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Richard Buckwalter

Richard B. Buckwalter

Sunday, February 22nd, 1925 - Sunday, March 10th, 2019
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Obituary

Richard Benjamin Buckwalter, New Holland, PA, passed away in the company of his family during the early morning hours of March 10 at Garden Spot Village. Richard was born on February 22, 1925 in Lancaster, PA, the third of six children born in the midst of the Great Depression, all raised by his mother Martha Denlinger Buckwalter (1897 - 1987) after the unfortunate passing of his father, John Buckwalter (1896 - 1935). His sister, Rhoda Salim, survives while Robert, Dorothy Thomas, Ruth Stauffer, and John preceded him in death.

Richard married Sara Rebecca Hostetter (1925 - ) on Jan 6, 1945. They worked as partners to raise a family and develop a family farm, purchasing their own farm in Cochranville, PA, in 1959 where they cultivated 140 acres and tended a herd of approximately 50 Holsteins. When his eldest son, Richard L. Buckwalter, took over responsibility for the farm, Richard’s unflagging work ethic led him to a career path more typical of today’s gig economy than that of the single company commitments associated with his Great Generation. He worked in landscaping, gardening supplies, auto parts delivery and back to landscaping making fast friends wherever he worked. When he finally retired from employment, he taught himself how to cross-stitch and made well over 100 quilts and wall-hangings that will grace his family and friend’s homes for generations to come.

Richard was a lifelong member of the Mennonite Church. As was the Church’s tradition he was ordained from its membership into a role as a leader, first as a Deacon at Old Road Mennonite in Gap, PA in 1959 and then as Pastor at Old Road in 1963. in addition to his pastoral duties at Old Road, he was a frequent evangelist and Adult Bible School teacher throughout the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. Despite a lack of formal education, he was widely respected for his well-reasoned and heartfelt presentations of Christian Anabaptist theology and lifestyle. After retiring from Old Road, he served as interim pastor at Andrew’s Bridge Mennonite, Christiana, PA, and the Welsh Mountain Mennonite Church, New Holland, PA. He was also gifted with a fine tenor voice.

Richard was the father of four children, Eloise Glick (1946 - ), Lititz, PA, wife of Jesse Glick (1942 – 2018), Richard L. Buckwalter (1948 - ), New Holland, PA, husband of Deborah Shank Buckwalter (1949 - ), Victor L. Buckwalter (1952 - ), Keezletown, VA, husband of Christina Yoder Buckwalter (1951 - ), and J. Galen Buckwalter (1956 - ), Sierra Madre, CA, husband of Deborah Fremouw Buckwalter (1952 - ). He has 9 grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and a grand total of 29 great grandchildren. They will live with memories of his meal-time prayers, a level of gusto independent of skill level evident on any sports field, occasional belly laughs and unwavering acceptance and constant emotional availability.

The family would like to thank the staff at Winter Garden at Garden Spot Village for their outstanding care and compassion during Richard’s final days.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 17 at 2 pm at Garden Spot Village Chapel, 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland. The family will receive friends following the service at a reception at Garden Spot Village. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family at Old Road Mennonite Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, donate.mcc.org. To send the family online condolences visit us at www.groffeckenroth.com. Arrangements by Groff-High Funeral Home, New Holland.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Sunday, March 17th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    When
    Sunday, March 17th, 2019 2:00pm
    Location
    Garden Spot Village
    Address
    433 S. Kinzer Ave.
    NEW HOLLAND, PA 17557
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Chester Yoder
  • Interment

    Location
    Old Road Mennonite Church
    Address
    5795 Old Philadelphia Pike
    GAP, PA 17527
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Interment will be at the convenience of the family.
  • Reception

    Location
    Garden Spot Village
    Address
    433 S. Kinzer Ave.
    NEW HOLLAND, PA 17557
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Reception will follow the memorial service.

Donations

Donations are being accepted for: Mennonite Central Committee.

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Allen Dise

Posted at 08:47am
I have many fond memories of Richard when he was interim pastor at Andrews Bridge Mennonite Fellowship 1988-1990. I was a young leader in the church and Richard took an active interest in me. He became my spiritual mentor and spiritual father. I met with him numerous times at his house to process next steps forward in leadership. I likely would not have taken the next step forward to become a pastor if it were not for Richard's kind and gentle encouragement. I will never forget when he told me: "I see you are developing a pastor's heart." My 21+ years of ministry are a direct result of Richard's belief in me even when I was not sure I believed in myself. I thank God for Richard and for the way his Godly legacy lives on in others. - Allen Dise
AD

Allen Dise

Posted at 08:47am
I have many fond memories of Richard when he was interim pastor at Andrews Bridge Mennonite Fellowship 1988-1990. I was a young leader in the church and Richard took an active interest in me. He became my spiritual mentor and spiritual father. I met with him numerous times at his house to process next steps forward in leadership. I likely would not have taken the next step forward to become a pastor if it were not for Richard's kind and gentle encouragement. I will never forget when he told me: "I see you are developing a pastor's heart." My 21+ years of ministry are a direct result of Richard's belief in me even when I was not sure I believed in myself. I thank God for Richard and for the way his Godly legacy lives on in others. - Allen Dise
DW

Deborah Buckwalter (Galen's wife)

Posted at 01:37am
It is so very sad to say good bye to this man of character and deep love for his family and others. May his wife Sara, and his children Eloise, Richard & Deborah, Victor & Christina, and Galen, and all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren feel wrapped in the love and care this family shares. Richard was a loving and caring father-in-law who accepted and appreciated me as his son's wife and warmly welcomed me into his family. While Richard expressed many times he was ready to rest in peace, our world will just not be the same without him in it.
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