Christian 03

Merle G. Cordell

July 15, 1925 ~ June 4, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old


Merle G. Cordell, 97, of Grindstone Hill Road, Chambersburg, PA passed away June 4, 2023, at Providence Place, Chambersburg.   Born July 15, 1925, in St. Thomas, PA, he was the son of the late Herbert R. & Mazie Clever Cordell. 

Merle is survived by his four children, Doris E. Lehman of Hagerstown, MD/Reedville, VA, Ruby (Delbert) Gontz, David (Patricia) Cordell and Richard (Sandra) Cordell, all of Chambersburg, PA.  He is also survived by five grandchildren, Nicole (Erik) Muther, Jared Gontz, Jenny Gontz, Tara (Jesse) Castellar, and Ashlea (Gregory) Lowe; seven great-grandchildren, Simon and Tobias Muther, Brycen, Sophia, and Camilla Castellar, and Xavier and Alijah Lowe.   Sisters-in-law, Lily Cordell, Elsie Shank, and Miriam Timmons, survive as do many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Beulah Cordell on December 24, 2013 and siblings, Helen (Leroy) Horst, Glenn (Mary) Cordell, Walter (Winnie) Cordell, Irvin (Margaret) Cordell, Wilbur (Janet) Cordell, Wayne Cordell, and Daniel (Frances) Cordell.

Merle was ordained minister at Marion Mennonite Church in 1954 and ordained as bishop in 1971, serving the Marion congregation and others within the Franklin Mennonite Conference.  He chaired the Mennonite Historical Association of Cumberland Valley from 1987-2010 and led the organization to sponsor the publication of two exhaustive histories of the Mennonites in the Cumberland Valley.  He served on the Board of Directors of Menno Haven, Inc. from 1973-2004.

He was a 1943 graduate of St. Thomas High School, a 1965 graduate of Eastern Mennonite College with a degree in Bible and Elementary Education, and a 1968 graduate of Shippensburg State College with a Master’s in Education.  He taught fifth grade in Greencastle-Antrim School District from 1965-1979.

Early in life, with his wife Beulah, he was a dairy farmer at Shady Grove, PA.  He later established blueberry bushes and fruit and nut trees at their home on Grindstone Hill Road and supported Beulah with her many flower gardens.  They also traveled extensively, visiting most of states in the US and traveling in Europe, the Holy Lands, and the Soviet Union.

Funeral services will be held at Marion Mennonite Church, 4365 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg, PA on Monday, June 12, 2023, at 10 AM. The family will receive friends on Saturday, June 10, 2023, from 5 – 8 PM at the above church and address. Interment will follow the service on Monday in the adjacent church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Marion Mennonite Church.  Arrangements are entrusted to the Harold M. Zimmerman and Son Funeral Home, Inc., Greencastle, PA. 

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June 10, 2023

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Marion Mennonite Church
4365 Molly Pitcher Hwy.
Chambersburg, PA 17202

Funeral Service
June 12, 2023

10:00 AM
Marion Mennonite Church
4365 Molly Pitcher Hwy.
Chambersburg, PA 17202

June 12, 2023

11:00 AM
Marion Mennonite Church Cemetery
4365 Molly Pitcher Hwy. South
Chambersburg, PA 17202


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