Thaeler Family Club (est. 2021)


The Thaeler family has a connection with Moravian that dates as far back as the 1800s. Rev. Dr. Arthur David Thaeler Sr.*, a sixth-generation Moravian minister and missionary, graduated from Moravian in 1892. He served on the Board of Trustees of Moravian from 1902 to 1932 and as pastor of Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem for 17 years. He was the headmaster of Nazareth Hall, a Moravian boys’ school in Nazareth, PA, from 1918 until its closing in 1929. 

Arthur and his wife had two children who attended Moravian. Charles S. Thaeler Sr.* was a member of the Class of 1927. Rev. Dr. A. David Thaeler Jr., MD*, was a graduate of the Moravian Class of 1924 and Moravian Theological Seminary Class of 1926. David married Margaret Ruth Heidenreich*, who graduated from the Moravian College for Women in 1924.

Margaret Ruth Heidenreich Thaeler was the daughter of Moravian ministers and missionaries. Her science studies at Moravian prepared her for a career as a nurse and missionary. After earning her nursing degree from the Kahler School of Nursing at the Mayo Clinic in 1934, Margaret responded to a call from her future husband, David, to work as a nurse in the newly established Bilwaskarma Clinic in Nicaragua. Shortly after her arrival, the two were married in 1935. 

In 1936, David and Margaret founded the Ruth Thaeler Memorial Hospital in Bilwaskarma, named for David’s mother. Over the years, the hospital did much to control malaria and tuberculosis in the region. David (in 1950) and Margaret (in 1965) received the Comenius Award from Moravian in recognition of their contributions to the nursing and medical missionary fields. After the hospital complex was destroyed in the Sandinista-Contra war in 1983, the Thaelers were naturally upset. Still, they were most proud of the nurses who graduated from the Bilwaskarma nursing school. The war had not destroyed this heritage or the nurses’ contributions to medical care in Nicaragua and elsewhere.

Two of Margaret and David’s children attended Moravian. A. David Thaeler III was a member of the Class of 1958, and John S. Thaeler, PhD, the Class of 1960. Although David III and John graduated elsewhere, both appreciated the time they spent at Moravian.

The Thaeler family’s legacy at Moravian spans generations. Their service through faith, education, and nursing honors our community’s shared commitment to helping others. They are shining stars in Moravian’s history and an inspiration to future students.