Luke Birky • The Good of Goshen

Luke Birky

Resident, Greencroft Goshen

Published Feb. 2021

It seemed like a good idea to get the shot. I worked in the healthcare field all my life. I don’t need much persuasion.

When I retired, we moved back here because our children were around here. I’ve been at Greencroft Goshen a little more than 20 years. I turned 99 on the eighth of January.

After World War II, my wife and I volunteered with Mennonite Central Committee to go do some relief work down in Puerto Rico. That started us on a path. We worked in Puerto Rico for six and a half years. Then we came back, and I was asked to go into hospital administration out in Colorado. I served as the administrator of a Mennonite-operated hospital in La Junta, Colorado, for eight years, then came back and worked for the Mennonite Board of Missions. My title was secretary of health and welfare. Greencroft, for example, was one of the programs we sponsored.

It was very rewarding work. I enjoyed it very much.

My wife was Verna Conrad. She was a registered nurse. We were married 70 years when she died in 2017.

Here at Greencroft, we have a nice woodworking shop. I did a lot of work there. I did a few things like tables and so on, but mostly it was crafty kinds of things.

Goshen is a small community, but a real community. We’ve had good leadership in the city government, good county commissioners, and so on. I’ve just been very pleased to be here.

Writing and editing by Scott Weisser and Neil King

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