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Lazarus Project

An expanded obituary project of MennObits.  Includes additional information of obituaries appearing in
The Mennonite and other newspapers.  
Source of individual obituaries given with each record.  Project managed by Thelma Martin.

2020  A to B1


Balzer, David James ; . . Bear, Raymond Henry ; . . Bender, Julianna Bontrager ; . . Blosser, Denver John ; . . Bontrager, Elmer Leroy ; . . Bontrager, Ida T. Miller Yoder ; . . Borkholder, Ada E. ; . . Borkholder, Eddie J. ; . . Borntreger, Todd Philip ; . . Boss, Paul ; . .

 

Balzer, David James, 74, of Whitewater, Harvey Co., KS died March 10, 2020 at Newton, Harvey Co., KS. He was born January 2, 1946 at Newton to Raymond and Pauline (Schroeder) Balzer. On November 25, 1967 at Denver, Denver Co., CO he was married to Donna Schilling, who survives.

Surviving are children, Amy Balzer, and Brian Balzer; and a sister, Kay Schroeder.

preceded him/her in death.

Memorial services were held March 14, 2020 at Grace Hill Mennonite Church, Whitewater, KS with burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Submitted by: Debbie Claassen, Whitewater, KS
Edited by: Thelma Hoover Martin


 

Bear, Raymond Henry
January 9, 1945 - April 11, 2020

Raymond Henry Bear, of Lake Butler, FL and formerly of Amelia, Ohio, age 75 years, 3 months and 2 days, went home to his eternal reward on Saturday (April 11, 2020) after suffering a heart attack. He was born January 9, 1945, in Lima, Ohio, to the late Clarence S. and Mary E. (Brunk) Bear. Dad gave his heart to the Lord and was baptized at the Sharon Mennonite Church at a young age.

On Sept. 16, 1967 he married Elmeda Graber and they made their first home in Baltic, Ohio. After three years there, they moved to Elida, Ohio where Dad was in construction until the death of this oldest brother, Gaylord, in 1981. They then moved their family to Carbon Hill, Ohio to help with the door business for three years. In 1984, we moved to Amelia and Dad started Amelia Overhead Doors there. As the boys grew older, they joined him in business and have many treasured memories of working together. Dad’s last move was to Lake Butler, FL in 2006 where he was helping LaMar and his boys in their door business. He was a very active part of the Sante Fe Mennonite Church at the time of his death. Dad was a servant in work shoes, heartily responding to any need at hand, making sure it was accomplished suitably. An utmost goal was to be a vessel for the furtherance of God’s kingdom. Church participation, family, and grandchildren were his premier assets. He served on the school board many years, which developed a sincere appreciation for that arm of the church. Dad was such a family man and loved people, coffee and eating out. Dad had open heart surgery in 1995 and then had two stents put in in 2018. Mom was such a faithful nurse to Dad through all those years, spending many hours diligently seeing to it that Dad had the best care she could give him.

He is survived and will be greatly missed by his loving wife, Elmeda, and their children, LaMar (Nina) of Lake Butler, FL; Lisa (Eldon Hooley) of Barry, Texas; Alfred (Norma) of Goodhue, Minn. and Rosetta (Robert Shank) of Jetersville, Ohio. He will be sadly missed by their 25 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, whom he loved dearly. Also surviving are his two brother and three sisters.

He was preceded in death by one grandson and three brothers.

Our family has been blessed so richly by Dad’s faithfulness and the example his life was to us. We have a storehouse of many treasured memories of family times together.

A graveside service is planned for Friday (April 17) at Sante Fe Mennonite Church Cemetery at 11am. The family invites friends for a drive-through viewing beginning at 9am at the church. A public memorial service will be planned at a later date. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Archer Funeral Home, Lake Butler.

Archer Funeral Home, Lake Butler, FL
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


 

Bender, Julianna Bontrager
June 13, 1948 - February 13, 2020

Julianna Bender, 71, of Goshen, died on February 13, 2020 after an 11-month journey with cancer. She was born on June 13, 1948 in Sturgis, Michigan to Tobias and Erma (Eash) Bontrager. She grew up on a farm south of Middlebury and graduated from Middlebury High School in 1966. She attended Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, from 1968-70, and in 1980 graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Psychology. In 1982 she received a Masters in Social Work degree from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Alongside her studies, Julie worked at First State Bank, Middlebury; First National Bank, Goshen; Northeastern Center, Lagrange; and Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Middlebury.

