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Engineer followed calling to serve Christ

Tribune-Review
| Friday, December 14, 2018 8:36 a.m

Working as an electrical engineer in Erie, Fredrick Vanderhoff was watching evangelist Billy Graham on television one day when he decided to give his life to Christ.

“We grew up going to church every Sunday. Then you go to college, and you start to drift away,” said his twin brother, John. “I saw a change in my brother — a positive change.”

That conversion experience was so powerful that it prompted Mr. Vanderhoff to change careers and go into the ministry. He served three United Methodist congregations over the course of 32 years, retiring in 2008 as pastor of Heritage United Methodist Church on the Ligonier Diamond.

In retirement, he continued to lead neighborhood Bible studies, said his wife, Catherine.

“He was always doing things for people,” she said.

The Rev. Fredrick Charles Vanderhoff, of Greensburg, died Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. He was 74.

Born in Titusville on March 19, 1944, he was a son of the late G. Stanley and Milly (Ensle) Vanderhoff. He graduated from Rocky Grove High School and Cleveland State University, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering.

He later obtained a master of divinity degree from Ashland Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He was ordained a Methodist minister partly because he grew up in the Evangelical United Brethren Church, a predecessor body to the United Methodist Church, John Vanderhoff said.

Over his career, he served United Methodist congregations in Conneautville, Crawford County; Johns­town; and Ligonier, his brother said.

In the summer, he taught sailing at Camp Allegheny, a United Methodist camp in Stoystown. “He used that opportunity to touch teenagers’ lives with the knowledge and love of Christ,” John Vanderhoff said.

Mr. Vanderhoff also helped found the Valley Youth Network coffeehouse near Ligonier Valley High School, he said.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Catherine (Blum) Vanderhoff; two sons, John F. Vanderhoff of Greensburg and Jeffrey A. Vanderhoff of McMurray; a daughter, Julie L. Verner of Fairview; and 12 grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Heritage United Methodist Church, Ligonier. Interment will be in East Troy Cemetery, Titusville.

Snyder Funeral Home, Ligonier, is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to Valley Youth Network, P.O. Box 303, Ligonier, PA 15658.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, shuba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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