Irvin B. Horst | 2011 | Obituary

Irvin B. Horst
Irvin B. Horst

April 23, 2011

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Irvin Buckwalter Horst, 95 Harrisonburg, Virginia            Irvin Buckwalter Horst, 95, died April 23, 2011 at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.              Irvin Horst was born on May 31, 1915 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and was the son of the late Elmer and Catherine Buckwalter Horst.  He devoted his life to the Anabaptist faith, its message of peace, and its history. As a young man, I. B. Horst served as a conscientious objector in Civilian Public Service in Grottoes, Virginia, and later as a war relief worker for the Mennonite Central Committee in France and the Netherlands. After completing graduate studies, he became a dedicated teacher of Anabaptist history and English literature at Eastern Mennonite College (now EMU) from 1955-1966. During these years, he worked to develop the Menno Simons Historical Library at EMU, and this project remained close to his heart well into his final years. In 1966, he was invited to fill a newly created chair in Mennonite history at the University of Amsterdam, a position he held until 1985. Horst spent his retirement years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Harrisonburg, Virginia. He moved to the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in 2003.            He was married to Ava Mae Rohrer (deceased 1994) on June 17, 1944. Surviving are four children: Marlise Horst, Montreal, Quebec; Rachel Horst, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Daniel Horst, Amsterdam; Joanna Horst, Amsterdam; four brothers: Samuel Horst, Harrisonburg, Virginia; Luke Horst, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, John Horst, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, Clarence Horst, Reading, Pennsylvania; one sister, Orpa (Horst) Kurtz, Jefferson, North Carolina; and one grandson: David Horst, Amsterdam.            Pastors John Lehman and Myron Augsburger will conduct a memorial service Friday, April 29, 2011 at 10 a.m. in the Strite Auditorium at the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Menno Simon Historical Library (MSHL). Contact address: EMU Development Office, 1200 Park Road, Harrisonburg VA 22802 (please designate MSHL). McMullen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be made to the family at

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