Fundraiser for family of Amish man killed in crash

By Jonathan Delozier -

Village residents are reaching out to the family of an Amish man who was killed in a buggy crash — and you can help them.

“My family has been purchasing eggs, maple syrup, and other products from the Amish community for many years,” said Christine Therens, who’s behind a fundraising effort for the family. “I originally took fabric over to donate to the people I buy from and they took it to the widow. That’s how it all started.”

Jon Swartzentruber, 25, of Homerville, was the passenger in the buggy when it was rear-ended by a 2007 Ford F-550 Jan. 18 near Findley State Park on Rt. 58. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

He left behind a wife and three sons aged three, two, and four months.

According to Therens, his wife, Lydia, has been sewing and making quilts to preserve the family’s income since the tragedy.

“It’s one of those things that start out small, but just kind of grew,” said Therens. “I knew I had to do something to help.”

The driver of the buggy, Levi Shetler, 54, of Wellington, suffered minor injuries but was able to walk away from the scene. Mark Jones, 61, of Jeromesville, drove the F-550 and was unharmed.

Items being sought in the fundraiser are non-electric children’s toys such as balls and blocks, sewing supplies, monetary donations, and gift cards to Walmart, Aldi, Marc’s, and Jo-Ann Fabrics.

“We spoke with Lydia before getting this started to see if she was comfortable with our assistance,” Therens said. “She wasn’t comfortable asking for help but was grateful for it. Her neighbors in the Amish community are assisting with daily chores and whatever they can do. We want to be good neighbors too and do more.”

To make a donation, contact Therens by phone at 216-215-5997 or by email at

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier