GOSHEN — Miriam Swartley, 97, died peacefully Wednesday morning surrounded by many of her family.
She was born in Mainland, Pa., Dec. 5, 1915, to Allen M. and Mattie Kulp Landis.
On Oct. 23, 1943, she married G. Merrill Swartley at the home of her parents with her brother, Abram Landis officiating. After marriage she joined Merrill who was serving in a CPS unit hospital in Rhode Island. Later they lived in Souderton, Pa., where their three children were born.
They moved to Goshen in 1953. Merrill died in January 2003.
Miriam attended Souderton High School, Eastern Mennonite College, Harrisonburg, Va., and Hesston College, Hesston, Kan. She was a pioneer in the Franconia Mennonite Conference Rural Area Mission, teaching and working with children and families. While Miriam was a homemaker whose primary work was the care of her family and friends, she also took various jobs when her children were in high school and older to help Merrill attain his undergraduate and graduate degrees in music and education.
She enjoyed listening to classical music, writing and reading. She was a hospitable and loving person who cared deeply for her family and friends and had empathy for people she encountered every day of her life.
She was a member of College Mennonite Church.
Miriam is survived by her children, Alan (Bonnie) Swartley, Barbara Swartley (Wilma Harder) and David Swartley; and daughter-in-law, Jane Luke; eight grandchildren, Laura Swartley (Darryn Lavery), Theresa (Michael) Coppa, Shelly (Steve) Fidler, Christina (Matt) Clauss, Kevin Stark, Scott (Amy) Stark, Christopher Swartley (Chelsea Hartwick) and Anne Swartley; 10 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; three sisters-in-law; and many loving nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Verna K. McDonald; five brothers, Marvin K., Abram K., Allen K., Ernest K. and infant, Henry K. Landis; two nephews; and a niece.
Friends may call 2 to 5 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in the Koinonia Room at College Mennonite Church, Goshen.
There will be a prayer service at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Koinonia Room of the church prior to burial at Violett Cemetery, Goshen.
A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday at College Mennonite Church. The Revs. Margaret Sawatsky and Pamela Yoder will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Choral Music Department at Goshen High School.
Online condolences may be shared at www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.