hospital. Don has also served on the board of the Augusta SPCA, recently completed a six-year term on the VVMA board of directors, and is a past president of the Blue Ridge Veterinary Medical Association.

Seneviratne (Shyamika) Jayasundara-Smits, MA ‘04 (conflict transformation), Voorburg, the Netherlands, has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation titled “In Pursuit of Hegemony: Politics and State Building in Sri Lanka.”

Justin Boer ‘04, Lexington, Va., graduated from medical school at the Amsterdam Medisch Centrum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He graduated with cum laude honors and is now scheduled to take the second of the medical boards in July. Justin will be applying for the match program in the U.S. for a residency position as a pediatric specialist, hoping to begin in spring, 2014.

Larisa Ann Friesen ‘04 Hall, Washington, D.C., has moved from director of major gifts to chief advancement officer at Sojourners, a ministry of Christians and others in different faith traditions that seeks to explore the intersection of faith, politics, and culture.

Hadley Jenner ‘05, GC ‘97, Harrisonburg, Va., works part time as a perioperative nurse, caring for patients both before and after surgery. He also volunteers both at an individual and structural level for local agencies that provide shelter to homeless neighbors and coordinating organizations that connect the local faith community and advocacy for affordable housing.

Jason Garber ‘05, Philadelphia, Pa., is now software engineer and co-founder at PromptWorks, a software company that creates handcrafted web applications and online products for other businesses through experience, insight, and creativity.

Megan Scott, MA ‘05 (conflict transformation), Alexandria, Va., is a reentry advisor for Offender Aid and Restoration in Arlington, Va. She provides pre-release couseling and conflict resolution and anger management classes for individuals at local jails and the Coffeewood Correctional Facility. She hopes to begin reentry circles for families out of Coffeewood in 2013.

Caleb Yoder ‘06, Elkhart, Ind., graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary on May 25 with a master of divinity with a concentration in biblical studies. He will serve with Mennonite Mission Network in Ecuador in a theological education program and pastoral accompaniement in a small house church.

Leymah Gbowee, MA ‘07 (conflict transformation), was the keynote speaker for the 2013 Ware Lecture on Peacemaking on April 17, hosted by Elizabethtown College in Pa. She also spoke at Lancaster Mennonite High School to a packed auditorium. Liberian peace activist, trained social worker, and Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah is the Founder and President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, head of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative, and Cofounder and Executive Director of Women Peace Security Network Africa.

Elizabeth (Liza) Heavener ‘07, Washington, D.C., recently became senior political action specialist at the American Nurses Association.

Jean de Dieu Tshileu ‘07, Bakwa-Tshileu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, is pursuing plans and hopes to lift his home village in a war-torn part of the Congo from desperate poverty through education and sustainable agriculture. In the last few years, many residents of Woodstock, Vermont, have adopted Jean’s village as their own cause, contributing funds for livestock and schoolrooms, seeds and other agricultural aid, and soccer gear (balls, cleats, jerseys). Support has come from students at the Woodstock elementary and high schools, the Woodstock Rotary Club, and The Prince and Pauper Restaurant, hydrogeologist Ray Talkington (who went to Bakwa-Tshileu), and dozens of individual townspeople. In a Dec. 22, 2012, email to his supporters (including folks at Hyattsville Mennonite Church and Shalom Mennonite Fellowship), Jean wrote of improved English-language schooling, 30 acres newly cultivated, a new much-used soccer field, and of collective use of these newly acquired animals: 11 cows, 26 goats, 11 sheep and a few chickens. A pressing need was water, which currently is hauled by hands (usually those of girls) from a distance. Jean returns at least yearly to the USA to connect with his support groups, the main one being “Congo Village School Project.” For more information, email

Daniel (Dan) Seifert, MDiv ‘08, Harrisonburg, Va., is providing staff supervision and family engagement practices at Harrisonburg Rockingham Social Services. He has developed a reputation for working with challenging families and youth with trauma and has been identified with strengths in the area of grief counseling, integration of family systems theory, and peacemaking strategies.


