John S. Shirk Memorial Heritage Award

This award has been established in honour and memory of the late John S. Shirk, 1916 - 2008,  who made multifaceted contributions to the Schürch Family Association. The purpose of the award is to recognize an outstanding contribution on the part of any Schürch descendant that contributes to, encourages, or advances our understanding of our Schürch heritage, and to encourage participation in the Schürch Family Association, particularly among younger people.


August 11, 2012           Justin K. Houser

August  2, 2014           Thomas A. Sherk

August 6, 2016            René Schürch

July 28, 2018               LaVerne G. Schirch

 René Schuurch, who passed away last year, was a huge resource in connecting North American Schürchs with our Swiss roots. He also assisted our newest recipient, Verne Schirch, in the research of the Schürchs of the Alsace region of France.


Verne has written and self-published a book about those folks. It is titled "ORIGINS of a PROGRESSIVE MENNONITE FAMILY – Descendants of Schirch, Rich, Stahly, Shelly, Good, and Brun". There are copies of it in our Archives.