Eugene Edward Blosser 1917-2008

Eugene Edward Blosser (March 27, 1917 – June 8, 2008), career missionary in China and Japan cited in The Mennonite Encyclopedia (1955+), died Sunday morning at Parkview Manor in Wellman, Iowa, following a long respiratory illness. The son of Perry and Ada V. Lahman Blosser of South English, IA, Eugene was the eighth of nine children. In 1932, he discontinued his education at South English High School in order to help his father farm. During WWII he served in the Civilian Public Service corps in Nebraska and Wisconsin. After passing his General Education Development exams, he was admitted to Goshen College in Indiana, from which he graduated with a Bible major in 1949. He later continued his studies at Goshen Biblical Seminary and post-graduate work in Far Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

In the summer of 1949, Eugene was commissioned by the Mennonite Board of Missions to serve as a missionary in China. Upon arriving in Hong Kong that September, he was married to Louella Gingerich, whom he had dated at Goshen, and who had preceded him to China as a medical missionary in 1947. They served together in Chengdu, Sichuan, from 1949 to 1951. Their efforts continue their work following the Maoist takeover of Chengdu on December 30, 1949, are chronicled in Dorothy McCammon's We Tried to Stay (1953). In March 1951 they returned to the U.S., and were reassigned to Japan in 1953. They planted new churches in Hokkaido (Taiki, Sapporo, Hiroo), served established congregations (Obihiro, Kushiro), and administered a boarding facility for missionary children attending Hokkaido International School in Sapporo. In 1981 they returned to the U.S. after Luella was diagnosed with brain cancer. She died in 1982. After serving as interim pastor in Oregon and Nebraska, Eugene married Elsie Zook of Wellman in 1984. The couple lived together in Wellman for 24 years, where they continued active involvement in the local Mennonite church after retirement.

Eugene was preceded in death by his first wife, Luella; and adopted son, Thomas Yoshiro; his parents, and all of his siblings, including six brothers, Wilmer, Aquila, Dwight, Menno, Oren, and Amos; and two sisters, Abbie (Zook) and Mary Kate (Yoder). He is survived by his second wife, Elsie; his children, Philip, Rachel (Derstine) and Meiko (Schoemig); eight grand-children (Christopher, Jonathan Benjamin, Nathaniel, Hannah, Katherine, Elizabeth, and Julia); and four great-grandchildren (Augustine, Ambrose, Cyprian, and Raphael).