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Martin A. McEntarfer

September 17, 1928 to September 21, 2023

Pastor Martin “Mac” Abraham McEntarfer, 95, born on Sept. 17, 1928, at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, died on Sept. 21, 2023, at Astral of Auburn, Indiana. He was formerly of Angola, Indiana, Riverside, California, and places all over the world.

He graduated from Wesleyville High School in Wesleyville, Pennsylvania, where he lettered in football; he attended Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan and graduated from Albion College in Albion, Michigan, and seminary from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.

He was an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, serving congregations in Michigan, at Lyon Lake Marengo (Marshall United Methodist Church), Delton, Michigan; (Faith United Methodist Church), Grand Rapids, Michigan; Menominee, Michigan (First United Methodist Church); and Center Line, Michigan, (Centerline United Methodist Church).

He was a member of the Detroit Area Conference (now Michigan Conference). He also served as president of the Centerline and Warren Kiwanis Club in Centerline, Michigan.

Martin was a member of the Air National Guard (Selfridge Air National Guard base) and then served 20 years in continuous active military service from February 1966, to Dec. 31, 1985, in the United States Air Force (most of the time with the Strategic Air Command (SAC)) as a Chaplain, entering at the rank of Captain and retiring as Lieutenant Colonel. During his service with the United States Air Force, he was stationed at Air Force bases located in Plattsburg, New York, (Plattsburg Air Force Base) (his favorite tour); Anchorage, Alaska (Elmendorf Air Force Base) (his hardest tour); Dayton, Ohio, (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base); Lubbock, Texas (Reese Air Force Base); U-Tapao, Thailand; Riverside, California, (March Air Force Base) as Senior Protestant Chaplin, 15′ Ari Force; Crete, Greece, (Souda Air Force Base); and Vacaville, California (Travis Air Force Base).

Upon retiring from the United States Air Force, he returned to Riverside, California (his favorite place to live), and worked 10 years as a case manager for the American Cancer Society, covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties, California.

In retirement, Mac and Joan continued to travel the world making frequent trips, including to New Zealand, Alaska, and back to visit family.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Idella Joan McEntarfer (Godwin), in 2015; and his parents, the Rev. Clifford Abraham McEntarfer and Louise Elizabeth McEntarfer (Plate); his siblings, Wesley McEntarfer, Joyce Bayle and Edith Anderson.

He is survived by his children, Jean McEntarfer; James Abraham McEntarfer (Lois); Vance Godwin (Nancy) and Sandy Godwin. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Scott Perry (Cara), Ross Abraham McEntarfer (Amy), Steven Wright (Chelsea), Brad McEntarfer (Jessica), Laurie Godwin and Jennifer Godwin; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; five nephews “Uncle Martin”, David and Michael McEntarfer, Larry and Ronald Bayle and A.J. Ficcardi; and a close family friend of Mac and Joan, Betty Masters, of Riverside, California.

In his visits with family, he was known for his antics, songs and sayings. He will forever be known for his “can do” attitude and actions; priority of family; his constant and continued pride of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, and all of their families. His continual and constant prayer was for all to have the Christmas Spirit of “good will to all people and peace on Earth”.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, at 11 a.m., at First

Congregational United Church, 314 W. Maumee St., Angola, Indiana.

Burial will take place at a future date at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, where his remains will be placed with his wife, Joan.

Memorial contributions may be made to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road. Evanston, IL 60201; or First Congregational United Church of Christ, 314 W. Maumee St., Angola, IN 46703.

Condolences may be expressed online at www.weichtfh.com.

Local arrangements handled by Weicht Funeral Home, Angola, Indiana.

*McEntarfer, Martin A. – [(RE) FL, Erie, 1950; T. MI, 1953; F 1960; RE 1992] Franklin Center 1950; Lyon Lake 1951; Delton 1953; Burton Heights (assoc) 1956; Transfer to Detroit Conf, Menominee 12/1956; Centerline: Bethel 1960; Chaplain, Plattsburg AFB, NY 1966; Site Chaplain, Alaskan Air Command 1969; Chaplain, Kitty Hawk Center, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio 1970; Chaplain, Pilot Training Program, Reese AFB, TX 1972; Chaplain, Utapao AB, Thailand 1973; Chaplain, Regional Medical Center, March AFB, CA 1974; Senior Chaplain, Iraklion AB, Crete, Greece 1978; Senior Chaplain, David Grant Medical Center, Travis AFB, CA 1980; Senior Chaplain, March AFB, CA 1984; USAF Retired 1986; Service Director, American Cancer Society 1986; Cancer Control Director, American Cancer Society 1989; Retired 1992.

Last Updated on March 13, 2024

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