John Swartzendruber, 83 of Wayland, died Saturday, September 14, 2013 at his home in Wayland.
Funeral Services have been set for 10:30 AM Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at the Sugar Creek Mennonite Church. Burial will follow at the Sugar Creek Cemetery. Family visitation will be from 4-8:00 PM Monday at the Church. A memorial fund has been established for Parkview Home and Mennonite Central Committee (Mennonite Missions). Beatty Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
He is survived by his wife Anita of Wayland, son Jeff and daughter-in-law Pat of Waterloo, Iowa, granddaughter Bethany and husband Josh Ruyle of Alexandria, Virginia, great grandchild Husdon Taylor, and daughter Amy and son-in-law Jim Wolter of Nashville, Tennessee, and one sister Faith Carpenter and husband Jim of Michigan. John now joins his grandson John Richard Swartzendruber in their eternal home in heaven.
John grew up in Wellman, Iowa, the son of Peter and Lydia (Swartzendruber) Swartzendruber, moved to Wayland in 1951 and worked first as a farmer, then as a trucker and feed salesman. He began auctioneering in 1952. On February 21, 1954 he was united in marriage to Anita Eichelberger at the Sugar Creek Mennonite Church in Wayland. In 1971 he was hired as manager of Wayland Sale Company, leasing it in 1973, purchasing it in 1983. John was twice named Iowa State Champion Auctioneer, and named Man of the Year by the Iowa Auctioneers Association in 1988.
John has always been involved in his community. He has been a member of Sugar Creek Mennonite Church where he served on the extension committee and other offices. He served on the Wayland Economic Development Corporation, the Wayland Lions Club, Wayland Centennial Committee and the Parkview Home Board for nine years – six as president. He was a volunteer auctioneer for the annual Parkveiw Home Benefit, and gave 32 years of service to the annual MCC sale. John also served on the Wayland 4th of July Committee and on the Henry County Conservation Board.
He has said of his life that he's had “so many good experiences and would do it all over again.” In celebrating 60 years of auctioneering this year, he shared that he will be forever grateful to his friends, business associates and family, and last but not least “thanks to the good Lord, and I give Him all the credit for the strength and health to do this.”
God spared John's life through three major heart attacks and a recent surgery. “Through those days” John says, “I never had a fear of dying. I felt God's presence by my side at all times. The experience strengthened my faith.” His outlook – in recent words to his doctor – was “I'm in a win – win situation...I win if I'm healed and I win if I go to heaven.”
Preceding John in death were his parents, two brothers; Wilbur and Mark Swartzendruber and a grandson: John Richard Swartzendruber.