Rhoda and me on a date in Virginia

On the evening of November 7, 1926, D. Stoner Krady, Pastor of the E Vine Street Mennonite Mission in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, opened the Sunday evening Bible story time for the children. Then he excused himself to go to the family’s home quarters attached to the church building. At the end of the service he returned to the church meeting to announce that he was the the Papa of a fourth daughter named Rhoda.

In that same building Rhoda was baptized, married to me, and commissioned with me to go to Tampa, Florida as a pastor couple under the sponsorship of the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and the Lancaster Conference. She was to me a beautiful rose named Rhoda.  The pictures in this blog highlight the more carefree moments of her life.

Rhoda always enjoyed swinging and took every opportunity to do it.  Here she swings on the swings donated by Sharon School to Lakewood Retreat.  I wonder if they are still there.  I doubt it.  Rhoda and I enjoyed camping.  Here is a photo which shows her reading seated by a camp fire.  We camped in the Smoky Mountains and on a care free tour to the New England States.


Rhoda also enjoyed water.  Our summer camps always had a lake and that is when she enjoyed swimming. splashing and  floating.  When we went fishing on the Gulf of Mexico she baited her own hooks and often caught the biggest fish.  She also loved Texas and our family while they were there.

Rachel and Conrad

When Conrad and his family moved to Texas we enjoyed going there and fitting into their lifestyle in that large state.  Conrad took his children with me to fish on the gulf. They caught their first fish on that trip.

Rhoda loved her children, and they loved each other.

One blog cannot tell it all.  Not mentioned are Rachel’s children and their children, and they were important in Rhoda’s life.

On what would have been Rhoda’s 91st birthday, her daughter, her husband and I will eat lunch together.  Then Rachel and I will attend events in the Sauder Music Center of Goshen College.  And always we will be remembering the one who began life on this day 91 years ago, and lived life to its fullest.



About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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8 Responses to Rhoda

  1. Grace Miller says:

    I loved the pictures and wonderful memories, Martin! Thank you for sharing them.

  2. Freda Zehr says:

    Oh Martin, so glad you shared this because I do not know when or where, but that young handsome couple is so familiar to me, so I know that I met or saw you and Rhoda in my younger life—-do you recall if you ever came up to Juniata county, Lauvers and Crossroads churches to preach? Those were the churches I grew up in, until I was 16 and then went to live in Greenwood Dela. I love seeing the pictures when you send them.

    • I went to those churches on rare occasions with my father, but not with Rhoda. Was W.W.Graybill your bishop? He served as an interim bishop for us when we were without one. I sometimes rode in his car at night to guide him to our house after an evening service in one of our churches.

  3. Mary Bew says:

    I feel the joy. Thank you!

  4. Lois says:

    Thanks for the memories and pictures of Rhoda today.
    I have now subscribed to your blog.

  5. Rachel Lehman Stoltzfus says:

    Thanks, Dad! You’ve told this story well and I love the emphasis on her more relaxed moments with family and friends!

  6. Cheryl Zimmerman says:

    These are very precious memories.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute of
    Rhoda, a very special woman.
    Sending you love, Martin.

  7. Sandy Curry Bryant says:

    I never knew we shared the same birthday. What a pleasure I feel in knowing I was born on the same month and day as she. Thank you for your beautiful pictures and memories. I especially loved the picture of her swinging.

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