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John Buckwalter

Family member of early residents and former Director of Development at Landis Homes

John Buckwalter

When Landis Homes was founded it operated with wells and an on-site sewer system.  A pond for fire protection was developed just east of the campus at the site of several springs which are still active as part of the wetland project. When the development west of Landis Homes took place, a public water line was installed bringing public water east through the Stahl farm to the west cottages in 1993.  It was distributed to the entire campus in 1994.  Public Sewer also became available with the trunk line running south through the Oregon Dairy Farm.

From 1961 to 1981 my father, Ira Buckwalter, served as Executive Secretary of the Landis Homes Advisory Committee under the Eastern Mennonite Mission Board. When the organizational structure changed and the Landis Homes Board was formed in 1982, he served as secretary of the board until 1992.  During these years he also oversaw the finance department. My parents became residents in 1986.

During the early years referred to above my family and I lived in New York City. We made occasional visits to our families in Lancaster County and I always enjoyed hearing my father’s stories about the development progress of Landis Homes.  He was always concerned for the welfare of the residents and I especially remember how relieved he was when the public water and public sanitary hook-ups became a reality. Now the growth of Landis Homes in the present and for future generations would be more viable.

1980 Photo — John Buckwalter (center) with father Ira Buckwalter(right) and son.

My father was 78 when he and mother moved here, and I was 73 when Mim and I became residents.  Our three sons and their wives seem to enjoy their visits to our campus and we think we detect a slight hint of a future interest.

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