Maurice E. Hertzler

Maurice Edward Hertzler, 87, died Nov. 30, 2020, at his home in Northumberland County, Pa. He was born May 25, 1933, to Alta (Burkhart) and Owen Hertzler in Mechanicsburg.

He grew up on his parents’ dairy farm and attended Slate Hill Mennonite Church. He graduated from Messiah Academy. In 1957 he volunteered to go overseas for alternative service as a conscientious objector. Mennonite Central Committee asked him to go to Indonesia, where he worked for three and a half years with an agricultural cooperative and alongside a team of health-care workers.

He returned to Mechanicsburg and joined his brother Jason in setting up a dairy farm in Montour County. There he attended Beaver Run Mennonite Church and met Rhoda Zeager. They were married in 1965.

After Pennsylvania Power and Light chose the farm site for a power plant, the brothers bought Buttonwood Spring Farm in Limestone Township in 1968, where they milked cows. In 1976, he and Rhoda bought farmland and a house across the county line, where they raised corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, green beans and peas. In 2010, they built their retirement home on the other side of the farm and attended Community Mennonite Fellowship in Milton.

He was a man of faith who appreciated soil and liked to plant trees. He knew how to keep old machinery going for decades. He heeded the call of the prophet Micah to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. He believed in loving his neighbors, which he understood as extending to the whole world. He led hymns in church and sang in quartets or solo. 

Survivors include his wife, Rhoda; three children, Douglas (Jodi-beth McCain) of Mount Rainier, Md., Michael (Deborah Steinberg) of Port Matilda, and Karen (Brady Crist) of Lewis Township; a sister, Janet Pobst of Atascadero, Calif.; and three grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his other siblings, Elma Ebersole, Jason, Norman, Iva Mae, Esther Longenecker, Melvin, Emma Jean Zimmerman and Verna Vann.

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