Obituary of Charles Sprunger
Charles E. Sprunger, 86, formerly of Trappe, PA, passed away January 9, 2019, at Dock Woods Community of Lansdale, PA. He and his wife, Geraldine (Reiff) Sprunger, would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on August 29th of this year.
Born December 2, 1932, in Mukedi, Congo, he was a son of the late missionaries Vernon J. and Lilly (Bachman) Sprunger, and was a 1950 high school graduate of Central School in Lubondai, Congo. In 1954, he received his B.S. in Biology from Bluffton College in Bluffton, OH. He earned his B.D. in 1962 from Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, IN. Charles was a lifelong learner, taking many courses and gaining knowledge in various areas of electronics throughout the rest of his life.
From 1957 until 1972, Charles served as a missionary with Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission in a variety of ways. Among his duties, he taught in teacher-training schools and inspected out-station schools, helped assist wherever needed and also worked with mission administration. In 1964, Charles and another missionary were captured by the rebels. Through God’s all-knowing love and protection, they were released and Charles was able to continue his mission work. This opened the door to move in a new direction. Charles had been wanting to use radio broadcasts to further extend the mission efforts. He set up and directed a recording studio to supply radio stations with Christian programming in one of their major local languages. He served as a missionary for 15 years while in Congo.
After returning to the United States in 1972, Charles worked in electronics for Acrodyne Industries of Montgomeryville, PA and Spectrum Communication Electronics of Fairview Village, PA. He then served as pastor of Hereford Mennonite Church in Bally, PA from 1975 until 1982. Charles then worked for International Shared Services, Inc. of Plymouth Meeting, PA. During his time with I.S.S., they contracted their work into hospitals. He was at Bryn Mawr Hospital where he became a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician. He was then hired by Bryn Mawr Hospital, where he serviced medical equipment. He worked for Jefferson University Hospital for about two years before returning back to Bryn Mawr Hospital due to the long commute. He remained there until his retirement in 1999. However, he continued to work part-time until the age of 78.
An active member of New Eden Fellowship Church in Schwenksville, PA, Charles sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, and served as chairman of the congregation and as a trustee. He served on the Board of Directors for A.I.M.M.; was chairman of Crossroads Community Center of Philadelphia, PA for five years, was a member of the Commission on Overseas Mission of General Conference Mennonite Church for 13 years, and served on the Eastern District Mission Committee and Ministerial Committee. His hobbies included fixing things, home improvement projects, jigsaw puzzles, woodworking and working with audio equipment.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Kathy Harnley of Schwenksville, PA, Joel Sprunger and his wife, Linda, of Highland’s Ranch, CO, and Charlene Lapp of Telford, PA; a grandson, Jacob Lapp; two step grandchildren, Jack Colmenero and Regina Turpin; and three siblings, Wilmer Sprunger and his wife, Kenlyn, of Berne, IN, Jeannette Bechtel and her husband, Tom, of Goshen, IN, and Shirley King and her husband, Vernon, of Goshen IN. He was preceded in death by an infant brother, David.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral service at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at Dock Woods Community Chapel, 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA, where friends may call for the viewing from 9:30-10:45 AM. Burial will follow at Lower Skippack Mennonite Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, 1013 Division St. Goshen, IN 46528, or to Mennonite Central Committee at www.mcc.org. Arrangements are by R. L. Williams, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. of Skippack, PA. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.RLWilliamsFuneralHome.com.