A Harlan, Ky., couple were named joint recipients of the 1978 “ alumnus-of-the-year” award during homecoming ceremonies at EMC April 23.
The Alumni Association cited Richard G. (C 59) and Elaine (Sng 62) Stoltzfus “for the quality of your dedication in the fields of medicine and education.”
Dr. Stoltzfus is a physician at the Daniel Boone Clinic and a specialist in internal medicine at Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital. Mrs. Stoltzfus is a remedial reading teacher in a vocational rehabilitation center in Harlan and is studying towards a masters degree in education.
Eugene K. Souder (C 51), Alumni Association president, presented the couple the award, which read: “You have chosen to serve Christ in an area of needs as active members of a loving community. Your simple, giving lifestyle truly reflects Christian discipleship.”
In accepting the award, Dr. Stoltzfus reflected on his experience at EMC, citing particularly the college’s “ strong emphasis on service” that influenced his career choice.
Mrs. Stoltzfus told the homecoming audience that her decision to attend seminary one year “was one of many ways God has directed my life.”
A colleague submitted this tribute to the alumni office: “ Since Dick and Elaine Stoltzfus moved to Harlan, Ky., in 1976, our lives have been enriched by theirs. We especially learned to know them and their children in the days following the April 1977 flood in Harlan County.
“After being evacuated by rowboat from the house they were renting, it was four months before they could move into another place of their own. Meanwhile, they very graciously lived with three other Mennonite families in the community. Other people might have fled “back home” or at least moved to drier pastures, but Dick and Elaine stayed with us, identifying with the hurts of many other families in similar ‘flooded out’ situations and learning the relative value of material possessions.”
Dr. Stoltzfus received his M.D. degree from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia and did his internship at Fitzgerald-Mercy Hospital, Darby, Pa. He completed residencies in internal medicine there and at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia.
Dr. and Mrs. Stoltzfus spent six years in medical service at a Hospital in Haiti under the auspices of Mennonite Central Committee.
The couple has two children— Jill, 8, and Mark, 7—and are active participants in the emerging Harlan Mennonite Fellowship.
Dr. Stoltzfus is the son of Abner G. and Lena Stoltzfus of Atglen, Pa., and Mrs. Stoltzfus’ parents are Charles and Fannie Hunter of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Published 1978 in Crossroads.