Melvin Roy Voran

Melvin Voran, 92, of Goshen, Ind., died July 27, 2021. He was born Dec. 25, 1928, to David and Mary (Billau) Voran in Hesston, Kan.


After graduating high school from Hesston Academy, he spent several years working on the Kansas family farm. In order to fulfill his Selective Service draft requirement, he served with Mennonite Central Committee in Gulfport, Miss., where he worked for two years in community outreach projects.

On Aug. 19, 1956, he married Marilyn Helmuth of Aurora, Ohio.

They settled in Goshen, where he graduated from Goshen College and also earned a master’s degree in education from Western Michigan University. After his retirement from teaching in Elkhart Community Schools, he enjoyed part-time work as a groundskeeper at Greencroft Goshen Retirement Center. As a member of the Goshen Woodworkers Guild he pursued his interest in woodworking and made numerous pieces of fine furniture. He enjoyed travel, taking his family to national parks and other scenic areas of the U.S., as well as joining tour groups exploring Europe and the British Isles.

He was a member of College Mennonite Church. He is remembered as a loving, devoted and creative husband and father. Consistently kind, thoughtful and reliable, he was well-known for his prolific gardens in Goshen’s Racemere neighborhood. The gardens fed his family, produced surplus vegetables, which he donated, and beautified the neighborhood. He modeled a love for both work and play, a sense of humor, the importance of faith, hope and love and acceptance of ourselves just as we are.

Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; three children, Miriam (Andrew Faunce) Voran of West Lebanon, N.H., Stephen (Gwen Grasse) Voran of Boulder, Colo., and Laurel (David Diller) Voran of Empire, Mich.; and one granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Wileta and Walter Tieszen of Wichita, Kan.

Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church in Goshen. Memorials may be given to Mennonite Central Committee and College Mennonite Church.

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