Vestal Elizabeth McConnell Bontrager was a Christian, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Executive volunteer for Navy Relief Society and Sunday School teacher in eleven churches and Navy Chapels (one assignment was for ten years).
Vestal was born on 24 February 1924, Rural Route Fresno, Ohio, graduated class of 1942 West Lafayette, Ohio High School. She married John Kenneth Bontrager 25 August 1943 who she always called “Ken”. She is the mother of Gloria Jean LaCroix, Janiece Ann Plotke, and Mary Elizabeth Lincoln.
Vestal was named by her father Russell to honor his older sister, Vestal. The name “Vestal” is the Latin word for virgin and honors Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Vestal is the grandmother of Monica Gaines, Brandie Fee, Roy Kenneth Striplin, Shawna Volen and Jacob Lincoln. She is the great grandmother of Ariel Kemp, Abriale Kemp, Blake Kemp, Ian Striplin, Maci Striplin and Everett Volen.
Vestal, being the wife of a Navy Chaplain, was very involved with the Navy Relief Society. After retirement she and John spent many happy days traveling the US in their motorhome.
Vestal had great faith, was an amazing wife and mother and had great love for her husband and family.
The Bible verse which best describes her is:
“Her children rise up and call her blessed,
Her husband also, and he praises her,
Many women do noble things
But you surpass them all.”
Vestal and John were married 74 years before her passing on 21 May 2018. She died at the age of 94.