Melvin S. Huyard, a man of abiding faith and steadfast service, entered the gates of heaven with thanksgiving and praise at age 84 on Friday, July 23, 2021, after a lifetime of compassionate ministry to others both near and far. Born on an Amish homestead in New Holland to David and Lydia Smoker Huyard in 1937, Melvin went on to build a successful career in construction and real estate development in Lancaster County, a place that he loved with people who he cherished.
His successful career in business was overshadowed by his dedication to the Lord's calling, to help others find meaning and abundance in life through a relationship with Christ. His true vocation was relationship, pursuing the simple practice of friendship, most often befriending those on the margins of society including nearly four decades of service to the destitute and impoverished people of India where he led efforts to build orphanages, medical clinics in communities ravished by leprosy, and churches in remote villages. While so much of his life's work focused on India, he spent years housing refugees in his Lancaster County home, offering hope and life to people fleeing persecution from countries spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His outreach to others was intensely local as well as he spent a lifetime of service to tenants who stayed in apartments that he constructed on his property in Leola. His dedication to service was a gift of God, inspired by Matthew 28, and from letters penned by his father, David “Bud' Huyard, which would often include the simple phrase, “Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last". Many people in Leola will have known this humble, kind and giving man including those at Zion Lutheran Church, his house of regular worship.
His first marriage to Naomi Allgyer Johnson bore two children, Wayne Huyard and Darlene Huyard Yellak, both of whom are married. He is survived by them and his loving wife, Estrella Acedo Huyard, along with two brothers, David Huyard of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Isaac Huyard and his wife Elizabeth, of New Holland, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and a great-grandson on the way. He was preceded in death by his sister, Ruth Huyard Esh, and his grandson, Ethan Yellak.
So ends the chapter of a life well-lived, spent in the enjoyment of experiencing, radiating and demonstrating the power of Christ to those around him. It has been said that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. May we remember the life of Melvin S. Huyard whose experience on this earth made known the all-powerful, all-wise, all-righteous, all-merciful, all-satisfying treasure of the universe who is supremely glorious and supremely valuable, Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords.
In accordance with his wishes, the funeral service will be small and private with interment at St. John's Center Lutheran Church in East Earl, Pennsylvania.