Obituary for Fern Schrock (1921 – 2022) – Archbold, OH

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By Mark Zaborney
Blade staff author

ARCHBOLD, Ohio — Fern Schrock, who kept an eye on the faith, church, community and world during decades of volunteer service, died March 20 in Fairlawn Haven in Archbold. She was 101.

She was in poor health, said her daughter Julia Schrock Rosenfeld.

Mrs Schrock and her late husband Ceaphus moved from their longtime home in Archbold to a condo in Fairlawn Haven in 1995. She moved to assisted living in December 2018 and then to a special ward about 1 1/2 years ago, said daughter Rebecca Schrock-Herdeck.

Finding ways to help others remained a concern.

“She was an idea person, and she never let go of those ideas,” daughter Rebecca said.

Mrs. Schrock and her husband helped resettle displaced families after World War II and later conflicts. She and her husband helped organize a recycling project in Archbold, where her husband was a member of the village council.

More recently, she asked, “What are we going to do with the kids?” referring to children who were separated from their parents on the US southern border, daughter Rebecca said.

It wasn’t a rhetorical question. Whether the concern was near or far, Ms Schrock believed “it was our responsibility to do something about it,” daughter Rebecca said.

Ms. Schrock, a charter member of Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, was faithful to her church and her faith was deep, daughter Julia said.

To her, the old adage “move your feet when you pray” meant “do something for the world,” daughter Julia said. “It can be local or in the larger world.

“She was raised that way, and she raised us that way, to look beyond us,” daughter Julia said.

Daughter Rebecca said, “If she had faith, she had to live that faith, and living that faith meant working hard to make things better.”

Ms. Schrock was the Gold Finalist in Medical Mutual’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer Awards in 2002 for more than 60 years of service. During World War II, she was a volunteer at Detwiler Memorial Hospital in Wauseon, now the Fulton County Health Center. She served as the hospital’s first assistant president in 1958 and led volunteers at the health center.

The honored Archbold Citizen of the Year also volunteered at fundraisers for Fairlawn Haven and the Sunshine Children’s Home.

Meanwhile, she took care of her home and her six daughters.

“Whenever she did something, she did every detail. She was very focused,” said daughter Julia. “She had leadership qualities. She was an eldest child. Her father was a pastor and she felt very responsible.”

Daughter Rebecca said: “She was a leader in the roles that were acceptable for a woman in her 40s, 50s, 60s in a rural community.

The Archbold Buckeye newspaper reported in 1999 that Ms. Schrock, along with Northwest Ohio Mennonite Economic Development Associates, played a leading role in the establishment of Assets Toledo as a self-employment training and support agency.

She was an elder of the Zion Mennonite Church and was the superintendent of the Bible college for many years.

She gardened and cooked and baked. She was a member of the Child Conservation League when her children were growing up.

“It was this inquisitive spirit. She wanted to learn everything she could,” daughter Rebecca said.

Her reading consisted of non-fiction books.

“She liked to talk about politics and the world and how her grandchildren were doing,” daughter Julia said.

She was born on March 1, 1921 to Mattie and Philemon Frey. She was a graduate of Pettisville High School.

She and her husband were married on March 1, 1941. Mr. Schrock, who had been President of Sauder Manufacturing, which made church furniture, died on December 18, 1995.

Surviving are her daughters Cara Steiner, JoAnne Alderfer, Phyllis Hostetler, Rebecca Schrock-Herdeck, Mary Elizabeth Schrock and Julia Schrock Rosenfeld; sisters Beatrice Shenk, Maxine Diller and Cara Ulrich; 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

The viewing will be held at the Short Funeral Home, Archbold on Friday from 5pm to 8pm. The service begins Saturday at 11 a.m. at Zion Mennonite Church, Archbold, during which the family is asking attendees to wear masks.

The family proposes honors for Project Hope under the care of Zion Mennonite Church, Archbold, or Mennonite Central Committee, Akron, Pa.

Published by The Blade on April 13, 2022.

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