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Dr. John Everett Zehr b. 29 Dec 1929 Foosland, Champaign Co., IL d. 5 Feb 2018 Urbana, Champaign Co., IL: The Schrock-Birkey Connection

Dr. John Everett Zehr

Male 1929 - 2018  (88 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name John Everett Zehr  [1, 2, 3
    Prefix Dr. 
    Born 29 Dec 1929  Foosland, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Cremated
    • Location unknown
    Occupation Professor and head of Physiology and Biophysics Dept., University of Illinois. Also served some years as president of Bethel College, Newton, Kansas  [1
    Religion Mennonite 
    Died 5 Feb 2018  Urbana, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • at his home
    Person ID I3924  Schrock-Birkey Connection
    Last Modified 26 May 2019 

    Father Harold A. Zehr,   b. 15 Oct 1903, Goodfield, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Dec 1975  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Alma P. Unzicker,   b. 5 Nov 1903, Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Apr 1966, Normal, McLean Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Married 30 Jun 1926  Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Family ID F836  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Betty Louise Birky,   b. 29 Apr 1930, Foosland, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Feb 2012, Urbana, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Married 7 Dec 1951  Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Terrence Dale Zehr
     2. Randall Lane Zehr
     3. Brent Eugene (Private) Zehr
     4. Rhonda S. (Private) Zehr
    Last Modified 26 May 2019 
    Family ID F2767  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 29 Dec 1929 - Foosland, Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 7 Dec 1951 - Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 5 Feb 2018 - Urbana, Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Obit:
      Dr. John E. Zehr, 88, passed away during the evening of February 5, at his home in Clark Lindsey Village in Urbana, Illinois. He was born December 29, 1929 on a farm near Foosland, Illinois to Rev. Harold and Alma Zehr. On December 7, 1951 he married Betty Louise Birky. Together they were parents of four children: Terry, Randy, Brent and Rhonda.

      John was a long time professor and Head of the Physiology and Biophysics department at the University of Illinois as well as giving leadership in many capacities to the Illinois Heart Association. Following his retirement from the University of Illinois he and Betty moved to Newton, Kansas where he assumed the presidency of Bethel College, a 4 year liberal arts college affiliated with the Mennonite Church. These years were very rewarding for John and Betty and involved much traveling and entertaining on behalf of the college and building many friendships across the country.

      Education was tremendously important to Dr. Zehr and he took great satisfaction in watching his children and grandchildren as well as many others discover the joy of learning.

      As a man of faith he served the local and larger Mennonite Church in many capacities. As someone gifted with a voice for singing, John served as song leader for many years at churches he attended. He and his wife Betty sang in many duets and quartets in their younger years and were often heard singing around the house as their children grew up. As a person of intelligence and kindness of heart, his wisdom, guidance and generosity will be missed by many.

      Surviving are Terry (Cheryl) Zehr of Elkhart Indiana, Randy (Cathy) Zehr of Columbus Indiana, Usha Barwale Zehr of Dawalwadi India, Rhonda (Charles) Gibson of Champaign Illinois, and six grandchildren: Brian, Ben, David and Justin Zehr, Emily and Jonathan Gibson. Also surviving are his siblings Allen (Carol) Zehr of Bedford, Indiana, Hazel Yoder of Bloomington, Illinois and Lila (Ron) King of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

      He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Betty, his son Brent and siblings Edith, Rachel, Dean and Jay Zehr.

      Following his wishes of cremation, a service of celebration and singing will take place at First Mennonite Church in Urbana, Illinois at a later date.

      In lieu of flowers, the following may be considered for John E. Zehr memorials: the Student Scholarship Fund at Bethel College (Newton, KS), First Mennonite Church (Urbana, IL), or the American Heart Association. [5]

  • Sources 
    1. [S1060] Find-A-Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/187186585/john-e.-zehr.

    2. [S26] Jacob Zehr, 1825-1898, Mackinaw Meeting Preacher, Margaret and Verle Oyer.

    3. [S1111] The Life and Legacy of a Farmer-Preacher, John E. Zehr.

    4. [S11] Obituaries of Individuals.

    5. [S1060] Find-A-Grave, https:&|;&|;www.findagrave.com&|;memorial&|;187186585&|;john-e.-zehr.


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