A lifetime of peacemaking

When Rachel Kreider ’31 was born, William Howard Taft was president, the Ford Model T was brand new, and the Titanic was under construction.

Born in 1909, Kreider isn’t quite sure how she managed to live so long. Today, the 105-year-old lives at Greencroft in Goshen.

Kreider grew up in the Goshen area and attended Goshen College during the onset of the Great Depression. During college she met and fell in love with Leonard Kreider, whom she married in the summer of 1933. They began life together in a small attic room near Ohio State University (OSU), where Leonard studied for a doctorate in chemistry and Rachel worked on her master’s degree in philosophy.

As a graduate student at OSU in the mid-1930s, she participated in a move against compulsory military training, then the norm at OSU and many other schools. She continued working for peace over the next seven decades.

Kreider was usually a mover and shaker in secondary roles, as her role as homemaker and mother of three children allowed. In Goshen, she continued a lively interest in world affairs, writing to her representatives in Congress and attending meetings of the local Seniors for Peace. When President George Bush threatened war against Iraq 2002, Kreider, then 93 years old, offered her peace testimony as passionately as she had at OSU in 1934-35.

Excerpted from a story at thirdway.com.