Larry Knepper grew up on a farm in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, learning to work with his hands. His father taught him to be patient and persistent, despite the challenges life throws at you.
These life skills influence the servant-leader and volunteer he is today.
Larry casually recounts a list of activities he recently helped with at Garden Spot Village. Included in the list is repairing and building wood items for facility services, running the sound booth in the Chapel for special events, planning Vacation Bible School, serving on church council and as a worship leader at the Community Church at Garden Spot Village, driving the shuttle bus to Yoder’s, working in Refresh Gifts & Essentials, building a table for the auction at the Fall Festival and on and on.
Over the past year Larry also provided critical leadership to the building of the Cooperative Living House on Ranck Road. He served on the steering committee, recruited and coordinated building volunteers and spent many, many hours himself working to help build the home.
He says, “I like to stay busy. One of the reasons I do all these different things is to keep some variety in my life. If I spent all of my time in the woodshop, I might burn out. So, I try to do different things.”
Larry’s commitment to serving isn’t new.
He graduated from Penn State Altoona and started to work for Sperry Corporation in 1957. He and his wife, Pat, settled in New Holland and he joined the New Holland Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) as a young professional. This community involvement early in his career led to a life of community service.
Over the years Larry served on a variety of committees and in a variety of leadership roles at New Holland United Methodist Church where he and Pat were members. He is also a lifetime volunteer with Garden Spot Fire Rescue and Garden Spot Fire Police. Over the years he served on boards for the New Holland Community Memorial Park, the ELANCO Community Library and the New Holland Historical Society. Every other month Larry heads to the CrossNet Food Pantry to help sort food.
Larry thrives on staying involved in his community and finds purpose and energy in working and serving others. Even before he and Pat moved to Garden Spot Village in August 2009, he served as a volunteer. He says, “Whenever I can do something that helps others, I try to do it.”
To recharge, Larry and Pat head to their cabin in Fulton County where they rest, read, play farmer, watch wildlife and enjoy the hummingbirds.