Goshen News, Goshen, IN


February 12, 2014

Harold L. Swartzendruber

Harold L.


Jan. 1, 1924-Feb. 11, 2014

GOSHEN — Harold L. Swartzendruber, 90, died Tuesday afternoon at IU Health Goshen Hospital after suffering a stroke on Monday.

He was born Jan. 1, 1924 in Manson, Iowa, to Edwin E. and Rose Ella (Driver) Swartzendruber.

On May 3, 1947, he married Lucille Mae Graber at Goshen College.

She survives along with three children, Janet Reid, Charlottesville, Va., Jim (Tina) Swartzendruber, Goshen and Steve Swartzendruber, Auburn; two grandchildren, Breanne (Shawn) Buterbaugh and Michael (Nicole) Swartzendruber; four stepgrandchildren, Eric (Serena), Nick (Kiesha), Ryan (Alisha) and Victoria Easley; five great-grandchildren; and six step great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, David, who died in 2008; a brother, Glenn; and two infant brothers, Warren and Norman.

Following his 1941 graduation from Manson High School, Harold worked at his father’s grain elevators.

In 1943 he was inducted into Civilian Public Service and worked at the State Hospital, Ypsilanti, Mich. In 1945, he was transferred to Mennonite Central Committee, Akron, Pa., where he was their first shipping agent for relief supplies worldwide for 2½ years. During that time he established Menno Travel Service.

He graduated from Goshen College in 1950 and began working at Mennonite Mutual Aid, Goshen, soon becoming the chief executive officer, a position he held for 27 years. During his tenure, the Mennonite Foundation, Mennonite Mutual Aid Association, Mennonite Retirement Trust and Mennonite Insurance Service were among the entities established. These laid the groundwork for the present day Mennonite Financial Services, headquartered in Goshen. An extension of Menno Travel Service was also established in Goshen.

Harold was very much involved in the property-aid movement. He was a key person in bringing together directors of the more than 20 Mennonite Aid Property or Aid Societies located in the United States and Canada, which formed the Association of Mennonite Aid Societies. He served as chairman of their annual conventions for several years. Out of these meetings, Mennonite Indemnity Inc. was formed as a reinsurance company to serve the societies. He served on the board of directors of MII for 41 years, the last nine years as chairman of the board. During the last years, the process of reorganization of the Societies services began, resulting in the current MAXX services.

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