Menno Diener, 93, WW II vet, served with MCC

By on June 12, 2013

Menno Diener, 93, charter member of the Akron Mennonite Church, died Friday morning, June 7, 2013 at Fairmount Homes, Ephrata.

Menno, the first of 10 children, was born near Larned, Kan., Nov. 10, 1919 to Edward Diener and Mary Buckwalter Diener. His family moved to Wellman, Iowa and Menno spent his youth in that community.

During WWII, Menno served in civilian public service, first at Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and later at Beltsville, Md. He married Savilla Taylor of Stark County, Ohio in 1945. Menno and Savilla served in India with the Mennonite Central Committee from 1946 to 1949. In India, he was part of a medical team supporting the migration of Hindus and Muslims between the newly established states of Pakistan and India. He returned to India in 2003 for a month-long visit sponsored by the Akron Mennonite Church and MCC-India.

Upon returning to the United States in 1949, Menno worked first at MCC in Akron, owned stands at farmers markets in York, and Upper Darby, was custodian at Akron Mennonite Church after retiring from market, and then worked for Hocking Press in Ephrata. Menno enjoyed gardening and was known for his holly trees. His home was designated by the National Wildlife Federation as a certified wildlife habitat.

Menno and Savilla were the parents of five children: Grace Tyson and her companion, Don Udelson of Cooper City, Fla.; Elaine Taylor of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Nevin Diener, husband of Rachel Harder Diener of Grottoes, Va.; Arlin Diener of West Wyomissing; and Claude Diener, husband of Judy Weaver of Denver, Colo. Menno is also survived by two brothers: Roy and Alvin Diener both of California; four sisters: Esther Kroeker of California, Rosa Nichols of Oregon, Lydia Weber and Viola Stahl of Virginia.

Savilla Diener died April 19, 1999. In addition to his wife and parents, he is preceded in death by two brothers: Eber and David Diener; and one sister: Margaret Jantz.

A viewing will be held June 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Akron Mennonite Church, 1311 Diamond St., Akron. A memorial service will be held June 13 at 11 a.m. with pastors James Amstutz and Michelle Dula officiating. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.

The Diener family wishes to thank the congregation and friends for their many expressions of kindness and support. You are invited to the adjoining assembly room for a light lunch, served by the Hospitality Committee of Akron Mennonite Church.

If desired, memorial contributions in Menno’s memory may be made to the Akron Mennonite Church Scholarship Fund, 1311 Diamond St., Akron, PA 17501 or Fairmount Homes Sharing Fund, 333 Wheat Ridge Dr., Ephrata, PA 17522.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at

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