Harvella Bauman Stutzman, 91, died Jan. 11, 2024, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Born in Champa, Madhya Pradesh, India, on April 15, 1932, she was known for her positive energy that kept her at the heart of social events and hospitality.
The fourth of five children born to medical doctors Harvey and Ella (Garber) Bauman, she grew up on the grounds of the Champa Christian Hospital, where her parents worked under the Commission on Overseas Mission of the General Conference Mennonite Church.
From 6 years old, she studied at Woodstock International School in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India, in the Himalayan foothills. She thrived there with her siblings, Kenneth, Clara (Stauffer), Albert and Elizabeth (Shelly). Active in student government, Christian Endeavor, softball, choir and theater, she served as Class of ’49 secretary for the rest of her life, finding satisfaction in nurturing the bonds among her international classmates.
She graduated from Bluffton College in 1954. There she met Robert Stutzman of Carlock, Ill., and they married on Dec. 21, 1953.
They lived in Chicago and Peoria, Ill., and Anchorage, Alaska, where Bob completed his alternative to military service. Most of their years together were spent in Bloomington-Normal, Ill., where they raised six children. Harvella dedicated herself to the family, to worship and creative endeavors at the Mennonite Church of Normal and to volunteering at Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington. After earning a hairdressing license in the 1970s, she established a salon for hospital patients.
She and Bob enjoyed hosting and traveling. Friends remember her homemade Indian feasts and mugs of sweet chai. Introducing Bob to her Indian “homeland” was particularly meaningful.
In 1990, two years after Bob’s untimely death, Harvella relocated to Colorado Springs,
returning to a mountain landscape and living closer to her daughters. She served on the design team for the new Beth-El Mennonite Church building and was a key member of the Beth-El quilters group.
Harvella built a legacy of love for all children. Her 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren treasure her focused attention and playful humor. In her family of origin, her younger sister, Betty, survives.