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2007-05-15 issue:

UPDATE: Lee Eshleman dies

Memorial and family funds set up

by Jim Bishop, Anna Groff

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Late in the afternoon of May 17, Lee Eshleman, 43, lost a long struggle with depression and took his life at his Harrisonburg home.

Surviving are Reagan, his wife, and children Nicholas, 12, Sarah, 10, and Gabe, 5, along with countless friends and fans of Ted & Lee around the world.

“It feels like there’s a piece of me missing,” says Ted Swartz. The dramatic duo Ted & Lee began in 1987 and has performed regularly at retreats and conferences for just about every denomination and were featured performers at national events.

Ted & Lee performances at the Mennonite Church USA convention in July in San Jose, Calif. have been cancelled. Mennonite Mission Network had commissioned them to write and perform a new show, “Eccentric Entermission,” to be presented during several seminar sessions. Because of Mennonite Media’s documentary work on mental illness and suicide, media staff will work with Swartz to replace these seminars.

Sheri Hartzler, Ted & Lee’s agent, will be in touch with those who have booked an upcoming show to discuss future possibilities. For more information, go to
Eshleman was born Aug. 28, 1963, in Richmond, Va., the son of J. Robert and Rosalie Hartman Eshleman of Midlothian, Va., who survive. Also surviving are a brother, Curtis Eshleman and wife, Brigetta Nilsen Eshleman, of Lynchburg, Va., a paternal grandmother, Arlene Eshleman of Indiana; and three nieces.

People may send checks for the Eshleman Family Fund to Community Mennonite Church (include Eshleman Family Fund on the memo line), 70 S. High St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801.
The Lee Eshleman Memorial Fund has been established by the Eastern Mennonite School, Class of 1981. Submit check to Eastern Mennonite School, 801 Parkwood Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22802, and write Lee in the memo line or go to and select Giving Opportunities in the Quick Link box. Enter Lee Eshleman Memorial Fund in the comment section of the giving Web page.


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