Robert L. Wechter, 86, Korea vet, Old Guard Mutual Insurance CEO, Akron Lions Club president

By on October 14, 2015

A kind and humble servant beloved by all who knew him, Robert L. “Bob” Wechter, 86, of Akron, entered into rest surrounded by his loving family Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, following a brief illness.

He was the husband of Mary Jane (Henly) Wechter. The couple celebrated 64 years of marriage this past May 26. He was born in the Lincoln section of Ephrata, and was the son of the late George K. and Vera S. (Landis) Wechter.

He was a graduate of the Ephrata High School Class of 1946 and of the Lancaster Business College. Bob proudly served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1954.

Mr. Wechter worked for Old Guard Mutual Insurance Company of Lancaster for 48 years until his retirement in 1994, serving as CEO of the company and on the Board of Directors. He also worked as an agent for the Erie Insurance Exchange.

Bob was devoted to serving his community. A lifelong member of the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ephrata, he taught Sunday school for over 50 years, was a member of the choir for over 60 years, and was also past vice president and member of the church council. Bob was a member of the Akron Lions Club since 1959, where he was a past president and a Melvin Jones Recipient. In earlier years, he served as president of the Akron Elementary PTA. Following retirement, he delivered Meals on Wheels for 11 years and taught a Bible study class at Ephrata Manor.

An avid traveler, Bob and his wife and family visited 28 countries and 47 states. He especially enjoyed family trips to Ocean City, N.J., and to a family cottage at Mt. Gretna. He took thousands of photographs of his travels and of his family. Bob had a passion for geography and history, and loved to learn about events and places around the world.

In his youth, he played softball and throughout his life he enjoyed bowling, croquet, tennis and ping pong. He loved playing miniature golf and other games with his children and grandchildren.

Bob had a positive outlook on life. He always looked forward to his next vacation, the next occasion to take his family out for a good meal, or the next sporting event of one of his three grandsons. Bob was a lifelong Phillies fan, and he always held out hope that the Phillies would be even better next year.

Those fortunate enough to have known Bob in all walks of his life were touched by the good and decent man that he was and his gentle, compassionate nature. He had a smile and a kind word for everyone. He will be very deeply missed by all who knew him.

In addition to his wife; he is survived by three daughters: Diane L. Wechter of Ephrata; Rita S. Wechter, wife of Timothy Byers of Price, Utah; and Karen W. Lowrie, wife of Michael Lowrie of Akron; three grandsons: Mark, Robert and Paul Lowrie; a brother: Paul, husband of Shirley (Weit) Wechter of Ephrata; a sister: Nancy, wife of C. Eugene Groff of Ephrata; and nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son: George A. Wechter, in 1986.

A viewing will be held Saturday, Oct. 17 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1331 W. Main St., Ephrata, followed by a service to celebrate Bob’s life at 11 a.m., with Pastor Jeffrey H. Goodman officiating. Interment will take place in the Mellingers Union Cemetery, West Cocalico Township. Military honors will be accorded by the Red Rose Veterans Honor Guard. All are welcome to a luncheon that will follow the service at the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1331 W. Main St., Ephrata, PA 17522.

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


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