Cover photo for John Merrill Souder's Obituary
John Merrill Souder Profile Photo

John Merrill Souder

January 15, 1943 — September 22, 2019

John Merrill Souder, age 76, of Elkland Township, Sullivan County, PA, went to be with Jesus & his childhood sweetheart & wife, Susan, on Sunday, September 22, 2019, after a courageous battle with leukemia.   His final days were spent with his loving family surrounding him.


          John was born in Telford, PA, on January 15, 1943, a son of John and Margaret Mittman Souder.  He was a graduate of Christopher Dock High School of Lansdale, PA, class of 1960.  He married Susan Landis of Harleysville, PA, on November 10, 1962.  He and Susan moved to a farm in Sullivan County in 1964.  They moved to Sullivan County to help develop a new church, formerly known as Estella Mennonite Church (now Living Hope Fellowship).  John was self-employed as a farmer and general contractor.


          John was a fierce ping pong competitor, skilled wood carver, and loved playing ice hockey with his children and grandchildren.  He loved being with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  He wholeheartedly served the congregation of Living Hope Fellowship in Estella, PA, for 50+ years.  He and his wife, Susan have fond memories of serving with MAMA Project, a mission in Honduras.  After the loss of his wife, Susan, in 2010, he remarried a longtime family friend, Marliss Berke. 


Surviving:  his spouse, Marliss of Pittsburgh, PA; sister, Joan (John) Feldi of Telford, PA; son: Mike (Mercy) Souder of Mount Sidney, VA; three daughters:  Renee (Rodney) Martin, Waynesboro, VA; Brenda (Eugene) Rankin, Lyndhurst, VA; and Lori (Mike) Beinlich of Forksville, PA; twelve grandchildren; Ciara (Joseph) Steinberg, Rachel (Austin) Lester, Rebekah (Jon) Dooley, Tyler (Megan) Rankin, Rayah (Nicholas) Secrist, Kaiti Beinlich, Rissa Martin, Leah Beinlich, Bethany Beinlich, Emmett Souder, Jude Souder, Eva Souder.  And 3 great-grandchildren: Selah Steinberg, Lucy Dooley, and Eloise Lester and one on the way, Asher John Rankin.  He is also survived by Marliss’ children, Bruce (Karen) Berke, Susannah Berke, and Brian (Jenny) Berke; grandchildren: Natalie and Conner Berke, Jack McClain and Alexander McClain, and Mikayla and Calvin Berke. 


          The family will receive friends on Friday, September 27, 2019, from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at Living Hope Fellowship, Estella, PA.  A private family Graveside Service will be held on Saturday morning, September 28th, 2019, at St. Peter's Church Cemetery, Eldredsville, PA, and a Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 P.M. at the First United Methodist Church, 602 S Market St, Muncy, PA.


          Memorials may be directed to Living Hope Fellowship, which will distribute the funds between John’s favorite mission efforts.  Please make checks payable to Living Hope Fellowship, 3299 Route 4008, Forksville, PA 18616


          Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore, PA. 


          To send condolences or sign the e-guestbook, please go to   




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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 27, 2019

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, September 28, 2019

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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First United Methodist Church

602 South Market Street
Muncy, PA 17756

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Private Family Burial

Saturday, September 28, 2019

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St. Peter's Cemetery

State Route 4007
PA 18616

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