Earnestine L. Carder, 96, of St. Joseph, passed away Friday, September 13, 2019, at Caretel Inns of Lakeland.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Thursday, October 3, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Berrien County Baptist Church, 5940 St. Joseph Ave., Stevensville, with Pastor James Whitman officiating. Burial will take place at Greenlawn Cemetery in Pratt, KS, on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 9 a.m. Friends may visit with the family Wednesday, October 2, 2019, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Starks and Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph.

Memorial contributions may be made to Berrien County Baptist Church or The Chapel. Those wishing to leave a condolence or memory online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Earnestine was born October 15, 1922, to Ralph & Alice (Burt) Laswell in Pratt, KS. She graduated from Pratt High School and continued her education at Pratt Community College and Phillips University. Earnestine met the love of her life, Merle Carder, at a skating rink when she was 16. She and Merle were married April 18, 1943, at the First Christian Church in Pratt, KS. Earnestine loved playing the viola and was invited to become a member of the Wichita Symphony which she declined in order to pursue family responsibilities.

Earnestine was a lifelong learner, enjoying reading and music along with additional areas of interest. Earnestine particularly loved studying the Scriptures and helping others learn about the Bible, introducing many of all ages to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, organized 5-day clubs, and led many ladies’ Bible studies during her lifetime. Earnestine also taught a monthly Bible class at Caretel the past 10 years, well into her 96th year. She loved her church family at The Chapel and at Berrien County Baptist Church. Earnestine enjoyed hospitality and cooking delicious meals for her family and many other guests in her home.

Earnestine is survived by her children, Pastor David (Veronica) Carder of Orange County, CA, Karen (Dr. Samuel) Logan of St. Joseph, MI, and Rev. Stanley (Sally) Carder of Atlanta, GA; grandchildren, Jeanna (Calvin) Deese, Christy (Aaron) Kilmer, Jon Carder, Aimee Buckley, Samuel (Cristina) Logan Jr., Joshua (Rachel) Logan, Nathan (Cherith) Logan, David Logan, Kimberly (Jake) Vargo, Jeremy (Deborah) Carder and Jason Carder; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Earnestine was preceded in death by her husband, Merle, and her parents, Ralph and Alice Laswell.