Feature ArticleA Tribute to Mr. Detweiler by Marlin Detweiler

Educational Helps by Laurie Detweiler

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June 2009

Feature Article


A Tribute to Mr. Detweiler


There are occasions where I am addressed by someone who should call me “Marlin” but call me “Mr. Detweiler.” Frequently, I’ll tell them, “Call me Marlin, Mr. Detweiler was my father.”


He was quite a man.


When he was young—around five or so—he fell down a flight of stairs. When the pain didn’t go away his parents took him to the doctor. The wonderful doctors at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia were the final consultation. They found that he had tuberculosis in his spine, which is apparently the most common way it affects the bone. With the spine in a weakened condition the doctors did a bone graft from his shin to his spine to deal with what I believe is now called Potts Disease. The results stabilized him but left him severely handicapped his entire life.


In his later years he defied the predictions and expectations of doctors with his continuing health due to a fairly careful diet and vitamin regimen. Yet, he only lived to be 66, as his physical condition finally caught up with him.


I have been quite active in sports all my life. First it was baseball, then basketball, soccer, and, of course, golf. As you can imagine, we had no opportunity to play together. There were so few times he saw me play, I can remember nearly every one. When I was 12 and playing baseball he would drive to the alley parallel to the third base line and watch a few innings from his car. I don’t believe he ever saw me play soccer or basketball in a high school game. Basketball would have been quite a challenge. Navigating a gym before the Americans with Disabilities Act was not easily done.


He would, however, ride with me in a golf cart a time or two a year to watch me play a round of golf. The only tournament I recall that he attended was one that I was fortunate enough to win. The golf course superintendent, Dwight Brubaker, took him around in his cart that weekend. It was wonderful sharing that experience with him.


He came from a family of four boys and one girl. I never met my aunt. She died before I was born. The family had some musical talent. He had an incredible bass voice. My wife still throws me the occasional elbow in church when we sing a song that she remembers him singing, recalling him boldly carrying the bass line with great range and volume.


He was an accountant by profession. His first venture was to start an accounting firm in Souderton, a small town about an hour north of Philadelphia. He left the practice to his brother to go to work for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a mission arm of the Mennonite church that specializes in helping those affected by poverty, conflict, oppression, or natural disaster as a way of reaching them with the gospel.  He served as the treasurer of MCC until going back into public accounting—eventually joining back up with his same brother.


He was raised and remained in the Mennonite Church all his life. For my entire childhood he served as a deacon. Such a role was more like an assistant pastor, as the church had one pastor and one deacon, and they worked together very closely. He would fill the pulpit for the pastor from time to time. Consequently, I have fond memories of hearing him preach occasionally.


He is remembered fondly for many of the aforementioned reasons. However, he is remembered even more for the fact that he always had time for me or anyone who needed him. His insights and friendly demeanor made sitting and gleaning from his wisdom a delight that is hard to describe. And looking back, it wasn’t from his wealth of experience or vast exposure to many things of the world from which his wisdom originated. His physical handicap kept him from that. He was simply one who knew and applied God’s Word.


In his presence one got the feeling that they had his undivided attention and that they could talk to him about anything. He would really listen. He really cared about you. His study was a small windowless room in the center of the house, accessed only through the kitchen. His desk was frequently piled with papers of unfinished business or unattended mail and books on various topics. Yet there was a chair across from his desk that never had things stacked on it and was always available to sit in to talk to him.


His life was typified by giving. He had little when he died. My inheritance consisted of a beautiful mechanical wooden pencil, his walking cane (which now hangs by our family room fireplace), and his personal Bible which is both well-worn and well-marked. Yet the determination and drive he demonstrated and instilled in those around him is worth more to me than millions.


I miss my father. He was quite a man.


 As children we sometimes take much for granted. This Father’s Day let us not forget the tremendous blessing our fathers have been to us and let’s be sure to tell them.


Marlin Detweiler



Educational Helps


Father’s Day


By now I hope that you have read Marlin’s article about his father, probably because I am so close to the situation it was hard to keep a dry eye. His father was quite a man. The first time I met him, this city girl from Miami, Florida, coming to meet a rather conservative Mennonite in a rural community, I was rather nervous, but he put me quite at ease. He was, as Marlin said, a strong, but gentle character.


And I will always be my Daddy’s little girl! Although I am almost, yes almost fifty, I still feel a sparkle as I talk about my father. I know we all have a special place for our own father, but mine is definitely the best father in the world. There was never any doubt in my mind that I was precious to him. I often have thought about how I never told him this enough. As children we are so caught up in our own worlds that we just assume that our parents know that we love them. After Marlin’s father passed away at an early age, I realized one can never express this enough.


Click this link to download some cards that your children can make for Father’s Day. Try to make this a special day for the fathers in your life. What is his favorite thing to do? We started a tradition a few years ago that I think may last a life time. One day I hope to have grandchildren added to this mix.


If you have read epistula for any time now you know that Marlin LOVES to golf. Only one of our children plays competitively, but on Father’s Day we have made it a family tradition to all play golf with Dad. Marlin looks forward to this every year. I am grateful that my boys have been willing to make the effort to do this with their father and travel home from wherever they are to play.


Photo Contest


Announcing a summer photo contest. Are you traveling this summer or just staying home to create memories? Whatever you are doing, share with us your favorite summer photo of your family or a place you want to share. The photos should be sent as attached files to and are due by 5:00 PM EDT, September 14, 2009. The winners will be announced in the October epistula. Gift certificates to Veritas Press will be awarded as follows:


First prize - $100

Second prize - $50

Third prize - $25


Have a wonderful summer and a terrific Father’s Day!



