As Lydia Hostetler Stutzman of Harrisburg, Oregon entered her retirement years, she became concerned about who would care for her when she could no longer care for herself. When she asked her nephew, Frank Kropf, for advice, he suggested that she designate her estate to be used toward building a home where older persons who need its services would be welcomed to care for one another. She agreed, and in 1942, her estate was used to begin building a community for seniors.
As administrator of their aunt’s estate, Frank and his brother, Levi, decided to expand the mission by building a retirement home that would lovingly minister to elderly persons in their last years of life. As the word got out, donations began to pour in from various mid-Willamette Valley Mennonite congregations and other congregations from as far away as Kansas. In 1946, Frank spearheaded construction on the Mennonite Home.
A snapshot of key dates in our growth as a community follows: