Larry and Cathy Nafziger

Larry: Wa-Nee Elementary Principal, Retired
Cathy: Elementary School Substitute Teacher, Retired
Current Residence: Greencroft Goshen, Goshen, Indiana

Published Jan. 2018

Cathy: We met when I moved here from Pennsylvania. Larry had just started his first year of teaching. A mutual acquaintance introduced us, and we had a mutual attraction very quickly. It has lasted 46 years.

Larry: One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my spouse is compassion for others. She finds joy in all circumstances. Not all circumstances are good, but she finds joy in all of them.

Cathy: I have learned a lot from Larry. I learned that perseverance is important. He grew up knowing the importance of sticking with something; once you start, you don’t give up. His perseverance through all circumstances helped him through his 42 years of education.

Larry: We like how many opportunities there are in Goshen. We attend college activities, athletic and arts events, and we frequent nearby stores. There are also plenty of closeby volunteer opportunities. We like that we live right in the middle of the community that we participate in.

Cathy: Every spring, we volunteer at Parkside school. I do a monthly stint at the gift shop on Goshen College campus. I’m also involved in Caring Friends, an elder care program; I really enjoy hearing their perspective on life. I also serve on the committee that plans the quarterly breakfasts here at Greencroft. Through volunteering, I’ve had some very inspiring times.

Larry: I’ve participated in Real Men Read with second grade students at Parkside Elementary School, I enjoyed that very much. At Goshen Hospital, I volunteer for half a day each week. I’m also on the auxiliary board at the hospital. Here at Greencroft, I’m on the Lifelong Learning board, which is a partnership between Goshen College and Greencroft. I also supervise student teachers at Bethel College and Goshen Schools. Another thing I was trained for and that really enjoy is being a C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocate) where I represent juveniles in court, I’m their voice. I make sure that as families are going through some difficult issues, they’re following through with all of their court-ordered classes and so forth. You become attached, but at some point have to say goodbye. That’s hard.

Cathy: Some cases have had a longer term. One little six-year-old guy didn’t want Larry to leave. He wanted Larry in his life.

Larry: It’s rewarding to give more than you receive. There are opportunities to give back all around you. If you’re not looking for volunteer opportunities, they’re looking for you.

Editor • Liz Shenk
Interview + Photography • Ashley Ganger

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