Born in Sugarcreek, Ohio on February 15, 1924, Les was a missionary and a pastor, but most of all he was a devoted husband to Madeline, deeply loved father, grandfather, brother and friend. He treasured his Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, telling stories, writing poetry and short stories, watching steam engine trains, playing bluegrass music and laughing at a well-told joke. Most of all, he was a follower of Jesus and a man of prayer.
With only an eighth-grade education, Les attended Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada and the University of Kansas. He married Madeline (Heitzman) on September 23, 1955, and together they served with Wycliffe Bible Translators for 25 years in the Philippines; Kathmandu, Nepal; and in Washington, D.C. Les served as the pastor of Countryside Chapel in Baltic, Ohio (1980-82) and as the founding pastor of Valley View Community Church in Sugarcreek (1983-89).
In 1989 he moved to North Carolina to work for Samaritan’s Purse and World Medical Mission (Boone, NC), from which he retired in 1993, and later returned to Sugarcreek. Les was a member of the Dover Alliance Church (Dover, Ohio). For over 50 years he wrote a column for Sugarcreek’s weekly newspaper, The Budget, and also authored several booklets of Sugarcreek and Amish lore.
In addition to his wife of nearly 57 years, Madeline, Les is survived by his five children: Paul (Traci Rohr) Troyer of Bradenton, FL; Tim (Christina Yoder) Troyer of Sugarcreek; Marilyn Troyer of Columbus, OH; Kimberly (Tim) Mitchell currently of Sugarcreek; and Kristina (Mike) Warkall of Sugarcreek. He is the beloved grandfather of Brandon Troyer, Sgt. Matthew Troyer (USMC), Micah Troyer, Raeannon Troyer, Sam Troyer, Andrew Mitchell, Abigail Mitchell, Peter Mitchell, Joe Warkall, Luke Warkall, Emma Warkall and the great-grandfather of Skylar Troyer. He is also survived by his sisters, Lydia Yoder of Plain City, Ina Yoder of Delaware, OH, and Miriam Lightell of Canton, sister-in-law Marijane Troyer of Sugarcreek, brother-in-law Paul (Marilyn) Heitzman of Eudora, Kansas and sister-in-law Allene Heitzman of Dallas, Texas and Sugarcreek, as well as a large number of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Melvin and Saloma (Schlabach) Troyer and siblings Mary (Mose A.) Troyer, Alta (Noah) Miller, Mabel (Mose) Troyer and Monroe (“Monk”) Troyer.
Services will be held on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM at Valley View Community Church with Rev. Richard Rose officiating. Burial will follow in Union Hill Cemetery at Sugarcreek. Friends may call on Sunday 2-5 PM at Valley View Community Church and Monday 10-11 AM prior to services at the church. Arrangements are being handled by Smith-Varns Funeral Home at Sugarcreek. Memorial gifts may be made to Community Hospice of Tuscarawas County in honor of their loving care for Les, or to the General Missions Fund of the Dover Alliance Church. For those unable to attend please visit the funeral home’s website to share a memory and sign the guest register.
Smith-Varns Funeral Home