Rev. Mark Douglas Bechtel, 67, of Bloomington, Indiana, passed away on March 10, 2023, at Ketcham Memorial Center with his wife at his side. He was born October 17, 1955, to Robert and Genevieve (Speer) Bechtel. Mark married Cynthia Malone in 1978 and together they had four sons. He was a 1973 graduate of North Daviess High School and received additional degrees from Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia.
Mark’s call to the ministry was specific and undeniable. He was driving to work one day in 1977 and saw pigs rooting around in a pen when God spoke to him and told him life as he was living it was lower than those swine, but that He had a plan for his life. Mark turned the car around, met with Pastor Burdette and answered his call to the ministry. For the next 30 years he pastored churches in Evansville, Winslow, Tell City and Mitchell, Indiana. His spirit filled preaching, unique sense of humor and deep love for each member of his congregations left a lasting impact on many lives. While serving on the Southwest Indiana District Church of the Nazarene he held positions on the Board of Ministerial Studies, Board of Sunday School Ministries, and Zone Superintendent. After his retirement in 2012, Mark ministered to hundreds through Facebook by sending out daily devotionals, and of course the joke of the day until he was no longer physically able to continue.
Mark became an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan at an early age partly from listening to the games on the radio with his Uncle Bud and playing Little League at the Odon Park. He looked forward to the annual trips to St. Louis with his ball team, and later with his sons and friends. He also loved IU Basketball and WWF Wrestling and attended several games and events. He loved to write and left behind numerous books of song lyrics and poems.
Mark was preceded in death by a son, Matthew John Bechtel; his father, Robert Bechtel; and both maternal and paternal grandparents.
Mark is survived by his wife of 44 years, Cynthia; three sons, Jedidiah Bechtel (Lacey), Jay Bechtel (Krissy), and Jordan Bechtel, all of Bloomington; nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild; his mother, Genevieve Bechtel; four brothers, Gary Bechtel (Erin) of Rockville, Jim Bechtel (Jamie) of Bedford, Tim Bechtel (Coleen) of Glide, OR and Keith Bechtel (Lora) Odon.
Funeral services to honor the life of Mark will be at 1:00 PM on Friday, March 17, 2023 at the Odon Church of the Nazarene with Rev. Jerry Blackwell, Jr. officiating. Mark will be laid to rest in Walnut Hill Cemetery in Odon.
Visitation will be Thursday, March 16, 2023 at Meng Funeral Home in Odon from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM and on Friday, March 17, 2023 at the Odon Church of the Nazarene from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home and the church.
Arrangements and care have been entrusted to Meng Family Funeral Home in Odon. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family online at www.mengfuneralhome.com.