Ben Roth Shank ‘10, Harrisonburg, Va., was named boy’s varsity soccer coach by Eastern Mennonite School (EMS), Harrisonburg, Va. He assumes the role left vacant after Coach Kendal Bauman, MA ‘11 (education), announced his retirement earlier this winter after leading the EMS Flames for 20 years. Ben brings almost two decades of experience to the role as he participated in school and club teams in his adolescence, played for the Royals all four collegiate years, assisted EMU Coach Roger Mast ‘85 with annual Kicks Soccer summer camps, and coached the EMS middle school soccer team in a 9-1 season last fall.

Pushpika (Pushpi) Weerakoon, MA ‘10 (conflict transformation), Colombo, Sri Lanka, received the prestigious Rotary International Avenues of Service Citation award from the Rotary Club of Colombo Mid Town. She is the coordinator of the National Reconciliation Secretariat at the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat.

Emily Miller ‘11, Harrisonburg, Va., was one of eight registered nurses at Rockingham Memorial Hospital to receive an Excellence in Nursing Practice award. Emily was honored as the Beginning Practitioner of the Year. To be nominated for an award, a nurse must promote and advance the nursing profession; display a caring commitment to patients, families, and co-workers; and demonstrate leadership. The Excellence in Nursing Practice awards are given annually during National Nurses Week and each recipient receives an engraved custom-designed plaque.

Boris Ozuna ‘11 and Rebeca Ozuna Barge ‘09, Washington, D.C., met in Bogota, Colombia, in 2003, while Rebeca was on a service trip to the country and Boris was studying at the Mennonite Seminary. After marrying in 2012, they settled in D.C., though they plan to live in Colombia in the future. Rebeca is the director of education at The Family Place, a non-profit community center that serves low-income families with young children. She oversees programs that include Adult ESL Education & Early Childhood programs for Latino families. She is also completing her MSW at Catholic University, obtaining a dual degree in clinical and social change. Boris is the program coordinator for the morning program at Thrive DC, a non-profit day-program for homeless men and women that serves hot meals twice a day and provides showers, laundry, and a variety of case management services. The program serves nearly 200 who come each morning. Boris and Rebeca are members of Hyattsville Mennonite Church.

Annette Pinnace ’11, Verona, Va., was one of eight registered nurses at Rockingham Memorial Hospital to receive an Excellence in Nursing Practice award. Annette was honored as the Preceptor of the Year. To be nominated for an award, a nurse must promote and advance the nursing profession; display a caring commitment to patients, families, and co-workers; and demonstrate leadership in the nursing profession. The Excellence in Nursing Practice awards are given annually during National Nurses Week. Each recipient receives a custom-designed, engraved plaque.

Maria Yoder ‘11, Harrisonburg, Va., a fifth grade teacher at Linville-Edom Elementary School, was one of 24 teachers to receive the Rockingham County Teacher of the Year award. Teachers from each school in the county are chosen by their peers. The Rockingham Educational Foundation honored the teachers at a reception on May 23 at James Madison University. Maria had this to say about the award: “It was a huge honor for me to receive it because I work with such quality and dedicated co-workers. I feel blessed to be in a wonderful school with a great principal.”


Jennifer Gutshall ‘03 to Alexander de Jesus Rodriguez Rodriguez, Nov. 23, 2012.

Jill Stoltzfus ‘03 to Thushan Hemachandra, July 21, 2012.

Rachel Schlegel ‘07 to Andrew McMaster, April 13, 2013.

Jacob Derstine ‘08 to Mandy Neumann, Aug. 4, 2012.

Aubrey Bauman ‘08 to Tyler Kreider, May 4, 2013.

Julie Denlinger ‘09 to Tyler Bushong, Sept. 8, 2012.

Nathaniel Hevener ‘09 to Kimberlee McPherson, June 15, 2013.

Amy Layman ‘10 to Kyle Ledyard, May 12, 2012.

Sarah Beck ‘11 to Justin Weirich, June 22, 2013.

Boris Ozuna Urueta ‘11 to Rebeca Barge ‘09, Sept. 15, 2012.

J. Matthew Dean ‘11 to Kelly Brewer ‘10, June 8, 2013.


Paul ‘97 and Elizabeth (Beth) Livengood, Keyser, W.Va., Colton Matthew, OCt. 3, 2012.

Marika Nolt ‘98 and Nathan Gillis, Colorado Springs, Colo., Juliana Avery, June 20, 2012.

Atieno Fisher, MA ‘99 (conflict transformation) and Shawn Bird, Washington, D.C., Silas Lochlan, Aug. 30, 2012.

