Melba Frances Kiser Heatwole, 85, of Bridgewater and recently VMRC, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, at her home following a stroke.

She was born Aug. 13, 1934, in Waynesboro, the daughter of Oren Shank Kiser and Thelma Campbell Kiser. On April 17, 1954, she married Willard Joseph Heatwole, who preceded her in death.

She enjoyed deep connections with family, friends, and community; both locally and around the world. Her deepest joy and purpose was knowing God through Christ Jesus, and inviting others to know Him also. Her lifelong roles were wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, missionary, nurse, and encourager to all. She served in Jamaica for 20 years and for two years in Albania through Virginia Mennonite Conference. She also served for two years in Costa Rica through Conservative Mennonite Conference.

Surviving her are five children, Jerrel (Alma) Heatwole, of Greenwood, Del., Conrad (Mary Jane) Heatwole, of Bridgewater, Jewel (Gary) Yoder, of Harrisonburg, Ransford (Christine) Heatwole, of Bridgewater, and Marolyn Heatwole, of Naples, Fla.; siblings, Sanford (Peggy) Kiser, of Souderton, Pa., Charlotte (Winston) Rhodes, of Weyers Cave, Alta Sue (Robert) Gomez, of Fishersville, and Richard Kiser of New Hope. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren with 36 great-grandchildren: Jerrel Jr. (Sarah) Heatwole with Asher and Jubilee; David (Roxie) Heatwole with Asia, Lincoln, and Kannon; Gabriel Heatwole, Carmen (Jeff) Shiery with Addison and Molly; Kendra (Absalom) Heatwole Shank with Lila, Silas and Elijah; Cheryl (Timothy) Heatwole Shenk with Lydia, Matteo and Vivia; Kaitlin Heatwole (Nathan Hershberger) with Leo and Julian; Brendan (Rebekah) Yoder with Jasmine, Nathan, Merrily, Joella, Katie, Jeshiah, Hope and Kylah; Stephanie (Christopher) Pellerin with Amelie; Kyle Yoder; Dano (Tara) Heatwole with Ransom, Bliss, Jotham, Tanah, Norman & Elam; Kara (Matthew) Plett with Aubrey, Emley and Milo; and Risa (Benjamin) Yutzy with Corin and Efram.

Mrs. Heatwole was preceded in death by her husband, parents, siblings Norman Kiser and Ellen Wyant, as well as an infant great-grandson, Mighty Mack Shiery.

The funeral service will be at Dayton Mennonite Church, on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dayton Mennonite Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Virginia Mennonite Missions to support Christian education programs in Albania at:

Those wishing may share a memory or an online condolence by visiting

Arrangements entrusted to the McMullen Funeral Home.

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