Community support in a time of heavy loss

This week’s column is written by a close friend of the family.

As many of you already know, Lovina’s son-in-law, Mose, who is married to daughter Susan, was in a serious car accident in the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 9. On Monday, December 14, Mose passed away as a result of his injuries. Mose was on his way to work with his friend and co-worker Dan, who was his driver. Another vehicle crossed the center line and hit them head on. Dan was killed instantly. Both men loved hunting and fishing and enjoyed swapping stories on their drive to and from work. The Eichers ask for prayers for Dan’s wife Jodi and their children, grandchildren, and extended family.

Mose is the son of William and Rosanna Bontrager and comes from a large family consisting of six brothers and six sisters. Mose was the seventh born, which puts him right in the middle of the family.

Today (December 16) marks one week since the crash and the family is preparing for his viewing and funeral. The viewing will be held in Joe and Lovina’s pole barn starting this afternoon into evening and will continue all day Thursday. On Friday, the funeral will be held in the pole barn followed by his burial in a nearby Amish cemetery.

Buggies lined the yard as the community gathered to mourn. Photo provided.

Within hours of the news of Mose passing was announced, church friends and family began to arrive to help with the preparations for the viewing and funeral. Men and women arrived to help clean the pole barn, house, and basement. Meals were dropped off and friends stopped by to offer words of comfort. The church wagon that holds the benches was dropped off as well as a cook wagon and cooler wagon. Two of the church women took charge of planning the meals that the family would need during the week, as well as the funeral lunch. Slips of paper with food assignments were made up and placed in a jar. As people stopped to offer their condolences they would take these slips, and will then make the breads, salads, jellos or other items that will be served at the lunch. The Amish community is caring and supportive and quickly responds when needs arise.

I had the opportunity to visit with the Eichers yesterday and they shared some sweet memories of Mose with me. Susan and Mose were married for four years and had dated for four-and-a-half years before that. They have two children, Jenny who will be 3 in January and Ryan who is 17 months. Susan told me she is feels blessed to have had Mose for all the years they had together and wouldn’t change a thing. She is grateful to have the children and will share many memories of him with them as they grow up.

Mose was a kind, generous and hard-working man. He recently took on a large house remodel project which he nearly completed. He was particularly good at fixing engines and at 10 years old he took his first engine apart. While that project did not result in a running engine it did start him down a path of many successful engine repairs. Mose was a happy, good natured person who some might describe as quiet, but those who knew him well could tell you that he loved to talk about his family and would jump at the opportunity to have a conversation about hunting or fishing.

Mose was a man of faith and he and Susan loved reading the Bible together on Sundays. Susan said if there was something she didn’t understand he would take the time to explain what it meant. She said they always prayed together in the morning. If they had a particularly busy morning and they missed their prayer time together they would both promise to pray separately. Mose made teaching his faith to his children a priority and would often talk to the children about Jesus. The family draws great comfort knowing that he is with Jesus and that they will see him again someday.

This is an unbelievable grief that is borne with the support of many, but it is still a heavy grief. Mose was loved deeply by Susan and his children. She and her family are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the readers and especially for the prayers offered on their behalf. She asks that you continue to pray for them in the weeks and months ahead as they adjust to life without their precious Mose.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available now online. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

17 thoughts on “Community support in a time of heavy loss”

  1. my sympathy for Susan and the Eicher and Bontrager families is very hearfelt. I will be praying for them and the others involved in the accident. Having experienced tragic losses in my family I can understand their shock and grief. May the Lord comfort them and bring them peace as time passes, and some day soon they can dwell on the happier times.

  2. I am just so sorry for the loss of this man.Reading about him and his family for years makes one feel like we know them.My sincere condolences to the families involved in this horrible accident.

  3. To Susan, Jennifer, Ryan, Lovina, Joe and the entire Eicher family, I am so very sorry. My own daughter-in-law died the same way 13 years ago, hit head-on by a drunk driver. The suddenness of it was the hardest to deal with. She also was a strong Christian, praise be to the Lord.

    Lovina’s writing brought Mose to life for us in blog-land, his love for Susan and the children and their love for him, his steadfastness in the remodeling project (which never seems to end, personal experience speaking), his perseverance through the trials they have undergone. I’m thankful that Susan has good memories and strong faith to hold her up through this hardest trial. You are in my prayers, along with the whole family.

    Dan’s family is also in my prayers as they, too, are dealing with the suddenness of his loss. I pray for good family and friends to surround and comfort them.

    There are no words to make it better or easier but please know that you are being lifted up and prayed for through this trial.

  4. Sincere sympathy for the families who list these young men. Prayers said especially for those small children and the wives who now have to learn to live without their fathers and husbands!

  5. So sorry for your loss. Praying for comfort from Jesus for all of you. May He continue His comfort in days ahead. He is so good!!

  6. My heart breaks for Susan, children and all the family. May the Lord hold you up and comfort you during this time. He is ever faithful and promises never to leave us or forsake us. Your in our thoughts and prayers as well.
    Debbie Petro, Madison WI

  7. My heart hurts for your loos, but rejoices that he is now living with Jesus. Susan, you and the children are in my nightly prayers. My the Lord give you comfort and love.

    Valerie Roton
    Tacoma, WA

  8. My heart aches for all of you. May our God comfort you and all and give you strength and peace as you look to the future without your wonderful Mose
    Janet from Australia

  9. To the family of Mose: I was so sorry to hear of his passing.
    Mose sounds like a wonderful young man who lived a happy, busy life with Susan and the children. What sweet memories you all will have of the time you spent together!
    God bless you all during this sad time. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
    Mavis Campbell Dover, Ohio

  10. Dear Eicher family, so very sorry to hear of your loss. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter as Jesus told us. I pray that you receive His comfort and His shalom especially during this difficult time. We will be praying for you.

  11. May the Lord comfort and support you all the days of your lives. I pray you feel his warm embrace and loving support.

    From Tennessee

  12. I’m sorry for the hard journey Susan that you have to face. It is not easy. And sorry joe and Lovina for you that you had say goodbye to your son in law and have to watch the hurt and heart ache that Susan n children have to face. Praying for you all.

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