GOSHEN — Willard Myers Swartley, 83, of Goshen, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, from natural causes.
He was born Aug. 6, 1936, to William Henry Swartley and Ida Myers Swartley, in Gardenville, Pennsylvania.
On Aug. 16, 1958, Willard married Mary Lapp in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, who survives.
He is also survived by a daughter, Louisa Renee Swartley Oyer (Gary Oyer), of Hesston, Kansas, and a son, Kenton Eugene Swartley (Emily Hertzler Swartley) of Cedar Falls, Iowa; six grandchildren, Kristen Swartley of Elkhart, Jeremy Swartley of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jamie Swartley of Decorah, Iowa, Michelle Swartley of Bluffton, Ohio, John Oyer (Saralyn Murray Oyer) of Hesston, Kansas and Michael Oyer of Anchorage, Alaska; and a sister, Dorothy Swartley Martens of Chester, Vermont.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a granddaughter, Jessica Lynn Swartley and six siblings, Marian Swartley Myers, Emerson, Henry Jr., John, Clifford and Kenneth.
Willard graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School in 1954 and from Eastern Mennonite University in 1959, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
He continued his education at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart; Garrett Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois; and Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, where he earned a Ph. D. in New Testament Studies, in 1973.
Willard touched many lives through his pastoring and teaching career.
After he pastored for five years at the former Locust Grove Mennonite Church, Elkhart. He taught at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Conrad Grebel College, Kitchener, Ontario, and AMBS, Elkhart. In addition to teaching Willard wrote many books and articles, and was frequently invited to speak at conventions, conferences, and churches.
Willard and his wife Mary were longtime members at Belmont Mennonite Church, Elkhart, where visitation will be from 3 to 5 and 6 to 8 pm. Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.
Burial will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, Nov. 9, in the Prairie Street Cemetery, Elkhart, followed by visitation at Belmont and a memorial service at 11 a.m., also at Belmont Mennonite Church, 925 Oxford St., Elkhart.
Memorial contributions may be made to AMBS, Elkhart, or a charity of one’s choice.
Yoder-Culp Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Online condolences may be shared at www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.