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The Hesston Record
345 Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831


April 19, 2018 The Hesston RecordApril 19, 2018 The Hesston Record

Joseph ‘Joe’ Dale Swartzendruber, 95

Posted 4/19/2018

Joseph (Joe) Dale Swartzendruber of Glendale, Arizona, went to his eternal home with Jesus on Friday, April 6, 2018.

He was born on Dec. 22, 1922, in Wellman, Iowa, and married Luetta (Johnston) on Nov. 25, 1955. Luetta preceded him in death on Nov. 5, 2012. 

He is survived by his three children who loved and adored him: son Tim (Susan) of Hesston; daughter Jenni (Jeff) Shera and son Marty (Sheri), both of Glendale, Arizona.  His four grandchildren, with whom he loved to play games and tell jokes, also survive: Tyler (Elizabeth) of Yuma, Arizona; Joseph of McPherson, Taylor of Baldwin City, and Riley of Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was delighted to meet his only great-grandaughter, Mila of Yuma, Arizona, at his 95th birthday party. He has one surviving sister, Wilma Thayer of Minnesota and was preceded in death by his other siblings, Ellen, Owen, Mary Lois and William.

Joe was committed to Christ at an early age and was baptized into the Mennonite Church where he was a life-long member. He served in various capacities and enjoyed sharing his gifts of carpentry and construction to complete many projects at the Trinity Mennonite Church campus. In his younger years, he worked with Mennonite Disaster Service with disaster clean up and built many churches throughout the United States. 

As a young man, he volunteered as a “Seagoing Cowboy” to tend to horses that were being shipped from the United States to Poland by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and could tell great stories of his adventures on the sea. 

He later owned a small grocery store in Joetown, Iowa, and after meeting and marrying Luetta, moved to Hesston, where he worked for many years as a Masonry Contractor. 

During their time in Hesston, he served on the City Council for eight years (1973-81) and as Mayor from 1981-1985. 

Joe and Luetta retired in Arizona. 

He is remembered by his children and grandchildren as a loving and generous father and grandfather and for his wry sense of humor. In his retirement, he crafted many pieces of furniture and art which he shared with his family, friends and the church. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Mennonite Disaster Service, 583 Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543.