David L. Sauder

David Sauder, 80, died Jan. 20, 2022, at Lancaster General Hospital-Penn Medicine, from complications of COVID-19. He was born Dec. 21, 1941, to Amos and Barbara Sauder.


As the son of a minister, his devotion to the church and its work began at a young age, eventually transforming into a call to serve the broader community by becoming a teacher and principal at Ephrata Mennonite School for 41 years. While both church and school offered him the opportunity to exercise his gifts in teaching, they also afforded countless ways for him to share his love for music. He sang in more choirs than most people realize exist, most recently the Heritage Chorale of Lancaster. He conducted the Ephrata Area Mennonite Chorus for 20 years, introduced hundreds of students to a strong choral tradition, and trained many churches and individuals to become proficient in congregational hymn singing. Music was the medium through which he united people from all walks of life, giving glory to God for music’s ability to transcend difficult or mundane circumstances. In retirement, he was able to more fully indulge his love of history and genealogy, working for nine years at Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, organizing the annual Bookworm Frolic and other rare-book auctions.
While studying at Millersville State College, he met his life partner, Joanne Marie Longenecker. They supported and encouraged each other through everything on their path.

As a father and grandfather, he spent hours reading stacks of books, encouraging musical pursuits and, perhaps most important, valuing each child’s unique gifts, interests and personality.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Joanne; three children, Christopher, Sharon (John Muhlfeld) and Matthew (Jennifer Bowman Sauder); five siblings, Daniel (Lois) Sauder, Marvin (Betty) Sauder, Marian Sauder Egli, Anna Mary Sauder and Evelyn Sauder; and five grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Grace Sauder Good; and a brother-in-law, Orville Egli.
Memorial services were held at Metzler Mennonite Church, Ephrata, Pa. Burial was in the Metzler Church Cemetery.

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