Harrington – On January 4, 2020, Virgil Lyle (Jongeling) Stewart went home to be with his Lord and Savior. Virgil was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on January 1947 to Maria Evelyn Hofling Jongeling and George B. Jongeling of Parker, South Dakota. He was raised on a dairy farm outside of Parker where he enjoyed hunting, shooting, and riding horses. Virgil’s favorite horse was Buck, a horse whose wild spirit matched his own.
He attended Rural School District 87 and graduated from Chancellor High School in 1965 in a class of three students. After high school Virgil attended Brown Institute to kickstart his radio career. He then became news director at KWOA Radio Station in Worthington, Minnesota, where he met and fell in love with Carol Kunerth. The two were married in 1970; their daughter Wendy was born one year later.
After eight years in radio, Virgil attended Northwestern College in Orange City Iowa to study Christian ministry. Virgil completed his education at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He then moved to Michigan where he worked as an evangelist smuggling bibles into Mexico and parts of the Middle East and Asia.
He also pastored two churches in Michigan, and later three churches in Delaware. Afterwards he worked in hospice care, sharing the good news of the gospel with many who were suffering.
Virgil was happiest when he was preaching God’s word. He was a prankster known for his feistiness, humor, and tall tales. He always gave generously to those in need, and remained grateful for God’s provision until the end.
He is survived by his loving wife Carol, daughter Wendy, son-in-law Ken, grandchildren Kathryn, Joey, and Jared, brothers George and Charles, and sister Darline.
The family will receive visitors at Rogers Funeral Home, 301 Lakeview Ave, Milford from 1PM to 2PM on Friday 1/10, with a memorial service at 2PM.
In lieu of flowers donations in his name may be made to Northwestern College, 101 7th St. S.W., Orange City, Iowa 51041, or Wycliffe Bible Translators www.wycliffe.org/donate.