Melvin Owen Swartzentruber

July 30, 1929 ‒ October 05, 2017

Mansfield, Ohio

FREDERICKTOWN: A family that works together, plays together, and prays together, is a family that will stay together. This life motto is evident in kind of life that Melvin lived.

Melvin Owen Swartzentruber went to be with his Savior Jesus Christ Thursday, October 5, 2017 from his home surrounded by his family. He was 88.

He was born July 30, 1929 in Holmes County to parents Mose & Katie (Miller) Swartzentruber.

While in Bible school a beautiful young lady named Wilma Swartz caught his eye and the pair dated for three years, exchanging letters all that time before marrying on September 20, 1950.

Melvin spent most of his life working as a dairy farmer. His family was even recognized as the “Dispatch Farm Family of Morrow County” in 1972. He was also the first in the state to get an automated milking parlor and later computerized feeding systems. He especially loved milking the cows, he milked his first cow when he was just seven years old! He could be heard whistling and singing while he was working.

Melvin was a charter member of the Johnsville Mennonite Church and could always be heard singing with the congregation. It was in Bible school that Melvin became involved in a male quartet and his love of singing only grew from then on. His tenor vocals will be truly missed by his church family.

He was a generous giver, always one to give to those around him that were in need, but he gave the most to his family always providing for them and being the father they needed. He will always be remembered for his story telling and how everyone would be in tears from the laughter that he would invoke.

He is survived by children: Nadene (Stephen) Eads of Richmond, VA; Tim (Rhoda) Swartzentruber of Fredericktown; wife of Cecil, Mary Jane Swartzentruber of Marysville, Wendell (Melody) Swartzentruber of Ashland; Rosetta (Lambert) Sommers of Nashville, TN; and Shannon (Keith) Scheffel of Rosedale; 25 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren (with one on the way!); siblings Alma Mullet, Katie Stauffer and Paul Swartzentruber.

In addition to his parents, Melvin was preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years Wilma Swartzentruber a son Cecil Swartzentruber and siblings Edna, Erma, Martha, Mary and Esther.

The Swartzentruber family will receive friends 1 to 3 and 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, October 9, 2017 in Johnsville Mennonite Church, 7387 County Road 242, Mt. Gilead, Ohio 43338. A funeral service celebrating his life will be held in North Woodbury Alliance Church, 6385 OH-314, Mt Gilead, Ohio 43338 beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, October 10.  Pastors Matt Roggio and Lambert Sommers will officiate. Burial will follow in Shauck Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Melvin’s memory to Rosedale Mennonite Missions and Midwives for Haiti may be made at the funeral.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Melvin’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at

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  • Much love and prayers go to you as a family during this time of grief! God will comfort you and take you through it – hang on to all the special memories with family being a high priority in your Dad (and your Mom’s) life! They will never be forgotten and are now both in the Presence of their Creator forever! That alone is a Comfort!
    We had many, many happy times together as two couples and two families – of course that friendship remained through the years even though we moved to FL. 40 years ago. We met up again when they bought a house here for the winter months! Again we connected!
    Our hearts are there in Ohio with you, knowing you will miss your Dad now….God be with you as you adjust to life (here on earth) without him! All of you were taught Godly values and you are all strong because of it – God will surely carry you through it all until He calls each of our names (one by one.)
    Love & Prayers from the Bob & Betty (Robert) Miller Families now in Sarasota, FL.

  • I have a lot of good memories of Melvin and Wilma from a long time ago when Cecil and Maryjane were dating. I’m going to miss Melvin.

  • My heart is with you. Mel was a wonderful uncle who made my visits to see family …so full of fun, laughter, and heart. The twinkle in his eye, always kept you wondering what you were missing. His devotion to family and his faith were so evident in how he lived.
    As you celebrate his life, hold tight to your memories. So thankful we have Christs assurance that we will be gathered again.