Laurie Detweiler



Free Offers


Free Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Kit

Auntie Anne's Pretzels is based here in Lancaster. You’ve probably smelled them! They’re good folks and have agreed to allow us to offer you their Make Your Own Pretzel kit. You may have one kit for free with an order of $100 or more in June. Just ask for the kit while placing your order. If you place your order on our web site, simply enter item number PRETZEL on the Express Order page and click Add to Order. The kit retails for $12, and it’s really good. Enjoy.





Q. What makes the Phonics Museum different from Sing, Spell, Read and Write and other phonics programs?

A. With the Phonics Museum our goal is to get children actually reading as early as possible. So we don’t require them to memorize a lot of letter sounds before they start putting them together and actually reading. They read their first book (or primer) about six weeks into the Kindergarten year. The primers also were designed to have more content to them than many typical readers, for example, Bible stories or stories with a historical basis. The program also teaches a D’Nealian-like modern manuscript handwriting. We’ve been pleased to see how quickly children are learning to read and loving reading.


Q. The Omnibus curriculum covers theology, history and literature. How do you keep grades for each of these disciplines?

 A. The curriculum was designed with this concern in mind. First, the books that are read are rated on a ten-point scale dividing the points over theology, history, and literature. For example, Genesis is rated 7 for theology, 2 for history and 1 for literature. On the Teacher’s CD-ROM is a fairly sophisticated computer worksheet file that uses these point values so that each graded exercise will be weighted and a grade will result in each discipline. There is a lot of additional complexity that we have taken out of the process with the worksheet that would be hard to explain here. Suffice it to say, it works. And for those who would rather not use the computer worksheet, we have provided a written form that can be used, too.


Please submit any questions you’d like answered here to





Tips for Phoning Veritas Press

Summer has proven to be the busy time with many of you calling to ask questions and place orders. To ensure that you receive the best customer service, we recommend you call early in the day and as early in the week as possible.  Remember, we are here to serve you during these busy summer months from 8:00 am to 6:00 PM EDT. And if you call early in the day—say before 10:00 AM EDT, you’ll be less likely to wait.


Summer Reading Contest

It's not too late to have your children get started in the Summer Reading Contest which was announced in the May epistula.  The contest runs until September 15.  Please see the May epistula for further details.


2009–2010 Catalog

Our 2009–2010 catalog has arrived. Did you find it in your mail box? If not, give us a call and we'll send one out to you. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.


Veritas Press Scholars Academy Diploma Program

Are you looking for your child to go to college? Do you desire accountability and assistance in knowing that each year your students are accomplishing what they need to? We now offer yearly certification services culminating in a high school diploma. There are four different diploma levels, each addressing the varying levels of a student’s abilities and circumstances. Year-by-year certification services ensure you are on track for your objectives, meeting an outside standard, and, in many cases, satisfying state requirements. We’ve even made provision for qualifying courses completed elsewhere or using other curricula. For more information, click here.


Veritas Press Teacher Training and In-A-Week classes now Online Only

There's still time to take advantage of the online training options this summer. In an effort to save you the time, trouble, and money needed for travel and lodging in these trying economic times, we have decided to offer our Teacher Training and In-A-Week classes online only this year. This year’s Teacher Training Conference is scheduled online for July 29-31, 2009. Online In-A-Week classes are scattered throughout the summer. Here’s the entire schedule:


ONLINE EVENT                               DATE                                    TEACHER

Teacher Training                               July 29–31                            Gary DeMar and Douglas Wilson,

                                                                                                                Plenary speakers, and various

 workshop instructors

Latin-In-A-Week                                June 8–12                             Joanna Hensley

Latin-In-A-Week                                June 22–26                           Joanna Hensley

Omnibus I-In-A-Week                     June 29-July 3                     Bruce Etter

Omnibus I-In-A-Week                     July 20-24                             Bruce Etter

Omnibus II-In-A-Week                    June 29-July 3                     Graham Dennis


What better way to prepare yourself to teach these courses or just learn the material for your own improvement? Find details on our web site here. We hope you’ll join us. You’ll be glad you did.


Detweilers Taking on More Speaking Engagements

It’s hard to believe, but Marlin and Laurie Detweiler will be empty nesters come August. Consequently, they are willing and able to take on more speaking and consulting engagements. If we can be of service to you or your organization, feel free to call Marlin at 800-922-5082 or email him at


 17th Annual ACCS Conference: Building a Firm Foundation

The Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) national conference will be held June 25–27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. It is designed to provide the principles of a classical and Christian education and practical instruction in a broad range of subjects. Plenary sessions will feature Charles Colson, George Grant, Matt Whitling, and Douglas Wilson. Practical workshops will teach the implementation of classical Christian education. Click here for more information or contact the ACCS office at 208-882-6101.


Future Job Opening with Veritas Press Scholars Academy

Online Teachers—With the rapid growth of our online courses we continue to seek more teachers for the 2009–2010 school year and beyond. Experienced teachers can work from home, the beach, or anywhere high-speed internet is available. Send résumé to Current needs include Introduction to Philosophy, War Between the States, Art Appreciation, and Music Appreciation.


New Returns Policy for Veritas Press

We’ve modified our returns policy. All items purchased from us may be returned within 90 days. Please call first for return authorization. Full credit, excluding shipping, will be given provided the materials are returned in resalable condition. No returns will be accepted after 90 days.



Visit us on the web at or call us at 1-800-922-5082.


Browse the Veritas Press virtual catalog online!