Several months of study and service with Youth With A Mission in Texas and Belize in 1984-85 were transformative in her life.

On August 10, 1986, Julie married Philip Bender in Goshen. She moved with him to Altona, Manitoba, where she supported him in his work as a teacher at the Elim Bible Institute and also taught some classes.

In 1988, Julie and Philip undertook an assignment with the Mennonite Board of Missions to Ghana, West Africa, where they taught pastors of African Initiated Churches at the Good News Training Institute in Accra.

Returning to Canada in 1993, Julie and Philip co-pastored two Ontario Mennonite churches: Zurich (1993-97) and Hamilton (1997-2004). In Hamilton Julie also gave early leadership to Circles of Support and Accountability, a program of Mennonite Central Committee which assists sex offenders in reintegrating into society. This experience gave birth to an interest in restorative justice that she pursued to the end of her life.

In 2004, Julie and Philip accepted another international mission assignment, this time to China with Mennonite Partners in China and Mennonite Church Canada. They taught English at universities in Chongqing and Dazhou for 9 years, until mid-2013. A blessing of these China years was acquiring several Chinese godchildren, whom they visited on three later return trips to China.

Julie and Philip moved back to Goshen in August, 2016. During a voluntary service assignment at Eastern Mennonite University from September 2016 to August 2017, Julie became part of the Valley Justice Coalition of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Her advocacy on behalf of prison inmates led to an article she wrote for Sojourners magazine under the title, “Who Pays for Prison? “

In retirement Julie served as a Caring Friend volunteer at Greencroft Retirement Center, and continued to pursue her interests in home decorating, restorative justice, counseling, reading and spiritual direction. Her delicious homemade pies were renowned.

Julie will be remembered by her many local and international friends for her warm and vibrant spirit, her delight in homemaking and hosting guests, her strong faith, and her heart for those on the margins of society.

She is survived by her husband Philip; a brother, Merle (Barbara) Bontrager of Goshen; a sister, Sharon Kennell of Plainfield, Indiana; and two nieces and three nephews.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at College Mennonite Church, Goshen, with Pastors Rachel Nafziger Hartzler and Pamela Yoder leading.

A private family burial will take place at a later time in Griner Cemetery, Middlebury.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mennonite Mission Network or Mennonite Central Committee, designated China Ministries.

Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen, IN
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin

-----------------------------

Bender, Julianna Bontrager, 71, of Middlebury, Elkhart Co., IN died February 13, 2020 at Goshen, Elkhart Co., IN from cancer. She was born June 13, 1948 at Sturgis, St. Josepha Co., MI to Tobias and Erma (Eash) Bontrager. On August 10, 1986 at Goshen she was married to Philip Bender, who survives.

Surviving are a brother, Merle (Barbara) Bontrager of Goshen; and a sister, Sharon Kennell of Plainfield, Indiana.

Julie grew up on a farm south of Middlebury and graduated from Middlebury High School in 1966. She attended Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, from 1968-70, and in 1980 graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Psychology. In 1982 she received a Masters in Social Work degree from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Alongside her studies, Julie worked at First State Bank, Middlebury; First National Bank, Goshen; Northeastern Center, Lagrange; and Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Middlebury.

Several months of study and service with Youth With A Mission in Texas and Belize in 1984-85 were transformative in her life.
Julie moved with Philip to Altona, Manitoba, where she supported him in his work as a teacher at the Elim Bible Institute and also taught some classes.

In 1988, Julie and Philip undertook an assignment with the Mennonite Board of Missions to Ghana, West Africa, where they taught pastors of African Initiated Churches at the Good News Training Institute in Accra.

Returning to Canada in 1993, Julie and Philip co-pastored two Ontario Mennonite churches: Zurich (1993-97) and Hamilton (1997-2004). In Hamilton Julie also gave early leadership to Circles of Support and Accountability, a program of Mennonite Central Committee which assists sex offenders in reintegrating into society. This experience gave birth to an interest in restorative justice that she pursued to the end of her life.
In 2004, Julie and Philip accepted another international mission assignment, this time to China with Mennonite Partners in China and Mennonite Church Canada. They taught English at universities in Chongqing and Dazhou for 9 years, until mid-2013. A blessing of these China years was acquiring several Chinese godchildren, whom they visited on three later return trips to China.

Julie and Philip moved back to Goshen in August, 2016. During a voluntary service assignment at Eastern Mennonite University from September 2016 to August 2017, Julie became part of the Valley Justice Coalition of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Her advocacy on behalf of prison inmates led to an article she wrote for Sojourners magazine under the title, "Who Pays for Prison?"

