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Robert Wayne Mast
April 4, 1934 ~ October 5, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
9 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Robert's family - View on Tribute Wall
Robert Wayne Mast, 89, of Akron NY, went home to heaven peacefully on October 5, 2023.
Loving husband to Esther (Troyer) for 64 years. Father to Gwen (Joseph) Frey, Faith (late Joseph) Erb, and Abby (Cliff) Albrecht. Brother to the late Betty (late Ray) Hertzler, late Laura (Herbert) Wenger, late Doris (late Cecil) Grove, James (Cindy) Mast, and Chester (Jerri) Mast. Papa to Jason Frey, Julia (Daniel) Nigro, Anna (Benjamin) Kupferman, Allison Frey, Krista (Pat) Mest, Victoria (Wade) Bontrager, James (Sara) Erb, Jennifer (David) Froese, Laura Albrecht, Emma Albrecht, and seven great-grandchildren. Robert was also loved by many nieces and nephews.
Robert was born on April 4, 1934, to Norman & Virginia (Smucker) Mast in Kempsville, VA. Anyone who spent time with Robert heard the story of how he was born two months premature and was so small that he slept in a shoebox, and how he witnessed his father’s tragic death at only 13 years old. Shortly after his father’s death, Robert started working to help provide for his family. At age 15, Robert began working with Ira Miller, who taught him the carpentry skills he would use throughout the rest of his life. In his early 20’s, together with his brothers James and Chester, he built a house for his mother Virginia. As a young adult, he loved to spend time fishing in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. At age 19, Robert committed his life to the Lord, marking the beginning of his lifetime of service within the Mennonite Church community and beyond.
On August 29, 1959, Robert and Esther were married at Mount Pleasant Mennonite Church in Chesapeake, VA. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Kitchener, Ontario where Robert attended Ontario Mennonite Bible Institute. After finishing his education at the bible institute, Robert and Esther moved back to Virginia, where Robert worked as a pastor and continued his education, finally earning a Masters in Christian Ministry from Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Robert was a pastor for over 40 years, and pastored congregations at Gieger Mennonite Church, Deep Creek Mennonite Church, and lastly Mount Pleasant Mennonite Church where he had attended as a child, and where he and Esther raised their three daughters. Robert was also one of the founders of the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center. Even after retirement, Robert had a pastor’s heart and cared deeply about ministering to others.
Robert also worked as a skilled carpenter alongside his service as a pastor. He built playhouses for his grandchildren when they were young, which are now enjoyed by his great-grandchildren. Robert also built houses with Habitat for Humanity for families in need. After retirement, Robert led a weekly bible study at the Chesapeake City Jail for over 10 years, until Robert and Esther moved to Akron, NY. Robert loved singing, and sang in several quartets over the years. He also loved telling stories, writing letters back and forth to his grandchildren, reading his Bible, repairing things, gardening, bluegrass music, and spending time with family. As he always loved to say, “God’s greatest gift is family.”
A Visitation will be held on Sunday, October 8, 2023 from 5-7 PM at the Clarence Center - Akron Mennonite Church, 11500 Clarence Center Rd., Akron, NY 14001 where a Funeral Service will be held on Monday, October 9, 2023 at 11:00 AM. A Burial will be held before the Funeral Service at 9:45 AM on Monday at Good Cemetery, Greiner and Meadowbrook Rd., Clarence, NY. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Mennonite Central Committee in honor of Robert would be appreciated. Donations to MCC can be made by mail or at mcc.org.