by Brianna Webster
Reprinted with permission from Lancaster County Magazine, September 2015
Richard Weaver is originally from New Holland and met his wife Ruth, who hails from Ohio, while attending Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. They are the parents of three children. This former surgeon – and retired minister – has traveled the world, but he returned to the only place he knows as home: Lancaster.
Born two days before Christmas in 1937, Richard was raised in an old-Victorian house with dual living spaces: His grandparents and an aunt lived on one side of the house while Richard, his six siblings, and his parents lived on the other side.
In addition to the house, Weaver Bookstore, which was established by Richard’s grand-father, was located on the property. He recalls reading a series of jungle doctor books, which he says might have piqued his interest in becoming a doctor, but it was his neighboring aunt who helped to curve his interest a little more. “My aunt saw that I took an interest in my grand-parents when the family doctor came to treat them at home, and she actually made me a doctor’s bag with little bottles of sugar tablets in them.”
After living in West Virginia for three years and East Africa for seven years (where two of his children were born), Richard returned to Ephrata, where he started his own medical practice, Heritage Surgical Associates. Richard retired in 1997, but he continues to serve wherever and whenever he is needed in other aspects, such as preaching, watching the grandchildren and volunteering through his church and the Landis Homes community.
In addition to gardening, Richard enjoys bird watching, swimming and spending time with his family. He also spends a day for personal contemplation each month at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville. Photo Credit: Nick Gould.
The best advice he offers to future generations is “pay attention to your own desires and need for God in your life.”