In Memoriam (November 2008)

Robert Swanson
On Monday September 1, Robert Swanson, 67, succumbed to his protracted battle with cancer.  Bob most recently was employed by Ideal Fasteners.

Bob was a veteran of the fastener industry and began his selling career in the metal frame industry in the late 1970s with Guardian Fasteners.

He continued in the early ‘90s with Atlas Bolt, finishing his long career with Ideal Fasteners,  where he was a sales representative.

“Bob’s customers regarded him as a friend and he truly enjoyed meeting with them,” says Jay Levy of Ideal.

“A veteran of the armed forces and a family man, Bob brought and still brings a smile to all that knew him.   We will all cherish the warmth of his friendship,” Levy adds.

William Friday III

William Henry Friday III, 82, of West Lafayette, died August 12. He is credited with development of a number of ideas commonly used by builders today.

Much of his career was spent at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., where he began as an instructor in 1955 and became associate professor in 1970. He remained at Purdue, retiring in 1991.

An innovative educator in rural construction, Bill had long been a friend of rural builders.  A long-time member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, he worked extensively on standards for snow and wind loads, along with other essential construction requirements.

He was inducted into the Rural Builder Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1992, he received NFBA’s Bernon G. Perkins Award for research and developing design information and received the ASAE Henry Giese Structures and Environment Award for distinguished service.

He served in the Army’s 101st and 82nd Airborne division from 1944 to 1946.

He received an associate degree in agriculture from State University of New York in 1948 and in 1991 was awarded Distinguished Alumni.

In 1959 William earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from Michigan State University.

His major emphasis was in structural design of farm buildings, livestock housing, environment, heating, ventilation and production systems and domestic housing.  His research in wood building design was recognized in several publications, including the ASAE Engineering Practice Standards and the Midwest Plan Service.
 
Susan Darbyshire 
Susan H. Darbyshire, 51, wife of Durand Darbyshire of NFBA member company Viance, died of cancer September 9 in Dublin, Ohio.

An occupational therapist at Arch Industries West, she was a graduate of Randolph Macon College and the Medical College of Virginia. She received a master’s degree from Ohio State University. She was a member of Dublin Community Church.

Susan’s husband, Durand, has been an asset to the post-frame industry in his capacities with Viance, Southern Forest Products Association and the Southern Pine Council.

Freemon Borkholder
Freemon Borkholder, Borkholder Buildings, is remembered by the NFBA as one of its Founding Fathers. He died May 19.

In the late 1960s, Freemon joined other post-frame industry leaders to discuss changes in regulations that were proposed by competitors who wanted to curtail the spread of post-frame buildings. The industry was fragmented and no single company could have success fighting against the threats posed to this relatively new form of construction.

In 1970, that small group created The National Frame Builders Association.

Born October 11, 1932, to a young Amish couple, Freemon grew up on a small farm in Nappanee, Ind.

He married Margaret Hershberger on April 26, 1956 and began his career building cabinets at Coppes Kitchens in Nappanee before deciding to venture out on his own as  Borkholder Buildings. He was inducted into the Rural Builder Hall of Fame in 1984

Building churches was a key focus.  Years later, he started Borkholder Furniture because he enjoyed working with wood. 

Wanting to give back to the community, he bought Harvey Hochstetler’s old chicken houses and created Dutch Village, a local marketplace for people to enjoy buying and selling antiques, one of his own interests.

Freemon was known for his generosity. Whether it was helping someone start up in business, or giving to someone who needed help, it was a part of his life. Because God blessed him, he felt a personal responsibility to help others.

Two ministries became especially important to him. Early on, Northern Youth Programs, a ministry to the First Nations People of Canada, captured his heart and his energy.  In later years, after a trip to China, Gideons International became his passion.

Family however, was his most important earthly focus. He wanted to make sure that they were cared for and that he left them, and his 12 grandchildren, with a heritage that was eternal.

He especially loved his wife.  Depending on her for his daily care, they grew very close. Partially paralyzed in an accident 14 years ago, Freemon hoped that he would someday walk again.

Freemon’s life was a testament to what God’s love, grace, blessings and testing can do with someone whose heart is focused on Him. He simply wanted to be an extension of Christ.

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