My First Sister-in-Law: Amanda (Miller) Troyer

 Somehow this is the hardest blog I have ever posted, because it is family. It is emotional and it hurts. I know I don't have to blog this post yet I want to.

 This is one of Amanda's old pictures. I don't know when this was taken nor how old she was, but Amanda is on the right. 

 This is Henry while he was dating Amanda. The two were married almost 49 years ago. Theirs was the first marriage in our family. Henry was the first sibling to marry and I still remember how utterly excited I was. I was in 5th grade at that time and the only previous family wedding I remember attending was Aunt Anna, Mom's youngest sister. She married Pep Paul from Alpine. I missed her because she no longer lived with Grandma. She was our special aunt and went by the name of "Becky" because my oldest sister also goes by the name of Anna and there was always that confusion of which Anna...

But when Henry married Amanda, I could hardly contain myself. Amanda & I bonded and she held that special spot in my heart for the 48+ years of their marriage. Our relationship is only temporarily broken until we meet again in eternity.

Thursday evening's calling hours, Bishop Ray Mast and Henry are talking or making more plans. Ray and I were classmates at Pleasant Hill Public School 45 years ago. He stayed on their home farm, got married, has two sons and is Brother Henry's Bishop. I wandered around from Ohio to Aylmer Ontario, to Cookeville TN, to Bainbridge NY, to Pinecraft/Sarasota FL. Every few years for the last ten years we occasionally meet up and we are still friends, mature friends.

 This shot was taken Thursday evening after/during calling hours. It is simply a time when family meets distant family. The three on this end of the bench are Larry Miller and two of their children. Larry is the husband of  niece Sarah, so I am a great aunt to their children.
 Friday evening - Sister Edna and brother Eli. It is also a time for siblings to catch up.

 Saturday - going to the cemetery. The burial ground was on the highest hill in that neighborhood on Benji Nelson's farm. Although it might not be Nelson's farm. It took everything the horses and vehicles had to get up that long winding hill to the burial place. Depending on the amount of rain, snow or mud it is impossible to get up that hill. Thankfully there was no rain, snow or mud. It wasn't even sticky hot. The weather was just perfect for a funeral.

After the burial - I couldn't miss the opportunity and so I took a shot between two men. On the right is one of the "Grave Makers" resting on his shovel with family members in the background. I think the English word for "Grave Maker" is Pallbearer.

 Horses and buggies at the cemetery.

 Getting off the hill...

 The five in this row are all nieces and nephews to Henry & Amanda: my niece Rachel Schrock Keim, Roman's Esther, and three of Sonny's boys. 

 Niece Katie Wengerd Troyer and their baby. 

 Niece Amanda and Marlin's son. My great nephew.

 I am thinking this is a great-niece to Henry & Amanda.

 Cleaning up while people were leaving. The "Bench Wagon" leaves to where ever church will be the following day.

 This past Sunday evening some of us siblings went visiting Henry and his children and children's children. Henry has always been a great story teller and here he is telling about something that happened year ago.

 Left to right: Sister Anna, Henry's daughter Erma and three of his granddaughters listening in to the stories being told.

 Fixing to get married in September are Callie Holmes and Kevin Schrock. Years ago I taught at Stone Hill School in Wayne County with Callie's mom Lisa Smith Holmes. Kevin is Henry's grandson. Daniel & Betty Troyer Schrock are his parents. 

 And then we moved out on the back porch to continue our visiting. Left to right are Marvin,Clara's husband, Mary Ann Ickes, Barbara and Leon Wengerd. 

 Opposite are Henry's daughters Mae & Betty, Sister Anna and Clara. 

 After our evening of visiting I asked a favor from Willis who was at the wheel if he would take us up the hill to Amanda's old home place. This was Amanda's home, the Dan N place until 30 years ago when they build a new home a short distance down the road.


  1. Thanks for posting Katie , that was the first aunt or uncle to pass on both side of the family , so hated to miss the funeral but I am going to go visit uncle Henry when we go to Ohio in August

  2. Bless your heart sweetie. I know how hard a post this must have been.

  3. Katie,
    I was wondering where you were. I'm so sorry to hear about Amanda, but so happy that you will be with her again in a beautiful place called heaven.
    You are a true photographer, Katie. I think you process things in your mind through pictures. Like another person would with writing or painting. I loved that you took pictures of the babies. As adults they will know what they looked like in their first year of life. And it's always nice to see new life at a funeral.
    The flowers against the old dilapidated house made for a beautiful photo. I expect the beauty of the flowers could be taken as an ode to Amanda.

  4. Katie, so sorry for your loss....

  5. Katie, your black & white photos are wonderful. Have you published a book?


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