Lillian Sprunger

Lillian Joyce Sprunger, 89, of Berne passed away Thursday, April 7, 2022, at Swiss Village in Berne. She was born April 18, 1932, in French Township, Adams County to John and Mary (Gehring) Baumgartner. She was married April 3, 1955, to Kent V. (KV) Sprunger, and they enjoyed 64 years together in Berne.
She was the fifth of 11 children and graduated from Berne High School in 1950. She grew up on her parents’ hatchery farm where she learned the value of hard work. One of seven sisters, she was one of the “outside girls” frequently assigned to hatchery chores. Nicknamed Billie by her father, she learned to love and appreciate the natural world and working with her hands. In high school, she was a cheerleader for the Berne Bears.
Along with her husband, she raised three children in Berne. She was a constant support to her husband who owned and operated a contracting business for many years. She would wake early daily and load a five-gallon bucket with packed lunches for her husband and sons.
In the late 1960s, she continued her love for children by studying early childhood education and co-founding the Berne Preschool. Operated out of her home in its early stage, the preschool has been operated by the First Mennonite Church in Berne for over 50 years. She helped the school build a solid and lasting foundation that fostered a child’s joy of learning, one of her life’s passions. She enjoyed creating projects for hands-on learning and loved sharing books and storytelling with the children. Her grandchildren later reaped the benefits of her preschool teaching experience, as she would have storybooks, sand piles, art and nature materials or other surprises ready for visits.  
She was a longtime, active member of the First Mennonite Church in Berne supporting its missions and ministries in many generous ways. She loved gardening, canning, cooking, baking and collecting and restoring antiques. Her husband was the greatest fan of her pies. She and her husband were faithful companions to numerous dogs. They both enjoyed traveling with family and friends during retirement years.
She is remembered for her love, compassion, generosity and hard work throughout her life. She was fun, creative and adventuresome. She was especially gentle, kind and patient with children and the elderly. She was a dear wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend to many. She will be remembered with much love and thanks.
She is survived by her daughter, Gaye (Kent A.) Yoder of Middlebury; two sons, Kent V. Sprunger of Milton, Delaware; and Phil (Margaret) Sprunger of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; six grandchildren, Erin (Justin), Allison (Steve), Conrad (Ali), Carsten, Ian and Jared; three great-grandchildren, Logan, Dylan and Roselyn; three sisters, Helen Woodard; Anna Rose Lloyd; and Lois (Lloyd "Bing") Tackwell; two brothers, Galen (Joyce) Baumgartner; and Gene (Elaine) Baumgartner; sister-in-law, Marjorie (Truman) Baumgartner; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband in 2019; four sisters, Carolyn Yergler; Delores Shady; Joanne Harter; and infant MaryAnn Baumgartner; and two brothers, Truman and Howard Baumgartner.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the 12 p.m. celebration of life service Saturday, April 23 at First Mennonite Church in Berne. Private burial will be at MRE Cemetery in Berne.
Memorials may be made to the Berne Preschool Scholarship Fund.
Arrangements provided by Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home, Yager-Kirchhofer Chapel in Berne. To sign the online guest book, visit