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The Rev. Vernon's Story

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The Rev. Vernon E. Bontreger, 92, Goshen, passed away Monday, Aug. 21, at Greencroft Healthcare.
He was born Feb. 15, 1925, in Elkhart, and adopted as an infant by Manasseh E. and Mary (Hochstetler) Bontreger. In 1969, he reconnected with his birth mother, Antoinette (Dandino) Marconi, his grandmother, Rose Dandino, and the entire Dandino family.
On June 1, 1945, he married Miriam L. Hoover.
She survives along with six sons, Cecil J. (June) Bontreger, Goshen, John D. (Cindi) Bontreger, Fishers, Charles E. Bontreger, Elkhart, Jason P. (Linda) Bontreger, Goshen, Mark E. Bontreger, Watertown, South Dakota, and Wesley J. (Cheryl) Bontreger, Goshen; 15 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Esther Horst, Gulfport, Mississippi.
A lifelong area resident, Vernon was a member of Clinton Frame Church. He was ordained as pastor in 1950 to Clinton Frame Mennonite Church where he served 40 years until 1990. He also served the Mennonite church in leadership on the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference as a bishop, an assistant moderator from 1964-1979, and chaired the church life commission from 1970-79. Vernon, through his position at Clinton Frame, was also instrumental in building and starting a congregation in Talcum, Kentucky. He also led numerous revival meetings throughout the United States.
For his years as a self supporting minister he worked in his own poultry operation; was custodian at Clinton Christian School; owned and operated Bontreger Rug and Upholstery; and was a bus driver for Goshen Community Schools.
Following retirement Vernon continued to minister to people in his work at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home from 1990-2008, where he was a valued employee.
Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and will continue on Saturday from 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 p.m., all at Clinton Frame Church, Goshen. There will also be a time of visitation beginning at 1 p.m., prior to the 2 p.m. funeral on Sunday. Reverends Matt Yoder and Danny Yoder will officiate.
Burial will follow at Clinton Frame Cemetery, Goshen.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be directed to the church.
Online condolences may be shared at www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.
Published on August 22, 2017
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