Karla Stoltzfus ‘99 and Nathan Detweiler, Iowa City, Iowa, Isaiah Joseph Stoltzfus Detweiler, Feb. 25, 2013.

Benjamin ‘99 and Krista Lengacher, Charlotte, N.C., Cruz Rowan, Oct. 23, 2012.

Andrew ‘02 and Sara Peifer Nissley ‘01, Philadelphia, Pa., Wren Freeman, May 22, 2013.

Carl ‘00 and Kristin Yoder ‘01 Kauffman, Harrisonburg, Va., Martin Yoder, June 29, 2011.

Robert (Rob) ‘01 and Rebecca Good ‘01 Fennimore, Lancaster, Pa., Henry David, May 3, 2013.

LaVonne Wenger ‘01 and Benjamin Heatwole, Harrisonburg, Va., Adrielle May, April 22, 2013.

Wendell Shank ‘02 and Lisa Hawkins ‘04 Shank, Harrisonburg, Va., Titus Joseph Hawkins Shank, Jan. 26, 2013.

Amy, MA ‘02 (conflict transformation), and Bart Czajkowski, Culpepper, Va., Peter William, Mar. 25, 2013.

Matthew ‘02 and Jeannie Eshleman, Baltimore, Md., Asher David, Feb. 14, 2013.

Nathan (Nate) ‘02 and Kristen Savanick, Scottdale, Pa., Emily Camille, May 6, 2013.

Benjamin (Ben) ‘03 and Sarah Gehman ‘02 Bixler, Harrisonburg, Va., Juliet Irene, April 9, 2013.

Stacey Classen ‘03 and Nate Copenhaver, Stevens, Pa., adopted Jaiel Allen, Feb. 13, 2013.

Jeremiah ‘03 and Kristine Denlinger, Telford, Pa., Mila WIdders, Dec. 20, 2012.

Justin ‘04 and Kristin Mishler ‘05 Boer, Lexington, Va., Keegan Thijs Willem, May 22, 2013.

Laura Helmuth ‘04 and Asa Church, York, Pa., twins, Moses Phillip and Shadrach Thomas, Feb. 28, 2013.

Jessica Witmer, class of ‘04, and Nate Gundy, Orrville, Ohio, Caleb Roger, June 10, 2013.

Rebecca (Becci) Steury ‘05 and Matthew Anderson, Tampa, Fla., Patrick Matthew, Feb. 16, 2013.

Jill Leaman ‘05 and Nate Milton, Lancaster, Pa., Isaac Emmet, May 22, 2013.

Matthew (Matt) ‘08 and Debra (Debbie) Keiser ‘08 Swartley, Penn Laird, Va., Carter Joshua, Jan. 10, 2012.

Michael ‘09 and Rachel Clemmer ‘09 Charles, Lancaster, Pa., Caleb Elias, Feb. 26, 2013.

Theodore, MA ‘13 (conflict transformation) and Sharmilla Peiris Sitther, Takoma Park, Md., Santhosh Jeevan Peiris Sitther, April 10, 2013.


Harold William Wert, HS ‘43, Lititz, Pa., died April 4, 2013, at age 87. He was employed for many years as a milkman for the former Queen Dairy in Lancaster, Pa. before owning and operating a franchise of Archway Cookies. He later worked for Horst Group in construction until his retirement. Among his numerous hobbies were furniture building, automobile engine and body work, and hunting, fishing, and spending time at his family cabin in Galeton, Pa. Harold loved to sing. He was a member at Erisman Mennonite Church in Manheim, Pa., and participated as a song leader there and in other churches throughout his life.

George A Mark, HS ‘48, Goshen, Ind., died May 10, 2013, at age 82. George obtained a medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill., then served as medical director for Oaklawn Psychiatric Hospital and volunteered as the physician for missionaries under the Mennonite Board of Missions. Traveling was his favorite hobby. He and his wife, Arlene Miller, HS ‘48, attended over 20 Elderhostels and took many cruises, including river boat trips in Europe. He enjoyed classical music and yearly Shakespeare trips to Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

David C. Brunk ‘50, Sarasota, Fla., died May 7, 2013, at age 84. He began his adult life as a building contractor and later became a business owner of several laundromats. David was an active member of Bayshore Mennonite Church, where he was involved with music and served as deacon and elder.

