Our dad, LORENCE HENRY MULBERRY, SR., age 89, of Taylor, Michigan passed away due to congestive heart failure at 11:58 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, 2016 in Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, Wyandotte, MI. He was born May 20, 1926 in Franklin, Ohio. Dad is preceded in death by his parents, Aubrey T. Mulberry and Marcella Hoetger Mulberry; his wife of 56 years, Ruth Wagner Mulberry of Lake Wales, FL (previously of Wauseon, Ohio); wife of 10 years, “Myrt” (Cheek) Mulberry of Kodak, TN; brother, Aubrey T. Mulberry, Jr. of Florida; sister, Lois “Boots” Marsh of Sylvania, OH; two sons-in-law, Donald Elie and Stephen Thomas; and two GRANDsons, Keith and Jacob Mulberry.
He is survived by daughters Eunice (Don, deceased) Elie of Phoenix, AZ; Barbara (Ted) Danley of Bloomington, IL; Kay (Stephen, deceased) Thomas of Taylor, MI ; Ruth (Al) Penner of Edna, KS; Becky (Ken) Kraft of Grand Rapids, MI; Anita (Randy) Padgett of Lakeland, FL; son, Lorence “Larry” Henry (Sheryl Stanton) Mulberry, Jr. of Conway, AR; 25 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren; sister, Ella (Gary) Moore of Birmingham, AL; brother, Gene (Ella Stanton) Mulberry of Manheim, PA; brother, Neale (Jane) Mulberry of Winter Springs, FL; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Dad was reared on a farm in Franklin, OH and moved with his family to Wauseon, OH where he continued to farm. He met and married Ruth Wagner in the former United Brethren Church of Wauseon (currently Zion United Methodist Church) on October 7, 1945. They continued farming until they moved to Romulus, MI in 1951. He worked as a carpenter for Edward Rose Construction and as a custodian for Romulus Public Schools. Dad relocated the family to Mt. Clemens, MI in 1960 where he built church buildings under Unified Church Structures. He was later hired as a freelance carpenter to help build the sanctuary of Bethany Baptist Church in Clinton Township, MI. In 1964 he started his own carpentry business, “H.I.S. Manufacturing” in Utica, MI. The H.I.S. of his business name stood for His In Service; dad believed that everything you did should bring glory to God. He saw this as his primary focus in all his work. In 1978 moved his family and the business to Lake Wales, FL, changing the business name to “Lake Wales Trade Center.” After Mother died, Dad married Mom’s best friend, Myrt. They lived in Kodak, TN until she passed away in 2013. He moved to Taylor, MI in 2013 to reside with our sister, Kay, until he went to live with his Savior, Jesus Christ.
At the age of 17, our father accepted Christ as his Savior before he married our mother. He worked very hard to provide for the physical needs of his family, and was attentive to teaching the truth of God’s Word to his children. That truth being that God is creator and sustainer of all things and we are accountable to our Creator for every choice we make in life. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and our payment for sin is death, eternal separation from God. But He offers a free gift of eternal life in Heaven with God when we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. John 14:6 says: “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’”
Dad had a real love for music which overflowed into all areas of his life. We will miss his beautiful baritone voice which he freely shared with others; whether it was waking us up in the morning with, Rise, Shine, Give God Glory, or (while holding us kids on his lap) he sang, Open the Gates of the Temple. (Countless others “shared” –too numerous to count.) He was music director for about six years at Calvary Baptist in Romulus, MI, and enjoyed singing in the choir of the various churches he attended over the years. In an effort to “keep my children out of trouble,” he decided to have all his children learn to play an instrument. To this day 4 of his 7 children currently teach music. The legacy he left, by the grace of God, is that all 7 children have a personal relationship with Jesus. This is what brought him the most joy and comfort.
Services will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at Zion United Methodist Church, County Road 11, Wauseon, Ohio. The visitation will start at 11:30 a.m. and the funeral is at 1:30 p.m. Services are provided through the Edgar-Grisier Funeral Home of Wauseon, Ohio. Our parents had a tremendous heart for missions and gave generously over the years to several missionaries. Mom and Dad took a special interest in Fran Nicol, missionary nurse to Mexico and Spanish translator at Rio Grande Bible Institute. They faithfully supported her as she served our Lord in His calling on her life as a missionary for over 59 years. This dear sister in Christ passed away in October of 2015. In lieu of flowers, our dad requested that memorials be sent to the Memorial Fund for Missionary Frances Nicol at Rio Grande Bible Institute, Bus. Hwy 281, Edinburgh, TX, 78539.