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Sherwood E. Ristenbatt & Mabel W. Wenger

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Sherwood E. Ristenbatt and Mabel W. Wenger

This is a picture of David's parents, Sherwood E. Ristenbatt, and Mabel W. Wenger on their wedding day, 5 October 1946.  On this day, they were the first couple to be married in Carpenter's Mennonite Church.  Previous to this, Mennonite couples were married at home. 

Sherwood was the son of John Rohland Ristenbatt and Mary Katherine Lutz.  (Mary's line is actually probably GROLL. See article about her grandfather, John W. Lutz/Groll).  Sherwood was raised in Lebanon County, near Speedwell Heights.  Originally, he was of the Lutheran faith, but when he was a teenager, his family embraced the Mennonite faith. (For further information about Sherwood's ancestors, see article on Herman Ristenbatt and Family). David's father was always a very hard working man.  At one point, he worked for Trojan Boat, but he suffered an injury there, and upon returning to work, he could not obtain his original job.  Because he had been selling vacuum cleaners door to door as well, he decided to go into business for himself, opening up his own vacuum cleaner store in his garage at Manheim, Pennsylvania.  His business really took off, and in 1966, his first store was built in Manheim, next door to his house property.  This store did so well, that eventually, in the early 1970s, another store was opened in Lancaster.  In addition to these two stores, Ristenbatt Vacuum Cleaner Service Inc. also has stands at the local Farmers' Markets, Green Dragon in Ephrata, and at Roots Market in Manheim. Sherwood enjoyed talking with his many customers and was a man of quick wit, who liked to tease.

The oldest of thirteen children (Her sister Esther died when only fifteen months old.), Mabel was the daughter of Michael Nolt Wenger, a Mennonite minister as well as a farmer, and Jennie Steffy Wenger. (Yes, both of Mabel's parents were WENGERs.)  She grew up in the Warwick Township area of Lancaster County.  As a young woman she worked as a machine operator at Warner-Lambert Company in Lititz, PA  As hard-working as her husband, Mabel was a cheery, energetic woman who loved having company and doing things for others.  It was not uncommon for her and her husband to have ten or more people at once for dinner - being the oldest of 13 children was an asset when she had her own family.  Both she and her husband liked to travel as well, but Sherwood could not travel as much prior to his death in 1980.  After Sherwood died, Mabel kept busy working at the Ristenbatt store, knitting, sewing, and she travelled a great deal, literally going all over the world, as well as visiting the United States.  She additionally invited numerous Chinese and Japanese couples to stay at her home during the Christmas holidays, thus making many new friends.  When she remarried in 1989, she continued these activities with her second husband until her death in 1998.

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