Diaspora

Bernadine Zurcher – bernewitness.com

Bernadine L. Zurcher, 92, of Fort Wayne, formerly of Berne, passed away Thursday, April 28, 2022, at her daughter’s home. She was born October 20, 1929, in Berne to Homer and Hilda (Moser) Amstutz. She was happily married for 73 years to her high school sweetheart, Rev. John Zurcher, Jr. Together, they built a home of love and faith, served God in ministry and left a legacy of faith in Jesus to their family and all who knew them.
She graduated from Geneva High School in 1947 as salutatorian of her class. She later attended Fort Wayne Bible College and graduated in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, magna cum laude. She ministered alongside her husband as a pastor’s wife at Union Church in Bryant, Hollywood Missionary Church in Fort Wayne and Fort McKinley Missionary Church in Dayton, Ohio and as a district superintendent’s wife for the Eastern District of the Missionary Church. She and her husband were missionaries in Haiti with the Missionary Church for 20 years.
As a missionary, she was a teacher: she taught her children’s schooling through correspondence courses, led Bible classes for missionary children and Haitians, taught cooking to her Haitian house helpers and taught adult Haitians to read. One of the things that thrilled her was watching the excitement of her students as they learned to read. She was also a musician, leading a women’s choir, playing the accordion and teaching others to play, giving piano lessons to missionary children and recording music for the radio. As a writer, she wrote and translated Sunday school materials and compiled a family cookbook in Haitian Creole, and she wrote a book to teach the Creole language and an English-Creole dictionary. She also helped organize youth camps and conferences for hundreds and was a gracious hostess to many in her home.
She enjoyed sewing, crafts, singing in the choir, playing the piano, gardening and flower arranging. She was a gifted painter, and many family members and friends will treasure her oil paintings. Most of all, she loved the time she could spend with her family. She was passionate to the end about witnessing faithfully to others about God’s love and salvation, encouraging them to read His Word and learn to know and follow Jesus. She will be remembered for her joyful smile and contagious laugh.
She is survived by her three sons, Steven (Lynn) Zurcher of Fernandina Beach, Florida; Deryll (Bonnie) Zurcher of Berne; and Stuart (Julie) Zurcher of Newton, Iowa; daughter, Janita (Marcus) Dye of Fort Wayne; two brothers, Gene (Dorothy) Amstutz of Berne; and Larry (Pat) Amstutz of Fort Wayne; sister, Carol Hill of Huntington; 15 grandchildren and their spouses; four step-grandchildren and their spouses; 21 great-grandchildren; eight step-great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband on December 27, 2021.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the 10:30 a.m. funeral service Friday, May 13 at First Missionary Church in Berne. Officiating will be Pastor Dathen Foust. Burial will be at MRE Cemetery in Berne.
Memorials may be made to World Partners (Missionary Church).
Arrangements provided by Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home, Yager-Kirchhofer Chapel in Berne. To sign the online guest book, visit www.zwickjahn.com.
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