Ethel Miriam Zeager Pannell

Ethel Miriam Zeager Pannell, 85, of Harlem, N.Y., went to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at her son’s home in Harrisonburg, Va. She was born Feb. 7, 1934, in Elizabethtown, Pa., and was a daughter of the late Paul L. and Anna E. Landis Zeager.

At a young age, Ethel felt a call from the Lord to serve as a missionary to help those in need through ministry and health care. She left her hometown in Pennsylvania to study nursing and became a licensed practical nurse in December 1960 through Prince George’s General Hospital, Cheverly, Md. In continuation of her calling, she moved to New York City in 1962 to serve through Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and became an active member of Seventh Avenue Mennonite Church, Harlem, N.Y. There, she lived and served the church community for over 56 years through her leadership in numerous outreach programs such as the Girl’s Club, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School.

In her dedication to promoting quality education for children, she also served as a board member for The Seventh Avenue Mennonite Head Start program for over 10 years. Her combined love of music and desire to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ was evident in her participation as a worship leader and member of the church gospel choir. Her commitment to social justice, racial reconciliation and community advocacy was foundational in her service to the church and work as a nurse at Harlem Hospital and Renaissance Clinics. In 1995, she received an associate degree in nursing from Staten Island College, becoming a registered nurse, and retired in 1999 after 30 years of nursing.

On Nov. 26, 1964, she married Dr. Richard Wingate Pannell, originally of Coatesville, Pa, who survives and resides in Highland Mills, N.Y.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Anita Joy Pannell Castle and husband, Peter, of Harlem, N.Y., Melody Marie Pannell, of Dayton, Va., and Richard Anthony Pannell, of Harrisonburg, Va.; grandchildren, Cecily Joy Castle, Amber Pearl Castle, Jewel Marie Castle and Richard Victor Pannell; brothers, J. Frank Zeager, John A. Zeager, Charles B. Zeager, P. Thomas Zeager and Harvey D. Zeager; and a sister, Arlene E. Becker.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by six brothers, Russell, Paul, Jim, Herbert, William and David, and four sisters, Mary Ruth Espenshade, Almeda Heisey, Anna Jeanette Kamoda and Verna Grace Nissley.

A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2019, at Good’s Mennonite Church, 4374 Bossler Road, Bainbridge, Pa. Interment will follow in Good’s Mennonite Cemetery.

The family will receive guests during a viewing at Good’s Mennonite Church prior the funeral service from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. A memorial service will be conducted at Greater Hood AME Zion Church, 160 W. 146th St., New York, N.Y., on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at 2 p.m.

Condolences may be shared with the family at

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