DR. REV. MEREDITH JUSTIN SPRUNGER

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REV. DR. MEREDITH JUSTIN SPRUNGER, 97, graduated to the Mansion Worlds on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Muncie where he lived for the past 18 months. Born April 16, 1915, in Wood burn, he was the son of Sylvia and Alvin Sprunger. By the time Meredith was ten, both of his parents had died, and he and his three younger siblings went to live with different relatives. He lived with his Aunt and Uncle Ervin Lochner near Bluffton and graduated from Kirkland High School. His central interests have always been nature, philosophy, and religion; and at a very early age he began his lifelong quest for knowledge and truth. His course of study took him to Mission House College (now Lakeland), where he graduated in 1937 with a B.A. in Philosophy. He then proceeded through Mission House Theological Seminary and became an ordained minister in 1940. He received his M. Th. at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1941 and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Purdue University in 1947. Throughout his educational endeavors, he worked many jobs to finance his own college studies. He became a licensed psychologist/therapist with a Private Practice Certificate in Psychology in the State of Indiana. As a minister, he served churches throughout the Midwest: Trinity UCC, in Mulberry, Ind from 1941 to 1949; Highland UMC, in Chicago, in 1950; Grace UCC, in Culver, Ind. from 1950 to 1959;, and Plumtree UCC near Warren, Ind. from 1964 to 1979. In 1959, the Sprunger family moved to Fort Wayne, and Dr. Sprunger began teaching at Indiana Institute of Technology where he served appointments as Head of the Department of Psychology, Chairman of the Division of Liberal Arts, and Interim President. While living in Fort Wayne, Dr. Sprunger also administered psychological tests and consulted for corporations / industry. In 1977, he retired to pursue other interests. He realized that a new spiritual approach was needed in mainline Christian theology and initiated The Spiritual Fellowship Journal, serving as editor and then associate editor from 1991 to 2006 . He wrote extensively and authored many pamphlets and two books, Spiritual Psychology, in 1990 and The Abridged Urantia Papers, in 2008. He served as president of the Urantia Brotherhood from 1976 to 1979, and spoke at conferences and study groups all over the United States. Throughout Dr. Sprunger's remarkable life and career, colleagues have described him as wise, focused, spiritually discerning, knowledgeable, appreciative, dignified, zealous, forward-looking, industrious, inspiring, assured, devoted, and a compassionate friend. He married his lifelong helpmate, Irene L. (Scherry) on June 30, 1940; they were married for 66 years until her death in 2007. They had two daughters, Ruth (Wayne) Payne of Muncie and Grace (Greg) Sprunger-Young of Germantown, Wis.; and four grandchildren blessed their lives, Ellen Payne (Kent) Osborn, Andrew Payne, Justin Young, and Gabrielle Young. In 1947, Meredith and Irene began spending their summer vacations in Upper Michigan, and he built their cottage on Winslow Lake 50 years ago. It has served as their spiritual retreat. Meredith and Irene were active members of Grace St. John's United Church of Christ where Meredith taught a Sunday school class. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; granddaughter, Ellen; brother, Blanchand L. Sprunger; and sisters, Marguerite Erickson and Lucille Zuercher. A Memorial service to celebrate his life is 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, 2012, at Grace St. John's United Church of Christ, 4120 South Webster St., Fort Wayne, with visitation one hour prior to service. The Rev. Greg Young (son-in-law) officiating. In lieu of flowers, kindly send memorials to Grace St. Johns Church, The Urantia Book Fellowship, PO Box 6631, Broomfield, CO 80021, or Urantia Foundation, 533 Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614. Arrangements by Klaehn, Fahl & Melton Funeral Home. Online guestbook may be signed at www.klaehnfahlmelton.com

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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on May 6, 2012
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