The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 16, 2012

Murel Bontrager

Published 11-16-12

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — CHEROKEE — Service to celebrate Murel Bontrager’s life will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at First Christian Church, Cherokee, with Rev. Tom Stanley officiating. Burial will follow in Cherokee Municipal Cemetery, with arrangements by Lanman Funeral Home Inc., Cherokee. Viewing 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. (  

Murel Bontrager, 94, passed on to his heavenly home on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. He was born to Abe and Bey Bontrager on Nov. 23, 1917, and was raised in Cherokee.

Murel graduated from Cherokee High School.

He married Maycel Jenlink in Cherokee on May 26, 1940. They shared 72 years together.

Murel was baptized in 1931 by Rev. Smith at the First Christian Church of Cherokee.

As a young man, he worked at Cook’s Grocery, where he learned the butchering trade from his father-in-law, Albert Jenlink.

During World War II, he was denied enlistment into the U.S. Army due to poor eyesight, so he went to work at Boeing Aircraft in Wichita to help with the war effort.

Murel’s dream and goal was to farm the land and raise cattle. The family farmed and ranched in Perry, Guthrie, Dacoma and then Cherokee.

Murel and Maycel opened the Bontrager Meat Processing in 1975, in Cherokee, while continuing to farm and ranch. He loved watching the new baby calves arrive each year.

He was a loving and faithful husband and father. Murel lost his own father at the early age of 8 years old, when he was killed in an accident, tearing down the original First Christian Church in Cherokee. His mother raised three boys by herself.

Murel served the Lord in many capacities at various churches as elder, deacon, Sunday school superintendent, chairman of the board, class president, trustee and was on various committees.

He is survived by his wife, Maycel; daughter, Sherry Canning and husband G.W.; sons, Steve Bontrager and wife Tava, and Stan Bontrager; four grandchildren, Shelley Berryman and husband Robert, Buddy Canning and wife Michelle, Stephani Yunker and husband Lawrence, and Keli Woods and husband Kyle; 12 great-grandchildren, Brittney Jarnagin and husband Brody, Brayden Berryman, Brianna Berryman, Christa Otterman, Christan Otterman, Brittany Torres and husband James, Brooklyn Canning, Braxton Canning, Camber Canning, Britton Yunker, Briley Yunker, Kaylen Woods, and one on the way; brother, A.J. Bontrager; sisters-in-law, Frances Bontrager, Floy Whittet, and Joan McFadin and husband Bub; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by infant twin sisters, Blondina Bey and Berdina May; brother, Arley Bontrager; brother-in-law, Billy Whittet; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Glenn and Helen Jenlink; and sister-in-law, Frances Bontrager.

Memorials may be given to First Christian Church through the funeral home.

The family deeply appreciates the care given to Dad by Keshia Cunningham, Miranda Ocobock, Faunia Youngblood, Connie Ocobock, Sandy Hutton, Leigh Ann Rohdes, Jennifer Whiteside, Hospice Circle of Love and Home Health care workers.

(Submitted by family)