Rev. J. Paul Lauver, 90, LaGrange, died Thursday October 10, 2013 at Miller's Merry Manor of LaGrange.
He was born January 12, 1923, in Carlos Casares, Argentina, to missionaries William and Florence (Beiler) Lauver.
He grew up in Argentina until the age of 15, when he returned to the U.S. to attend high school in Johnstown, Penn. He attended Eastern Mennonite College and then graduated from Goshen College in 1945 with a degree in theology. He later completed a Master's Degree in Spanish from St. Francis University in Ft. Wayne. While studying for his theology degree, he began his lifelong calling to the Gospel Ministry by spending many weekends serving Spanish churches in Archbold, Ohio, and Chicago, Ill. He was ordained as a minister with the Mennonite Church on November 4, 1945 in Belleville, Penn., and then served as one of the first missionaries in Puerto Rico under the Mennonite Board of Missions for 12 years, from 1945-1957. He served as pastor at the Mennonite Church in La Plata and Rabanal. He was also a church planter, starting churches in Pulguillas, Cayey and Guavate. During his years in Puerto Rico, he also was an announcer for the "Luz y Verdad" (Light and Truth) radio ministry, and sang in a men's quartet on the radio broadcast. In 1957, he and his wife Lois and their four young children returned to the U.S. to care for Lois' mother, Mary E. Swihart. He was soon called to be the pastor of the Marion Mennonite Church in Howe, serving for over 27 years from 1957 until his retirement from formal ministry in 1985. In addition to his pastoral duties, he taught Spanish and English at East Springfield, Shipshewana, and Westview High School, and also worked as a custodian at Howe Military School after retirement from teaching and the ministry.
He was married October 14, 1945 to Lois M. Swihart. She survives.
Also surviving are his children, Paul (Marilyn) Lauver, Wolcottville, John (Patti) Lauver, Columbia, S.C., David (Pam) Lauver, Jupiter, Fla., Maggie Glaser, Carmel, Ind., and daughter-in-law Jan Lauver, Shipshewana; grandchildren Joel Lauver, Nashville, Tenn., Lindsay Lauver (Nathan Warrick), Bloomington, Ind., Reed Lauver, Charleston, S.C., Amy Lauver, Columbia, S.C., Jessie (Mike) Whitten, Zionsville, Jenny Lauver, Shipshewana, Jacob Paul Lauver, Gainesville, Fla., Weston (Cayleigh) Lauver, Crystal River, Fla., Kira Lauver, Jupiter, Fla., and Alex Glaser, Carmel; and one sister, Mary Lou (Lester) Blank, Gap, Penn.
He was preceded in death by one son, James E. Lauver, one daughter, Ann (Lauver) McMahon, one granddaughter, Molly Glaser, one sister, Lois Lauver, and two brothers, Glen Lauver and Elton Lauver.
Funeral services were held Monday, October 14, at Shore Mennonite Church in Shipshewana with Pastors Ron and Char Roth officiating.
Burial is in Brighton Cemetery, rural Howe.
Memorials may be directed to the Marion Mennonite Church Building Fund.
Online condolences may be sent at www.fruripmayfuneral home.com.
Frurip-May Funeral Home in LaGrange was in charge of arrangements.