Millard Moser, 89, passed away at 2:25 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at the Bluffton Clinic, surrounded by his wife, children, and several of his grandchildren.
Millard was the only son of Edna (Lehman) and Palmer Moser and the cherished brother of Mary (Moser) Eicher and Margie (Moser) Baum, all of whom are also deceased. He was a lifetime resident of Berne, Indiana, born on November 20, 1933, but also a world traveler, visiting over 30 countries from Europe to Asia to South America. He had a deep need to explore and to experience new things and kept an open and curious mind throughout his life.
He began his education at the Berne school along with 33 classmates, many of whom remained lifelong friends and one of whom, Kenyon Sprunger (along with younger brother, Ben), became his step-brothers when he was a teenager.
He began a business major at Bluffton College in 1951, taking a break from 1952-55 to participate in PAX, rebuilding homes and clearing rubble in war-ravaged Germany and Austria as an alternative service to the military. During this time, he became an active correspondent with high-school classmate, Janean (Sprunger) Moser, and the two married on June 5, 1956, after he returned from Europe. They spent the earliest years of their marriage in Bloomington, Indiana where Millard finished his business degree at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and then in Hong Kong where Millard was the director of the Mennonite Central Committee refugee feeding program. While in Hong Kong, Millard and Janean adopted two daughters, Kathy (Mai Lai) and Kristy (Su Fong), and Janean gave birth to son, David.
Upon return from Hong Kong, Millard began working at the family business, Moser Motor Sales, taking his place as the third generation to run the business, and the couple had their fourth child, Annie. The family was complete in 1973 when foster son, John Courtney, came to live with them.
Millard was an active member of the Berne community, serving as a long-time board member at the First Bank of Berne, the Berne Library, and Swiss Village. For some of these organizations, he also served terms as president or chair.
He was also an active member of the Mennonite Church. He and his family attended First Mennonite and later Emmaus Road Fellowship. He taught Sunday School for more than 60 years and served a term as chair of the Camp Friedenswald board. As an expression of their faith and deep commitment to helping others, he and Janean opened their home to countless people over the years, including MCC trainees and Lions Club Exchange students from many countries. He also played an active role in supporting Cambodian and South American refugee families sponsored by the First Mennonite Church.
Millard loved spending time with family, riding his bicycle, reading theology and history, walking his dogs, traveling, sports, and music of all sorts – from bluegrass to opera. He had an eclectic taste, valued things that expand the heart and mind, and encouraged his children and grandchildren to love the same, taking them on countless trips, sharing his favorite books and performances with them, and investing in their interests as well as his own. He was a Mennonite who felt called to live in community, love, and peace. His favorite Bible verse was Micah 6:8 – “What does your Lord require? Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”
He is survived by his wife, Janean (Sprunger), his five children, Kathy Schwartz, Kristy (Jon) Donnally, John Courtney, David (Ingrid) Moser, and Annie (Mark) Gray and by seven grandchildren: Lindsay, Elizabeth, and Alex (Kristy’s daughters), Derek (Kathy’s son), Joshua and Ashley (John’s children), Nick (Annie’s son), and Levi and Peter (David’s sons). He has six great-grandchildren and a seventh due in December.
The celebration of life will take place on Saturday, September 30 at the Swiss Village Chapel officiated by Rev. Anita Rediger and Rev. Michael Spath. A time of visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. immediately followed by a worship service starting at 2:25 p.m. at the Swiss Village chapel.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the Swiss Village Samaritan Fund and Mennonite Central Committee.