In retirement Julie served as a Caring Friend volunteer at Greencroft Retirement Center, and continued to pursue her interests in home decorating, restorative justice, counseling, reading and spiritual direction. Her delicious homemade pies were renowned.

Julie will be remembered by her many local and international friends for her warm and vibrant spirit, her delight in homemaking and hosting guests, her strong faith, and her heart for those on the margins of society.

Memorial services were held February 20, 2020 at College Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN with burial in Griner Cemetery, Middlebury, IN

Submitted by: College Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN
Edited by: Thelma Hoover Martin

 


 

Blosser, Denver John
March 15, 1998 - May 2, 2020

Denver John Blosser, beloved son of Edwin and Karla (Shrock) Blosser was born on March 15, 1998, at Tampico, IL. He went to be with Jesus in the early morning hours of May 2, 2020.

He leaves to mourn his departure, his sorrowing parents; two brothers, Todd and wife Mindy, Trevis and wife Kimberly; three sisters, Kenya and husband Mark Kropf, Krystal and husband Duane Baker, and Keisha at home; seven nephews; six nieces; six uncles; and seven aunts.

Respect will be given to the current situation. Burial will be in the Fairfield Amish-Mennonite Cemetery. Even though he will be greatly missed, we sorrow not as those who have no hope.

Arrangements are under the care of the Garland Funeral Homes.

Published in Sauk Valley News on May 5, 2020
Dixon Co., IL
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


 

Bontrager, Elmer Leroy
October 3, 1935 - February 21, 2020

Elmer Leroy Bontrager, 84, of Middlebury, passed away at 10:40 am on Friday, February 21, at Doctors Hospital, Sarasota, FL due to kidney failure. He was born on October 3, 1935 in Rogers, ND to Harry and Amelia (Yoder) Bontrager. On May 12, 1957 in Goshen he married Esther Hershberger, she survives.

Survivors in addition to his wife are two sons, Richard (Ella) Bontrager of Topeka, Lamar (Joanna) Bontrager of Wolcottville; three daughters, Bertha Bontrager, Laura Bontrager both of Middlebury, Gloria (Galen) Nissley of Millersburg; 26 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Susanna Miller and Rhoda Mae Miller both of Constantine, MI.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Galen Bontrager; three infant siblings; brother-in-law, Ora Miller.

Elmer was a dairy farmer for most of his life and in retirement delivered doors for Four Woods Laminating. He was a member of Rosewood Fellowship and he and his wife had wintered for over 10 years in Sarasota Florida. He loved spending time and visiting with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 6:00 - 8:00 pm on Monday, February 24, and 2:00 - 4:00 and 6:00 - 8:00 pm Tuesday, February 25, at Fairhaven Mennonite Church, 13513 State Road 4 Goshen. Funeral services will be at 10:00 am on Wednesday, February 26, also at the church. Services will be conducted by the Rosewood Fellowship Ministry Team. Burial will be in South Haven Cemetery, Millersburg.

Miller-Stewart Funeral Home, Middlebury, IN
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


 

Bontrager, Ida T. Miller Yoder
May 7, 1938 - January 29, 2020

Ida T. (Yoder) Bontrager, 81, of LaGrange, died unexpectedly at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 29, at her son, Alvin Yoder's residence in LaGrange. She was born on May 7, 1938 in LaGrange County to Tobias U. and Lizzie Ann (Miller) Miller. On December 10, 1957 she married Elmer T. Yoder, he died September 17, 1992; then on March 6, 2005 she married Daniel S. Bontrager, he survives.

