Pastor Thomas Eugene Nafziger of Bradenton, Fla., passed away on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 69.
Tom was born to parents Lester and Marjorie Nafziger on Dec. 22, 1946, in Wauseon.
In 1966 he married Shirley Ann Klopfenstein. They had four children: Tyler, Tony, Todd and April.
Tom and Shirley felt called to the ministry early in their marriage and were trained at the Institute of Ministry at Christian Retreat in Bradenton, Fla.
After serving on staff there, Tom accepted a pastoral position in Hampton, S.C. He pastored in Hampton from 1988 until 2009.
During this time, he supervised the AM Christian radio station in Hampton, purchased and operated the local skating rink and pool as an outreach to local children and teenagers, and poured his life into his community.
Tom and Shirley returned to Christian Retreat in 2010 and served as leaders of the Seniors Group.
Throughout his life, Tom ministered as a missionary in Haiti, Ghana, India, and Israel. He is also the author of “Fired! By God and Man.”
He was a man driven by his faith in and love for the Lord and his love for his family. He served the Lord with a passion for the lost, a humble spirit, and a song in his heart, which could be heard at any moment and was always sung with gusto.
Tom is survived by his wife, Shirley Ann Nafziger; his sons, Tyler Eugene (Christie) Nafziger, Tony E. (Sandra) Nafziger, and Todd Eric (Renae) Nafziger; his daughter April (John) Nafziger Shallo; his brothers, Leslie (Annemarie) Nafziger, (Deb) Mike Nafziger, and Lonnie Nafziger; his sisters: Suzie Schrock and Karen (Lynn) Rupp; his grandchildren, Ashley (Steven), Racheal, Nicole, Taylor, Thomas, Jay (Candi), Cassandra, Isaiah, Elijah, Lily, Kole, Savannah, and Meagan; and great-grandchildren, Lizzi, Levi, Nora, and May.
He is preceded in death by his parents Lester and Marjorie; his two sisters, Judith and Marlene; his brother-in-law, Jim Schrock.
A memorial service was held at Christian Retreat Family Church Sunday, May 22, 2016.
Criticism should be a casual conversation.–W.H. Auden