Eli C. Wenger, 87, Korea vet, sales and service manager, preacher, area volunteer

By on July 13, 2016

Eli C. Wenger, 87, formerly of Akron, went to the place prepared for him and all believers of Jesus Christ on Thursday, July 7, 2016.

Eli was born and raised on his father’s farm in Blue Ball on Sept. 19, 1928, where he attended grades one through eight, then graduated from the former New Holland High School in 1946. He was the son of the late Eli D. and Anna Mary (Shirk) Wenger and was the husband of his help mate, Ruth (Henry) Wenger, for 56½ years before her passing in 2005.

He was a member of Grace Baptist Church. He took courses at Lancaster Theological Seminary and Albright College, Reading, where he was the oldest member of the Lay School of Theology.

In June of 1946 he opened the Sunoco Station on the square in Blue Ball. In 1951 he became a mechanic at Shirk’s Chevrolet in Paradise. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War as a shop chief, later becoming the service manager at Messick Chevrolet, Ephrata, then at A.W. Golden Pontiac and Cadillac, Reading, and Whitney Olds and Cadillac, Brownstown. The last 25 years of his life he worked in outside sales, first at Plain and Fancy Egg Ranch, Elizabethtown; then as sales manager at Gould Battery of Scranton; Grasshopper Mowing Equipment, Mountridge, Kansas; later with Lawn Care Equipment, Terre Hill.

Eli was a member of Sandler Sales System President Club, Baltimore, Md. He loved his work; threw his heart over the fence for it! He taught Sunday School most of his life, beginning at age 16; preached his first sermon at age 17; served as supply preacher, and correlated lay witness missions with Lay Life of Nashville, Tenn. Eli was a licensed pilot, an avid reader of history and collected old books. He also volunteered at the Ephrata Cloister and the Historical Society of Cocalico Valley, Ephrata. Oh, how he loved his church and his Lord!

He is survived by a son: Daniel L. Wenger; and two sisters: Betty, wife of Martin Greider, of Lancaster; and Susan, wife of Milford Smucker, of Harrisburg, Ore.

In addition to his wife and parents, he is preceded in death by three sisters: Helen S. (Wenger), wife of Martin Eb,y of Mohnton; Miriam (Wenger), wife of Dr. John Martin, of Lancaster; Arlene (Wenger), wife of Horace Martin, of Landis Homes, Lititz.

A viewing will be held Thursday, July 14, from 12:30 to 2 p.m., at the Grace Baptist Church, 1899 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, followed by funeral services at 2 p.m., with Pastor Mervin Reich officiating. Internment will take place in the Mellinger’s Mennonite Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Eli’s memory may be made to the Ephrata Cloister, 632 W. Main St., Ephrata, PA 17522.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com.



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