Elton Moshier ‘52, New Holland, Pa., died March 27, 2013, at age 87. He taught economics and social studies at Lancaster Mennonite High School for 30 years before retiring in 1982. Among other passions, he sold New York maple syrup from his hometown in Lewis County, N.Y., at his stand in Central Market. He was a member of East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church and was involved in a variety of ministries within the Mennonite church throughout his life. Elton and his late wife, Rosa Yoder Moshier, class of ‘52, enjoyed nature and spent a number of years traveling and camping in their RV.

James Goering ‘59, Dayton, Va., died May 31, 2012, at age 79. He was ordained to the ministry in 1969, served as pastor in a number of congregations, and was a member of Peake Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Va. James taught at Mathias High School, Bridgewater College, Berea Christian School, and at various Bible schools. He additionally raised poultry on his farm in Dayton, Va.

Frank E. Nice ‘62, Harrisonburg, Va., died of Parkinson’s disease and Lewy Body Dementia on April 23, 2013, at age 80. He was a minister for over 50 years and supplemented his family income with his skills as a carpenter, draftsman, and wood worker. His ministry allowed him to serve in a variety of places along the east coast as pastor, bishop, and overseer for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Potomac District, and Ohio District of Virginia Mennonite Conference. Upon retirement, Frank served on the pastoral care team for two years at Lindale Mennonite Church, where he was a member, and on various other church-related committees, including the EMU board of trustees.

Harold C. Miller ‘70, Goshen, Ind., died June 3, 2013, at age 70. A self-employed carpenter, a pastor at Kingman Mennonite Church in Kingman, Kan., and an avid hunter and fisher, Harold was a man of many passions. He enjoyed being active in his church, spending time with his family, and studying the Bible, while encouraging others in their faith.

Robert T. Howell ‘70, Lynchburg, Va., died May 17, 2013, at age 66. After graduating from EMU, Robert taught in Iowa before settling in Lynchburg, Va. His career included retail sales and education. Working as a substitute teacher in the Lynchburg City Schools was one of his joys. He was dedicated to this work and continued even after becoming ill. He considered the teachers and administrators not only his colleagues, but his friends. He was a historian and avid researcher. He delighted in making history come alive for others. As such, he was part of several reenactments of both the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. A talented craftsman, Robert made period clothing and reproduction furniture and enjoyed metal crafting. He shared this talent with others by assisting them in gathering items needed to do reenacting.

Laurence (Larry) A. Martin, class of ‘73, Saint Jacobs, Ontario, Canada, died May 20, 2013, at age 63. Larry was general manager of The Stone Crock Inc. for 22 years. He then went on to found and serve as innkeeper at Best Western St. Jacobs Country Inn for 12 years. He lived vigorously, was involved in many community initiatives, and was actively involved in Elmira Mennonite Church. Larry had a passion for the environment, fundraising, golfing, and world travel.

Miguel Rivera-Wenger ‘76, Hinton, Va., died May 14, 2012, at age 73. A diligent worker, his careers included teaching Spanish at elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels; teaching and practicing nursing; and directing several nursing homes.

Beverly Sulc ‘84 Bourne, Johns Creek, Ga, died on March 21, 2013, at age 52 after fighting bile duct cancer for almost two years. After graduating with a degree in N\nursing, Beverly served at Emory University Midtown Hospital for 27 years, where her love for her Savior made her a beloved co-worker. Beverly enjoyed an active lifestyle, playing tennis for many years. She was an active member of Perimeter Church in the metro Atlanta area.

Degree Key

CLASS OF – attended as part of the class of a given graduation year.
HS – high school degree from era when high school and college were one
MA – master of arts
MDiv – master of divinity
SEM – attended the seminary

Mileposts is compiled by Braydon Hoover ’11, who may be reached at or at 540-432-4294. send news directly to braydon or to

Editorial Policy

Milepost entries regarding alumni employment, degrees obtained from other universities, marriages, 50-year and 60-year anniversaries, births, adoptions, and deaths are printed on the basis of submissions from alumni or on the basis of publicly available information. We do not do further research to verify the accuracy of the information that alumni provide us, nor do we make judgment calls on the information that they wish to be published, beyond editing for clarity, conciseness and consistency of style. The information provided to us does not necessarily reflect the official policies of EMU or of its parent church, Mennonite Church USA.

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