Stephen S. Stoltzfus

Stephen Stoltzfus may be a common name in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but this one belongs to an uncommon man. Even though he passed away from prostate cancer at age 90 on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, and is now enjoying life in heaven with so many friends and family, he left a mark on this earth as well. Steve was the son of Stephen R. and Lydia Petersheim Stoltzfus of Morgantown. He and his nine siblings were raised in a wonderful Amish community in the Conestoga Valley. Steve felt the call to “Go and make disciples of all nations…,” so he left the community and traditions of his youth and followed the path God had for him working in Peru with LeTourneau Company. He used all of his knowledge and skills to keep the big machinery running in the Amazon jungle. The project involved building bridges and roads and implementing sustainable land development. He helped build airstrips to get small planes to jungle communities for medicine and Bible training. He was always “backstage” helping make things possible for the missionaries to translate the Bible into the languages of remote tribes and spread the gospel by showing God’s love to everyone he met. It was not an easy life, but his Amish roots had prepared him to live simply and persevere. He met his wife Tish while she was a missionary teacher in Ecuador. Together they had four kids: Philip, married to Karen Hayward Stoltzfus who live in Social Circle, GA, Paul Mark, who died as an infant in Peru, James, married to Anita Rittenhouse Stoltzfus who live in Atlanta, GA, and Rozanna, married to Steven Leever who live at the farm in Morgantown. He also had eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He served in Peru for 23 years by running a business and funding church projects. The family moved back to the U.S. in 1976, first to Pennsylvania and then to Texas where he again made big equipment for very specific jobs. He helped build a nuclear waste tank handler for the government and went to Nome, Alaska for two summers to do gold mining with equipment he had built for his company. He then moved to Atlanta, GA to work for Shaw-Almex, making and installing huge rubber vulcanizing presses. During each of these times, he was a deacon in the Alliance Church, which allowed him to use his skills to fix and repair almost anything for anyone. His motto was, “If it’s difficult I’ll do it right away, and if it’s impossible, it will take me just a bit.” Through his work he was able to travel the world and meet people from around the globe. Most of his work was in India and China, and Tish documented all the travel with her photography.

In 1997 Steve retired and he and Tish moved back to the Morgantown area to be close to their daughter and son-in-law at the farm he had owned since 1966. After Tish passed away, he married a missionary widow, Ginger Gammon and they kept traveling to South America and the Middle East to visit friends and family. They spent many months with the Ticuna tribe in a remote village in the Amazon region, installing water wells so that villages could have clean, convenient water to drink. They helped build small homes on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, and they facilitated the rebuilding of a town near the city of Ica, Peru after an earthquake in 2007. This created a partnership between Hopewell Church in Elverson and El Shaddai Church, pastored by Martin and Cotty Laos in Ica.

After Ginger passed away, Steve moved to Garden Spot Village in New Holland, where he resided for two years and made many new friends. He started attending Bethany Grace Fellowship with his daughter and her husband, and after becoming a member, he was baptized at age 89. He had made the decision to accept God’s free gift of salvation at the age of 20 but had never taken the step of baptism after that time. He decided it was not too late to fulfill his promise to God. This last year he flew to California twice to attend the wedding of two grandchildren and was even able to meet his new great-granddaughter who was born in August. He lived a life of no regrets and was confident of being welcomed into God’s presence, not because of anything he could ever do, but only because Jesus paid the price through his death and resurrection.

Although Steve loved his work, he loved relationships even more. He was always generous, kind, and curious, wanting to get to know what made people tick. He had so many friends of all ages always visiting and calling up until his last day. He would want everyone to say yes to adventure and most of all, say yes to Jesus, who is the One who makes life worth living.

Stephen was preceded in death by his parents and nine siblings: Rebecca, married to Sam Fisher, Christ L. married to Sarah Stoltzfus, John M., married to Annie Stoltzfus, Urie, married to Rachel Stoltzfus, Barbara, married to Daniel Glick, Lydia, married to Amos Stoltzfus, Ammon P., married to Barbara Esh, still living in Elverson, Naomi, married to John Z. Stoltzfus, and Jonas L, married to Sadie Smoker, still living in Chambersburg, PA.

He was also preceded in death by his wife Leona “Tish” Stoltzfus and his second wife Ginger Gammon Stoltzfus as well as her daughter Ginger. In addition to his three children, Philip, James and Rozanna, he is survived by his stepdaughter Victoria and husband Tom O’Connor from Tennessee and stepdaughter Diana Liljedahl from Texas.

There will be a Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, October 15 at 10:00 a.m. at Bethany Grace Fellowship, 400 Reading Rd., East Earl, Pa.

Arrangements by The Labs Funeral Home, Inc. of Honey Brook, Pa.

For additional information or online condolences, please visit

Add My Condolences

Uncle Steve was so special to us. He had qualities that set him apart. He was enthusiastic, a great listener, interested in what you had to say and expressed his thoughts and beliefs clearly. He enjoyed life and the people he knew well or just met. Our only regret is that we didn’t take time to visit him more.

~ Bob and Mary Tieszen Mayer, AZ
9/19/2022 4:52:59 PM

Add My Condolences