Marieanne was born on December 16, 1927, in Clifton, NJ one year after her parents, Werner and Marie von Bergen, emigrated from Switzerland.
In 1949, after graduating with a BS in Home Economics from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio she began working and taking classes at Providence Bible Institute (RI). It was there she met and married Ted Crossman in June 1951 and began preparing for the mission field.
For five consecutive summers she was on staff at Camp-of-the-Woods (NY). It was during these summers that her faith in Christ became more personal and she was challenged to consider God’s direction for her life. In May 1953, after Ted graduated with a BA in Bible and Missions, they were accepted by Africa Inland Mission for overseas service.
In January 1954 Ted and Marieanne with four-month-old Peter left the US to serve as House parents at Rethy Academy, a boarding school for missionary children in the Belgian Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo). They served for 27 years. Their next two children, David and Lois, were born in Congo.
In 1980, after a year of furlough, Marieanne and Ted served with Helps International Ministries before coming to JAARS in 1983. Hospitality to newcomers was a key part of Marieanne’s ministry. In 1996 she retired, volunteering in the Accounting office for several years and then at the JAARS switchboard.
Marieanne was a member of Community (Evangelical Free) Church of Monroe. She served as the Missions Committee Chair up until a year ago.
In June 2016, Marieanne was diagnosed with cancer, declined any treatment and was put on Hospice care. God has graciously given us more than we could ask or think. We were privileged to care for her at home for the last 14 months. Marieanne was preceded in death by her grandson David Michael, son Peter, and brother Fritz. She is survived by her husband Ted, Peter’s wife Marjan, son David (Crystal), daughter Lois (Matt), grandchildren Aimee, Christina (Chris), Bryan, Teddy and Alice, brother George Werner von Bergen (Enid) and sister-in-law Myra von Bergen.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the JAARS, PO Box 248, Waxhaw NC 28173, or Hospice of Union County 700 W. Roosevelt Blvd. Monroe, NC 28110.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the Union Hospice and Palliative Care Center for their support and care.
“Among the Israelites a generation died in the wilderness. Their only lasting accomplishment was to raise children whose faithfulness would surpass their own.”
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