John Merrill Souder, age 76, of Elkland Township, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, went to be with Jesus and his childhood sweetheart and wife, Susan, on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, after a courageous battle with leukemia. His final days were spent with his loving family surrounding him.

John was born in Telford, on Jan. 15, 1943, a son of John and Margaret Mittman Souder. He was a graduate of Christopher Dock High School of Lansdale, class of 1960. He married Susan Landis of Harleysville, on Nov. 10, 1962. He and Susan moved to a farm in Sullivan County in 1964. They moved to Sullivan County to help develop a new church, formerly known as Estella Mennonite Church (now Living Hope Fellowship). John was self-employed as a farmer and general contractor.

John was a fierce ping-pong competitor, skilled wood carver, and loved playing ice hockey with his children and grandchildren. He loved being with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He wholeheartedly served the congregation of Living Hope Fellowship in Estella, for 50+ years. He and his wife, Susan have fond memories of serving with MAMA Project, a mission in Honduras. After the loss of his wife, Susan, in 2010, he remarried a longtime family friend, Marliss Berke.

Surviving is his spouse, Marliss of Pittsburgh; sister, Joan (John) Feldi of Telford; son, Mike (Mercy) Souder of Mount Sidney, Virginia; three daughters, Renee (Rodney) Martin, Waynesboro, Virginia, Brenda (Eugene) Rankin, Lyndhurst, Virginia, and Lori (Mike) Beinlich of Forksville; 12 grandchildren, Ciara (Joseph) Steinberg, Rachel (Austin) Lester, Rebekah (Jon) Dooley, Tyler (Megan) Rankin, Rayah (Nicholas) Secrist, Kaiti Beinlich, Rissa Martin, Leah Beinlich, Bethany Beinlich, Emmett Souder, Jude Souder, Eva Souder; and three great-grandchildren, Selah Steinberg, Lucy Dooley, and Eloise Lester and one on the way, Asher John Rankin. He is also survived by Marliss’ children, Bruce (Karen) Berke, Susannah Berke, and Brian (Jenny) Berke; grandchildren, Natalie and Conner Berke, Jack McClain and Alexander McClain, and Mikayla and Calvin Berke.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at Living Hope Fellowship, Estella, Pennsylvania. A private family graveside service will be held on Saturday morning, Sept. 28, 2019, at St. Peter’s Church Cemetery, Eldredsville, Pennsylvania, and a memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 602 S. Market Street, Muncy.

Memorials may be directed to Living Hope Fellowship, which will distribute the funds between John’s favorite mission efforts. Please make checks payable to Living Hope Fellowship, 3299 Route 4008, Forksville, PA 18616.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water Street, Dushore.

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