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Vernon Bontrager, 70

Vernon B. Bontrager, age 70, a lifelong resident of St. Joseph County, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, at Thurston Woods Village.

He was born Jan. 2, 1943, in Sturgis, a son of the late Benedict and Mary (Hochstetler) Bontrager.

On Dec. 7, 1963, he married Mary Louise Schwartz at Locust Grove Mennonite Church. She preceded him in death March 21, 1997.

Vernon had been employed by Century Bank and Trust and enjoyed fishing, woodworking, gardening and was a self-taught artist.

Surviving are a daughter, Michele (Garrett) Marshall of Boonton, N.J.; two sons, Michael Bontrager of Plainfield, Ill., and Dwayne (Erika) Bontrager of St. Joseph; three grandchildren, Dylan Marshall, Makayla Marshall and Ana Bontrager; two sisters, Edna Proctor and Sarah Topash; three brothers, Levi, Alvin and Ervin Bontrager; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; a sister, Elizabeth Fuller; and a brother, Ezra Bontrager.

The family will receive friends and relatives from 2–4 p.m. and 6–8 p.m. Sunday at Hackman Family Funeral Home – Rosenberg Chapel, 807 E. Chicago Road, Sturgis.

Services celebrating the life of Vernon B. Bontrager will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Locust Grove Mennonite Church, with Pastors Jeff Thayer and Jean Berquist officiating. Interment and graveside services will follow in Nottawa Cemetery.

The family suggests memorial donations be directed to the American Cancer Society, Thurston Woods Village, or Hospice of Sturgis. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.