  • Dear Swartzentruber Family,

    We were neighbors with Melvin and Wilma for many years. As young children Denise, Debbie and I played in the barn with Rosetta and Shannon and also enjoyed swimming in the creek with them. The joke was the cows were wading in the water with us! You Swartzentrubers were like our second family as Denise, Debbie and I grew up. We loved watching the cows get milked and listening to Melvin laugh in the milk house. Wilma’s cooking was amazing and we enjoyed so many meals in your home. My prayers are with you all as you lament your loss of your Godly father. He was a pillar of faith and his walk with the Lord inspired us all.

    Love in our Christ Jesus,
    Lora Kauffman McMillan

  • We have very fond memories of Melvin 7 Wilma when we were together on a trip to Iseral It was truly a Blessed time . Blessings to you as a family
    Ivan & Emma Miller

  • Your dad was such a special man. We were blessed by your parents hospitality years ago and I remember him taking our kids out to fish at the pond. His cheerful disposition is something I will always remember. Our deepest condolences to all the family.

  • SO sorry to hear of your deep loss of Melvin, yet knowing the full life he lived serving our Savior must be a comfort. I have fond memories of the times our families shared back in my earlier days and I always remember how we were made to feel so very welcome to visit! May you rest of the comfort of our Savior knowing dad was greeted into heaven with “well done, faithful servant.” Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Blessings, Ray and Joyce Yoder

  • Rejoicing today with my friend Melvin of his entrance into Heaven, but sorrowing for the family still here. Sharing my love to all of you, especially to you, Tim and Rhoda (having been Rhoda’s school teacher and pastor in her youth). Remembering very joyful times spent with Melvin and Wilma in their home and Church as well as on numerous other occasions in meeting with them. They always brought Joy to Dema and I, with their love for each other, for the Lord, and others. God Bless!

  • Willard Mayer
    This past February I lived with Melvin in Sarasota, Fla. I told him I’ll be like Ruth relating to Naomi. Ruth 1:16 “Wherever you go I will go, and wherever you lodge I will lodge your people will be my people and your God is my God.” Since Melvin left us I will continue saying the same words. “Where you went I want to go.Where you are lodging I want to lodge Your people will be my people [all the saints in heaven] Your God is my God. . Precious memories!

  • Dear Rachel, I know you will miss your grandfather. We enjoyed meeting him when you and Daniel got married. I was thinking of the phrase, ” put down deep roots because it is the only way the branches can reach out so far”. Your grandfather put down deep roots in his life and his faith, it is why so many of you are stretching out to make a difference for Christ. He and his deep faith will live on through all of you. Much love, Happy

  • Always fun to play with! Mel always had a positive attitude, ready to laugh at anything (even himself) and never had any fear throwing a bocce ball even when it might score for the other team. We’re going to miss him a lot! Rest in peace.
    {We posted a picture on the legacy,com site)

  • I am so sorry to hear of your loss. But I rejoice in his glorious homecoming. And in the hope we have that you will be with him again. What an amazing legacy he has left behind. Thoughts snd prayers for you all at this time.

  • I am so sorry to hear of your loss. But I rejoice in his glorious homecoming. And in the hope we have that you will be with him again. What an amazing legacy he has left behind. Thoughts and prayers for you all at this time.

  • The world has lost a wonerful man.
    We also rember Mel’s joking attitude. He always had a smile.
    I went to school with some of the Swartzentruber “kids” at Johnsville. And some of our kids wnt to school with eir kids. We remember the fun times too.
    Wonderful family, wonderful friends. God Bless you, one and all
    We will miss him, but will have wonderful memories.

  • Nadene, This brings my sincere sympathy and love! I know what it’s like to lose your Father. It is a supreme comfort to know they are with Jesus; however, it still leaves an empty spot in one’s earthly life.

  • Prayers and condolences to the Roggio and Somers Families. You will be in my thoughts and prayers and may God grant you pockets of peace in this stressful time. Love and hugs especially to Lydia.

  • Rosetta and family,
    We are so sorry for your loss, yet thankful that you father is with the Lord. What a blessing it is to have a father who loves the Lord and his family. We are praying for you all that the Lord will comfort you as you miss him until being together again in heaven.
    Lonnie and Linda McMillan