Gerald died peacefully on Sunday (Dec. 27, 2009) at Newton Medical Center, surrounded by family.
He was born on Aug. 25, 1920, in Sterling, Ill., to Amos and Stella Shoemaker Kreider.
He lived in Goshen; Bluffton, Ohio; and North Newton. He graduated from Newton High School and from Bethel College with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry.
Gerald R. Kreider married Elinor M. Krehbiel on May 27, 1942. They raised six children on a farm near Goshen. Their children are Carl Kreider of Goshen, Jean Reichenbach of Harrisonburg, Va., Richard Kreider of Wolcottville, Ind., Ellen Kreider of Columbus, Ohio, James Kreider of Lawrence and Kathryn Kreider of Lake Houston, Mo. Elinor preceded him in death on Oct. 26, 1984.
Gerald married Alice Hostetler Loewen on June 14, 1986. She survives and resides at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton.
He also is survived by his brother, Robert Kreider of North Newton; 15 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Gerald was a talented inventor and entrepreneur who, from childhood, was curious about how things worked. He enjoyed designing and building furniture, farm implements, and tools or machinery of various sorts.
Early in his work life, he developed and manufactured the first automated poultry-feeding system. Later, he designed and produced fiberglass for various industries. Additionally, Gerald worked as a chemist, farmer, construction manager, poultry producer and real-estate developer.
Memorial services for Gerald R. Kreider will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton. Inurnment will be at a later date at Violett Cemetery in Goshen.
The family suggests memorial gifts be given to the Marpeck Fund, which Gerald and his brother Robert established to provide grants to foster collaboration between Mennonite colleges and seminaries. Information can be obtained by contacting Michael Miller of The Mennonite Foundation Inc.
Petersen Funeral Home in Newton is in charge of arrangements.