Melvin Kizer


SARASOTA, Fla. -- Melvin Eugene Kizer, 92, of Sarasota, Florida, left this earth and joined the heavenly choir on May 11, 2013.

He was born in Harlan, Ind., the son of William R. and Gracia M. Kizer. He was the youngest of four children. Melvin attended the local schools and graduated from Harlan High School in 1939. Melvin was an ordained minister and member of the Brookside Evangelical Mennonite Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Upon graduation from high school, he attended Indiana University for one year while also receiving Navy flight training at the V-5 Naval School. While serving in the United States Army, beginning in April 1944, he attended the Armed Forces Institute and studied journalism. After being stationed in France, Austria and Germany, he received an honorable discharge in February 1946. Later, he also served in the Western Reserve from 1957-60.

Furthering his education he attended Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, studying journalism and psychology. He graduated from Fort Wayne Bible College with a B.A. degree in missions. His career spanned a wide variety of professions. He worked as a casualty insurance inspector, a quality control employee and inspector for General Electric Company and Hughes Aircraft Corp. in California.

His passion for life was serving Christ. He, with his wife, Nancy H., served many years in Hong Kong, China and Macau, under OMS International Inc. He served as business manager for the field. He attended the Chinese Language Center becoming proficient in the Cantonese language, and served as a part-time lecturer of English at Hong Kong Shue Yan College. He served as liaison between the British and Hong Kong government as overseer for the construction of a 10-story educational building, for the use of OMS and the Hong Kong Evangelical Church. That facility served both as a retreat and training center for seminary classes, as well as offices for OMS and HKEC.

Out of their love for the Chinese people, they helped establish the Ko Chi Road reading center in a newly planted church, Yan Ying, which has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Since returning to America, he was a substitute teacher in Florida and Indiana, and also taught ESOL. Following the death of Nancy, he returned to China where he taught the English language to hotel, business and industry employees.

He is survived by his loving wife, Darla C. Kizer. Preceding him in death were his first wife, Nancy Hostetler Kizer; daughter, Laenette Zeller; and his parents. He is survived by son, Mickey Kizer, and son-in-law, Kevin Zeller, both of Defiance, Ohio; grandsons, Scott (Ruth) Graber Stryker, Ohio, and John K. Zeller of Pittsburg, PA; two granddaughters, Mrs. James S. Goudie of Acton, Ma., and Emily J. Zeller of Mt. Vernon, Ohio; in addition to one stepdaughter, Dianne (Jim) Henderson of Fort Wayne, Ind.; and two great-grandsons.

The memorial service will be held at Grace United Methodist Church in Hicksville, Ohio, on June 3, 2013, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in his memory to One Mission Society (OMS), P.O. Box A, Greenwood, Ind. 46142. Arrangements are by Hockemeyer Funeral Home, Harlan, Ind.

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