Tuesday, August 13th, 2019
Rev. Clifford Bollenbacher
Rev. Clifford Bollenbacher, age 87, of Marion, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, August 10, 2019, at Mercy Hospital in Tiffin, Ohio, after suffering from Alzheimer's for ten plus years.
On February 26, 1932, Cliff was born in Mercer County, Ohio, the fourth of five children of the late Victor T. and Martha Louise (Fahncke) Bollenbacher.
He was raised in Rockford, Ohio, and graduated from Rockford High School in the class of 1950. During school, Cliff was high school sweethearts with Laurabel Felver, whom he married shortly after graduation on October 12, 1952. They cherished their sixty six plus years together, and lovingly raised four children: Mark, Steve, Teresa, and Nancy.
In 1952, Cliff was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. He served in an artillery unit in Korea, during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge, Cliff returned home to Mercer County, where he farmed for ten years.
While farming, he received a call from God to go into the ministry. During that time, he attended night classes at the Ohio State University in Lima, until he could transfer to the main campus, where he earned his bachelor's degree. In 1965, Cliff and his family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he furthered his education at the Lancaster Theological Seminary, earning his masters degree in divinity in 1968. Cliff always went above and beyond to care for his family, working countless jobs during school to help make ends meet.
After theological school, Cliff's first church placement was at the First United Church of Christ in Marion, where he served for twelve years. He then went to Belize, Central America, to work at the Heifer Project, where he served as the director of the National 4-H Center for three years.
Next, he served as the pastor at the Mount Olivet United Church of Christ for fourteen years, retiring in 1997. Always willing to answer the call of service to his Lord and Savior, he served as an interim pastor at Bucyrus, Bluffton, Buckland and Waldo, Ohio, for many years following his retirement.
Cliff was a member and served on the board of the Northwest Ohio Association of the United Church of Christ. He served on the Civitan and Rutan service organizations, and served on the US Open board for the Drum and Bugle Corps in Marion. After his retirement, he returned to Marion and was a member of the First United Church of Christ, where he was a pastor emeritus and helped with the UCC disaster response team.
A self taught handyman, Cliff was a "master tinkerer", who could figure out how to fix about anything. He had a good sense of humor, often joking around with his family and friends, never taking himself too seriously. He also was an avid OSU Buckeye fan.
Cliff lived a life of faith and service to God and to the people of God. He also deeply loved his family, always showing them he cared in his own way.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Laura Bollenbacher; four children: Mark Bollenbacher, Steve Bollenbacher, all three of Marion, Teresa (Darzell) Taylor of Columbus, and Nancy (Mark) Hicks of Apex, NC; five grandchildren: Katlin (Shon Luckett) Seckel, Greg Seckel, and Paul, Eric, and Nathan Hicks; one great-granddaughter, Miscela Luckett; a brother, Jerome Bollenbacher of Rockford; a sister-in-law, Ruby Bollenbacher of Eaton; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Including his parents, Cliff was preceded in death by three siblings and two of their spouses: Lloyd Bollenbacher, Don (Eileen) Bollenbacher, and Jane (Vernon) Luginbill; and a sister-in-law, Ruth Bollenbacher.
His family will greet friends from 1:30-3:30 PM on Friday, August 16, 2019, at the First United Church of Christ at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 930 Harding Memorial Pkwy, Marion.
Services honoring his life will follow there at 3:30 PM with religious leader Rev. Daniel Busch officiating. Family and friends will be welcome to stay for a meal at the church following his services.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Heifer Project (www.heifer.org), Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org), or to the First United Church of Christ, 930 Harding Memorial Pkwy, Marion, OH 43302.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to serve Cliff's family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.