Walnut Hills News
As a former broadcaster and freelance writer, Jean Lefurgey spent a lot of time writing and researching. Those same skills that brought Lefurgey, who now lives on the Walnut Hills campus, success in her career were instrumental in helping her complete two books, with each project coming at just the right time in her life.
The first book, a history of an Episcopal church in Hudson, Ohio, came about right after her husband passed away. Researching for the book helped fill the void left by his death.
A couple of years ago, when nearby Berlin Mennonite Church started talking about publishing a book to celebrate its centennial, the timing was again perfect for Lefurgey. She had just had hip replacement surgery and was looking for a project to help fill her time.
“It’s funny, because I actually hated history in school, because I couldn’t really relate to it,” said Lefurgey. “But when I worked on these church history books, I found the stories fascinating, and I felt a lot more connected.”
The Berlin book took a substantial amount of organizing as Lefurgey had to send word out to everyone connected to the church to collect information. She was surprised by some of the things she learned through the submitted items and research.
“The very beginning of the church was not what I expected,” she said. “Since it was founded during World War I, there was a lot of anti-German sentiment and a good deal of resistance to the new church in Berlin.”
Lefurgey was also intrigued by what she discovered about the treatment of conscientious objectors.
It took The Meadows’ resident about two years to go through all of the photographs, bulletins, and clippings, and Lefurgey received a lot of help from fellow church members.
Lefurgey said she doesn’t plan to write any more books, but she has taken up piano lessons and is serving as librarian at the Berlin Mennonite Church library, where she just added a cookbook section.
Lefurgey is enjoying the serenity of life in the country at Walnut Hills, and she is taking advantage of opportunities the scenic area provides.
“I have become braver about going out and exploring. In fact, I bought a GPS,” she said. “When springtime comes, I look forward to seeing who’s putting up their purple martin houses and to checking out some of the little Amish shops in the area.”