Memorial Walk

LeRoy Troyer

Founder and owner of the Troyer Group

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LeRoy Troyer

LeRoy Troyer, founder and owner of the Troyer Group, was a friend and trusted adviser to Ed and Darlene Lowe. A foundation member from 2003-2012, LeRoy and his wife, Phyllis, were interested and enthusiastic supporters of the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Throughout the years, Ed called on the architectural design talents of the Troyer Group for several projects, including the Edward Lowe Industries’ administrative office building in South Bend. The design firm also helped Ed create a concept drawing for his visualization of a Tower of Tomorrow during the early years of the foundation, which served as the vision for the foundation’s Tower retreat center at Billieville, built in 2010. After a fire destroyed the foundation’s Headquarters office building in January 2011, the Troyer Group designed the new headquarters.

Raised by Amish parents on a farm near Middlebury, Indiana, Troyer recovered from polio at age 14 and told his parents he wished to join the Mennonite Church, a decision they blessed. He worked for a carpenter during the day and taught himself drafting by copying architectural drawings by the light of a kerosene lamp at night. For three years, he earned experience (but no pay) by doing drawing work for a local contractor. Even without a high school education, Notre Dame accepted him into their five-year architecture program, a year of which Troyer and his wife and three boys spent in Rome and several countries in Europe as he studied architecture. After graduation in 1971, he passed the boards to receive national certification and within the year started the Troyer Group.

With an emphasis on service, Troyer was concerned about the living standards of people in Michiana and throughout the world, and his work with Habitat for Humanity International alongside former President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter drew national and international attention to housing needs. From 2009-2016, the Troyer Group was charged with building a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, the first phase of an 800-acre Ark Encounter biblically themed attraction in Williamstown, Kentucky. The project fulfilled Troyer’s dream “to build something of this size out of wood that honors and glorifies our Lord.”1

Architects oversee every stage of a project, and LeRoy Troyer realized the importance of teamwork, the key in his philosophy that “none of us have all the answers, but together we can figure things out.”2

1“The Building of the Ark Encounter” (Master Books, 2018), 8.
2“The Building of the Ark Encounter,” 12.