Art and Gloria Muselman

Art and Gloria Muselman

Arthur Kenneth Muselman, 77, and Gloria Elaine (Koeneman) Muselman, 76, leading citizens of Berne, died in a tragic car crash west of their home on Thursday night, Aug. 30, 2007.

Art, a lifelong resident of Berne, was born on Feb. 1, 1930, to Christian and Edna (Sprunger) Muselman, both deceased.

Gloria was born on March 11, 1931, to Arthur and Bertha (Heine) Koeneman of Decatur, both deceased.

They were married Oct. 21, 1961.

Art and Gloria are survived by their son, Roger (Naomi) Muselman and grandchildren Sarah Elaine, Mark Arthur and David James of Berne; and daughter, Karen (Rev. David) Thomas and grandchildren Luke Christian, John Paul and Mary Esther Elaine of Lexington, Ky.

They are also survived by Art's sister, Ruth (Clinton) Steury of Fort Wayne and sister-in-law, Marilyn Muselman of Berne; Gloria's brother Roger (Fay) Koenemann of Decatur; and nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Art's brother, Carl H. Muselman, and two sisters, Carolyn Russett and Pauline Muselman, preceded them in death.

Art and Gloria were charter members of Peace Lutheran Church, where each held numerous offices and positions of leadership. The couple believed and invested in the mission of Swiss Village Retirement Community. Art served on the board of directors for many years, and Gloria initiated and led the volunteer program, visiting and helping to feed residents.

The Muselmans prized Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts college in Upland, Ind. They served on the Parents Cabinet in the 1980s, and were named "Parents of the Year" in 1987. Art was named trustee emeritus after completing 20 years on its Board of Trustees, and Gloria received the 1998 Distinguished Friend award. Together, they helped many students attend Taylor.

Since 1958, Art was an active member and past president of the Berne Rotary Club. An avid and accomplished golfer, he served on the board of the Wabash Valley Golf Club. He was also on the boards of First State Bank of Decatur, Concordia Theological Seminary and the Christian radio station WBCL.

In 1978, Gloria received the "Angel of Mercy" award for unselfish service to the Berne Community. For over a decade, she served as leader of the Wabash Cloverleaf 4-H club, mentoring many young women. She was a founding director of the Swiss Heritage Society and an active member of the Berne Mother's Club and South Adams Music Boosters. In the late 1950s, Gloria was a district president of Indiana Rural Youth and vice president of the American Farm Bureau Young People.

Art attended Taylor University and graduated from Indiana University in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in business. Art was a director emeritus for Dynamic Resource Group, the management company that oversees the publishing and fulfillment companies owned by the Muselman family.

Art began working at Economy Printing Concern, the family printing company, during his college years and then joined the business full time in 1952. His father, who came to the United States from Germany in 1910, founded the printing company in 1925. In 1959, Carl and Art purchased the business from their father, and Art served there until his retirement in the mid-1990s. The brothers oversaw the printing company, now called EP Graphics, for 40 years.

As the printing business continued to grow, the Muselmans expanded into other areas, such as the sale of wholesale records and the operation of a travel business. They also purchased Smith Brothers Furniture, a highly successful manufacturer of upholstered furniture.

In 1976, the Muselman brothers purchased The Berne Tri-Weekly News, the only community newspaper in Indiana that is published three times a week.

In 1985, Carl and Art purchased a publishing company in New Hampshire, House of White Birches, and moved the operations to Berne.

The purchase of House of White Birches was followed by the acquisitions of The Needlecraft Shop in 1994 and Annie's Attic in 1996, both Texas-based craft magazine and catalog publishers. After the purchase of Annie's Attic, the Muselmans formed a fulfillment company--Strategic Fulfillment Group, which is located in Big Sandy, Texas.

In July 1998, Carl and Art were honored as finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Award. Ernst & Young presents its annual Entrepreneur Of The Year® award to the most successful and innovative entrepreneurial business leaders in more than 125 cities in 40 countries around the world. Nominations were reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges and the finalists and award recipients were honored at a reception at the Century Center in South Bend, Ind.

In 2002, the Muselmans expanded their company with the acquisitions of Clotilde's Sewing Notions--a cataloger in the retail needlecraft industry--and American School of Needlework--a leading publisher of needlecraft books and patterns based in Southern California.

After retiring from EP Graphics, Art and Gloria enjoyed spending the winter months in Grenelefe, Fla. They were associate members of Grace Lutheran Church, Winter Haven, Fla.

Beyond all accomplishments and service, their greatest joys were being devoted parents and grandparents.

Funeral services were held at First Mennonite Church in Berne at 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, with Dr. Jay Kesler officiating. Burial followed in MRE Cemetery in Berne.

Preferred memorials are Swiss Village Retirement Community and Taylor University.