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Kathryn's Story

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Kathryn Ann Swartzendruber, 86, Elkhart, died peacefully on the morning of Jan. 1, 2018, at Sprenger Health Care in Mishawaka.
She was born Sept. 15, 1931, in Ashley, Michigan, to Ottis and Mayme (Conrad) Bontrager.
On Feb. 25, 1951, she married John D. Swartzendruber in Ashley, Michigan.
Survivors include her husband of 66 years; three daughters, Karen Braden and Shari Durkin, both of Elkhart, and Audrey (James) Almdale, Uniondale; a son, John B. (Barbara) Swartzendruber, Elkhart; her sister Mary Jennings, Idaho; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; stepmother, Anna Bontrager; infant brothers, Wallace and Dewayne; and a grandson, Ronald Braden.
Kathryn was in charge of Goshen College telephone switchboard for 12 years, retiring in 1990, where she befriended and mentored international students. She was a member of College Mennonite Church and volunteered in many capacities, including church positions (where she was one of the first female elders), WMSC national board, Mennonite Disaster Service, Gideon's International Auxiliary, Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County and Oaklawn Auxiliary.
Kathryn was a devoted homemaker with many hobbies and interests, including all types of gardening, cooking, quilting, travelling, hosting friends and family and Bible study. She enjoyed spending winters with her husband at Sunnybreeze Christian Fellowship in Arcadia, Florida. She was a lifelong lover of music, and passed that along to her children and grandchildren.
Friends may call Friday, Jan. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Koinonia Room at College Mennonite Church. A memorial service will take place on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 10:30 a.m. at College Mennonite Church. A private family burial at Frame Cemetery, Elkhart, will happen at a later date.
Memorials may be given to College Mennonite Church Jubilee Fund, Gideon's International or Elkhart County Habitat for Humanity.
Yoder-Culp Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Online condolences may be shared at www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.
Published on January 14, 2018
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