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1942 Emma 2023

Emma Bontrager

June 7, 1942 — November 23, 2023

Emma Bontrager, 81 of Blountstown, passed away Thursday, November 23, 2023, in Clarksville. Emma was born June 7, 1942, in Nowata, Oklahoma to the late Edward J. and Sovilla Yoder.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Ora (infant) and Alva Yoder. Survivors include her husband Jonas Ray, her sons, Timothy, Titus, Philip, and Dan (Melonie) Bontrager; her daughters, Rhoda (Darryl) Kennell and Dorcas (Jim) Swartzentruber; her brother, John Mark (Almeda) Yoder; her sisters, Alma (Lonnie) Nissley, Clara Smith, and Katie (Lloyd) Zook; sixteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Emma was born in Nowata, OK, and moved to the Blountstown area with her parents when she was 11 years old. She married her teenage sweetheart on July 30, 1961. They lived in Blountstown next to her parents and God blessed them with 3 little boys. In 1967, they moved to Wisconsin, where they spent 11 years dairying. Emma worked outside on the farm while also caring for their additional children- two daughters and another son. She was a hard-working helper on the farm and also very active in church. She was a faithful helpmeet, milking cows and baling hay while also caring for her babies and children. In 1978, the family moved back to FL and Mom helped in the construction business with painting and wallpapering, volunteered at the Christian school, and also worked hard as a farm wife when they moved back to the farm. She was known for her good cooking, hospitality, and her quiet sense of humor. She made you instantly feel at home by giving you a job to do, even if she could have done it better or faster herself. Her retirement years were filled with helping others and loving on her grandchildren. She made them feel special by doing fun things like baking Christmas cookies, fishing in the pond, and making kids’ favorites like boxed mac and cheese and hot pockets. She modeled for us all that when something needed to be done, to just do it wholeheartedly and without complaining. She taught us how to make do with what we had, how to work hard, how to love, give, and serve. She taught us to forgive, and submit, and love Jesus. She taught us that humor can go a long way in making life bearable.

The last few years, Mom/Grandma began to slip slowly away from us, but she never lost her spunky, dry humor, or her love for her family and friends. We thank God that she did not feel pain and she never complained about her declining health. We rejoice that she is now free from her worn-out earthly body and look forward to seeing her again someday.

Services to honor and to celebrate Emma’s life will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday, November 27, 2023, at Rivertown Community Church with Reverend Paul Smith and Dustin Malphurs officiating. Interment will follow in Red Oak Cemetery near Blountstown. There will be a time of visitation 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, November 26, 2023, at Rivertown Community Church. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Lighthouse Childrens Home at or by mail, 7771 Mahan Dr. Tallahassee, FL 32309 or by phone 850-877-3778

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Emma Bontrager, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, November 26, 2023

5:30 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Monday, November 27, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

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