Survivors in addition to her husband are daughter, Irene (Raymond) Mullett of Goshen; seven sons, Alvin (Amanda Sue) Yoder of LaGrange, Freeman (Edna Mae) Yoder of LaGrange, Toby (Vera) Yoder of LaGrange, Orva (Miriam) Yoder of Rexford, MT, Ervin (Edna Sue) Yoder of Topeka, Daniel (Ada) Yoder of Topeka, David (Leah) Yoder of LaGrange; six stepdaughters, Alice (Orla) Bontrager of Hillsboro, WI, Ruby (Orla) Raber of Middlebury, Ruth (John) Miller of LaGrange, Wilma (Rudy) Bontrager of Millersburg, Elizabeth (Eli, Jr.) Miller of LaGrange, Ida Mae (Paul) Miller of LaGrange; eight stepsons, Alvin (Loretta) Bontrager of Topeka, Vernon (Pollyanna) Bontrager of Shipshewana, Philip (JoAnna) Bontrager of LaGrange, Milton (Martha) Bontrager of Wolcottville, Samuel (Mary Kathryn) Bontrager of Topeka, Daniel, Jr. (Nora) Bontrager of Middlebury, David (Elnora) Bontrager of LaGrange, Harley (Glenda) Bontrager of Shipshewana; 62 grandchildren, 114 step grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren, 51 step great-grandchildren; six sisters, Mattie (Abe) Mast of Canton, OH, Elizabeth (Harley) Hochstetler of LaGrange, Anna (Raymond) Schlabach of LaGrange, Mary (Ervin) Miller of LaGrange, Edna (Ora) Beechy of MI, Wilma (Eli) Miller of LaGrange; brother, Elmer (Anna Ruth) Miller of Goshen; brother-in-law, Clarence Miller of LaGrange.

She was preceded in death by her parents ; first husband; son, Henry Yoder; grandson, Matthew Yoder; sisters, Katie Gingerich, Ella Miller; brothers-in-law, Alvin Gingerich and Harley Hochstetler.

Ida was a homemaker and member of the Old Order Amish Church.

Visitation will be after 2:00 pm on Thursday January 30, and all day Friday, January 31, at the Harvey Schrock residence, 5060 W. 100 N., LaGrange. Funeral services will be at 9:30 am on Saturday, February 1, at the Mervin Bontrager residence, 5520 W. 100 N., LaGrange. Services will be conducted by Bishop Lavern O. Yoder and the home ministers. Burial will be in Yoder Cemetery, Shipshewana.

Miller-Stewart Funeral Home, Middlebury, IN
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


 

Borkholder, Ada E.
May 2, 1938 - February 26, 2020

Ada E. Borkholder, age 81, of Nappanee, passed away at 10:40 a.m., Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at her nephews residence. She was born May 2, 1938 in Marshall County to Eli J. and Catherine J. (Coblentz) Borkholder. Ada was a member of the Old Order Amish Church. She was a homemaker.

She is survived by a sister, Amanda (Mervin) Lapp, Quaker City, OH; and a brother, Raymond Borkholder, Nappanee. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Daniel, Jacob, Menno, Joseph and John Henry Borkholder; sisters, Anna Ropp, Sara Borkholder, Emma Miller, and Clara Hochstetler.

Family and friends may call after 2 p.m., Thursday, February 27, 2020 and after 2 p.m., Friday, February 28th at the Bryan Borkholder Residence, (106 Beech Rd.). Funeral service will begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, February 29th also at the Bryan Borkholder Residence. Bishop Kenneth Plank and the home ministry of the Old Order Amish Church will officiate. Burial will be in Borkholder Cemetery.

Arrangements are with Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home, Nappanee.

Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Homes
Nappanee/Wakarusa, IN
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


 

Borkholder, Eddie J.
June 23, 1941 - June 12, 2020

Eddie J. Borkholder, age 78, of Nappanee, passed away at 9:29 a.m., Friday, June 12, 2020 at Elkhart General Hospital from congestive heart failure. He was born June 23, 1941 in Bremen, IN to John A. and Sarah (Miller) Borkholder. On October 15, 1964 he married Elnora L. Miller. He was a member of the Old Order Amish Church.

He is survived by his wife, Elnora Borkholder, Nappanee; children, Loretta (Victor) Harden, Goshen, IN, Homer (Lynette) Borkholder, Daryl (Ruth ) Borkholder, both of Nappanee; 13 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; sister, Irene (Eli) Lehman, Milford; brothers, Eli (Clara) Borkholder, Bremen, John Henry (Rosanna) Borkholder, Nappanee, Larry (Etta) Borkholder, Milford; sisters-in-law, Sharon (Noah) Schrock, Corvallis, MT, Edna Borkholder, Topeka; and brother-in-law, Albert Yoder, Bourbon. He was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Brian Everett; parents; brothers, Roman, Gilbert, Tobias, and Leroy Borkholder; sisters, Katie Yoder, Malinda Bontrager, Ruby Yoder; sister-in-law, Bertha (Miller) Borkholder; brothers-in-law, Chester Gingerich, Lavern Yoder, Mahlon Bontrager and Levi Yoder.

