OBITUARY: Rev. Gene Allen McBride

Rev. Gene Allen McBride of Hesston, Kansas, passed away Monday, April 12, 2021 at Schowalter Villa, at the age of 91 years. He was born December 1, 1929, in Friend, Nebraska, the son of Fred and Grace (Schmidt) McBride.

He attended grade schools in York and Nance Counties in Nebraska and graduated from Fullerton High School with the class of 1947. He often spoke of his acceptance of Christ as his Savior at a revival meeting in the fall of 1943 in the Methodist Church in Fullerton.

He was united in marriage to Areta Longenecker on April 8, 1949.

For several years, he farmed with his father in Nebraska and his father-in-law in Minnesota, where he felt God called him to mission work. On January 3, 1953, after graduating from Bethany School of Missions in Bloomington, Minnesota, Gene, Areta, and their three year old daughter, Jeanette, set sail for Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) in West Africa. Here, Gene was baptized early in his ministry. They served in church planting under the Worldwide Evangelization for Christ (WEC) Mission until 1988, when they returned to the States because of Areta’s failing health. Gene then became the executive director of the Missionary Retreat Fellowship, a complex of homes for missionaries on furlough near Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania.

Following Areta’s death in 1994, Gene married Elizabeth (Fast) Jantzen in 1996 in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, who also joined him in the work at MRF. In 2001, they retired from this work and moved to Hesston, Kansas.

He and Liz became members of the Garden Community Church, where he served faithfully as a Sunday school teacher and an elder. Throughout life, Gene continued his interest in, and love and support for mission work and missionaries. In his retirement years, he also volunteered weekly at the Source of Light Mission in Newton, Kansas.

In retirement, Gene was employed part-time by Preferred Builders for several years. He loved to travel, read, hunt and fish.

On March 18, 2019 he became a resident in nursing care at Schowalter Villa in Hesston.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughter, Jeanette (Gary) Stangland; step-daughters, Ellen (Matt) Miles and Martha Bragg; grandsons, Eric (Devon) Stangland and Jason (Joli) Stangland; great-grandson, Calvin Stangland; step-grandchildren, Jazzmin Bragg, Regal Bragg, Georgia Johnson, Micayla (Joel) Shrimpton, Macy Miles, and Mattie Miles; step-great-grandchildren, Mar’Gianna and Imani Wade; and siblings, Norma Longenecker, Valerie Ross, Wayne (Joyce) McBride, Dwayne (Sharon) McBride, and LaVonne (Chuck) Abela.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Areta; sister, Twyla McNeff; and brother, Galen McBride.

Blessed be his memory.

Cremation is planned with memorial services to be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Garden Community Church, rural Moundridge. The family will greet friends one hour prior to service time. The services will be livestreamed at Burial will be held at Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, Pennsylvania at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Missionary Retreat Fellowship (MRF), 74 Missionary Retreat Road, Jefferson Township, PA 18436; Worldwide Evangelization for Christ Int. (WEC, Int.), PO Box 1707, Ft. Washington, PA 19034; or Garden Community Church Missions, PO Box 338, Hesston, KS 67062. Moundridge Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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