Kenneth R. Espenshade, 89, Ephrata Jr. High reading teacher, Mennonite minister and missionary

By on January 10, 2018

Kenneth R. Espenshade, 89, formerly of Lancaster, passed away on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, at Landis Homes in Lititz.

He was born in Conestoga Township to the late Daniel S. Espenshade and Bertha L. Eshleman, and was the husband of the late Charlotte A. (Hoover) Espenshade, who died in 2013.

Kenneth was a member of Lancaster Brethren in Christ Church. He was a reading teacher at Ephrata Junior High School for 29 years, retiring in 1990. He was a minister in various United Zion, Brethren in Christ and Mennonite churches for 31 years.

He was a graduate of Messiah College and Temple University. He traveled to Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe twice while he was in his 80s, staying for months at a time to minister and to support Brethren in Christ missionaries there.

Kenneth is survived by two sons: Kevin R, husband of Tere Espenshade, of San Antonio, Texas; and their four children: Rochelle, Scott, Peter, and Jacynda; Keith L., husband of Linda Espenshade, of Lancaster, and their children: Jeremy and Jessica; and one sister: Arlene, married to Robert Frey of Lititz.

Their daughter, Deb Frey, was a constant caregiver.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by four brothers: Walter D., Roy O., J. Harold, and Robert A. Espenshade; and one sister: Margaret Ober.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 1:30 p.m., in the West Bethany Chapel at Landis Homes, 1001 E. Oregon Road, Lititz. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions in Kenneth’s memory may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, P. O. Box 500, Akron, PA 17501.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at

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