Bethel Mourns the Loss of Trustee LeRoy Troyer

Lissa Diaz

Bethel College mourns the loss of Trustee LeRoy Troyer, who passed away Sun., Dec. 2, following an illness. He was 81 years old.

Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Kern Road Mennonite Church, 18211 Kern Road, South Bend.  A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the church.

For nearly three decades, Troyer had extensive involvement with the college in the form of architectural work, master planning, serving on the Board of Trustees and donating professional services. He steadfastly supported Bethel in building relationships with the local community, alongside his wife Phyllis. 

“LeRoy was sincere, humble, and an idea man. Several times, we met for breakfast where he pulled out hand-written notes about an opportunity. He also cared about the health and effectiveness of our Board. I miss him already,” says Bethel College President Gregg Chenoweth, Ph.D.

Over the years, Troyer donated professional services to Bethel by designing the main entrance, chapel building and residential apartment buildings, as well as various conceptual designs and land acquisitions. He also did master planning for the college. He served on the Bethel College Board of Trustees from 1989-1997 and 2001-2009; he was the Vice Chair in 2004, and was Chairman of the Board from 2005-2008. He was serving in his third Board term upon his death. Additionally, he served on the Board for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, which helped him bring value to the Bethel community. 

Troyer was the founder, chair and president of The Troyer Group in Mishawaka, Ind., a three-generation family business providing national and international architecture, engineering, construction, and planning services. He was the founder of multiple profit and nonprofit entities like Environic Foundation International, Southfield Village, Miracle of Nazareth International Foundation and Eden Energy, to name a few. He designed billions of dollars in value of buildings, land plans and facilities including colleges/universities, retirement communities, hospitals, churches, retail buildings, museums, libraries, themed destinations, etc., including Ark Encounter, a life-size replica of the Biblical Noah’s Ark (pictured below). He also served on local, national and international boards, and organized Habitat for Humanity building blitzes used globally, as well as helped build thousands of homes all over the world.

Troyer lived with his wife in Southfield, an inter-generational community in South Bend, which their family developed. He earned a degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame, and was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He also served as an elder at Kern Road Mennonite Church.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Phyllis, and three sons, Don, Ron and Terry.

Read an article about his legacy, published in the South Bend Tribune