Elmer Bontrager, age 84, of Waynesboro, GA, passed away Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at his home with his family.
He was born on October 8, 1938, in Hartville, OH, to the late Daniel and Anna Bontrager. He was a faithful member of the Hephzibah Mennonite Church. On August 1, 1964, he married Martha “Loretta” Stutzman, who survives. Also surviving are 4 daughters and 1 son: Denise (Floyd) Heatwole of Hephzibah, GA; Cheryl (Elvin) Eshleman of Monticello, GA; David (Mary) Bontrager of Massillon, OH; Louise (Mircea) Stanila of Alliance, OH; Ioana Bontrager of Waynesboro, GA; 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his siblings Betty McCrone, Mary Yoder, Dorothy Bontrager, Pauline Eby, Paul Bontrager, and Jean Bontrager.
He was preceded in death by brothers Harley Bontrager and Daniel Bontrager, Jr., a sister, Clara Ott, and a grandson, Asher Stanile.
Elmer grew up on a farm, and was involved in agriculture for a number of years. At the age of 17, he began operating heavy equipment, which became one of his greatest loves. He served in alternate service (PAX) in Paraguay during 1961-1963, helping to build the Trans Chaco Road through the jungle. After getting married, Elmer and Loretta served in Puerto Rico during 1965-1966, where he operated a ready-mix plant, helping with a humanitarian aid project with the Ulrich Foundation. He spent 7 years serving as the Burke County Road Superintendent. In 1994, he moved with his wife and daughter to Romania, to serve for 8 years under SLM Ministries. After returning to the US in 2002, they continued to be involved with mission work in Romania through the Casa Anisia Project, which is a home for the elderly.
Visitation hours are from 2:30-4:30PM and 6-8PM on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at Oasis Church in Hephzibah, GA. The funeral will be help at 10AM on Monday, January 9, 2023, also at Oasis Church. The graveside service will follow at Hephzibah Mennonite Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hope International Ministry, Inc., designated for the Casa Anisia Project. Hope International Ministry, Inc., Romania-Casa Anisia, 2150 State Rt. 39, Sugarcreek, OH 44681.