Family and friends may call after 2 Saturday, June 13, 2020 and all day Sunday, June 14th at Kenneth Mullet’s residence, 13394 N 750 W, Nappanee. Funeral services will begin at 9:30 am, Monday, June 15th also at the Mullet residence. Home Ministry of the Old Order Amish Church will officiate. Burial will be in Weldy Cemetery. In accordance with the State of Indiana Back on Track plan, please follow social distancing protocols.

Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Homes
Nappanee/Wakarusa, IN
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


 

Borntreger, Todd Philip
June 12, 1963 - March 13, 2020

Todd Philip Borntreger took his final checkered flag on March 13, 2020 [Lebanon, OR].

Todd was born June 12, 1963 in Elkhart, Indiana to Basil & Eva (Hoover) Borntreger. He attended grade school in Goshen and Wakarusa and high school at Bethany Christian, where he graduated in 1982. He then attended Lincoln Tech where he earned his degree and began a Life- long career as an Automotive Tech. He worked at four shops in his life, the last being Miller's Auto Repair in Lebanon, OR for 17 years. Todd loved 'wrenching' and often told his kids "It's not really work if you love what you do".

Todd's love of cars also involved a love of all auto racing, but NASCAR was his favorite. This love began in his early twenties. He was able to attend several NASCAR races at many sites, but the highlight of every summer was attending the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis with his lifelong friend, George Graber.

After being married to NASCAR, Todd was married to Amy Kauffman on July 27, 1991 in Kalispell, MT. They lived in Goshen, IN where they welcomed daughters Taylor (1994) and Riley (1997). In 2002, the family moved to Oregon and in 2015, niece Jodi joined the family. A constant source of love and companionship in Todd's life were our dogs over the years.

Todd also enjoyed camping, airplanes, history, going out to eat, relaxing with his favorite beer and spending time with family.

Todd made a decision to enjoy what time he had, and this led to checking off many things on his bucket list. He enjoyed a trip to Hawaii, a NASCAR driving experience (a gift from several friends) and a family trip to Disney World.

Life truly is short, and Todd made the most of it. He is sorely missed by Amy, Taylor (Nate) Tubbs, Riley, Jodi, and dog Molly. He is also missed by parents Basil & Eva, sisters Cae (Mike) Yoder and Lynn (Martin) Brubaker, friend George Graber, cousin Kirk Hoover, numerous nieces & nephews, a large extended family and many friends at Lebanon Mennonite Church and in the community.

Many thanks to our Church family and Samaritan Evergreen Hospice, especially Angela. A gathering to celebrate Todd's life will take place later.

"Take the inside corner and drive it like you stole it, Toddy! We will see you again!"

Written by wife, Amy
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


 

Boss, Paul
October 31, 1931 - March 1, 2020

Paul Boss, 88 of Mishawaka, formerly of Goshen and Kalispell, Montana died Sunday, March 1, 2020 at Primrose Retirement Community, Mishawaka.

He was born October 31, 1931 in Kalispell, Montana to John and Ruth (McDonald) Boss.

On August 8, 1952 he married Martha M. Mast in Creston, Montana. She died December 30, 2013.

Survivors include a daughter, Elvira (Kenny) Burke of Mishawaka; a son Ernest (Cynthia) Boss of Cassopolis, Michigan; and two grandchildren, Adam Boss of Goshen and Kaitlin (Dan) Buzalski of Mishawaka.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, John Boss, Jr. and Vernon Boss.

Paul had been an active member of Mountainview Mennonite Church, Kalispell, Montana. He was a farm foreman for the State of Montana College Agricultural Experiment Station in Creston, Montana. He also owned and operated a school bus for Flathead High School.

He was a long-time volunteer for the Creston Volunteer Fire Dept., where he served as Fire Marshall. Paul enjoyed puzzles and driving in the mountains.

In 1994 Paul and Martha moved to Greencroft, Goshen to be near family. They attended Sunnyside Mennonite Church in Elkhart. While living at Greencroft Paul volunteered many hours in the maintenance shop.

The family wishes to thank the dedicated caregivers at Primrose and the Center for Hospice for the special care given to Paul.

Visitation will be Saturday, March 7, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. until the 3:30 p.m. funeral service at Sunnyside Mennonite Church, 23786 Sunnyside Ave., Elkhart. Pastors Charlie and Terri Geiser will officiate.

Burial will take place at Fairview Cemetery, Kalispell, Montana at a later date.

Memorial gifts may be directed to Center for Hospice Care, Elkhart.

Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen, IN
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


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