John P. “Doc” Reber, DVM of Apple Creek, 85, died peacefully at West View Manor after a period of declining health. The eldest of five siblings raised on a farm, he was the son of Fred and Bernice (Badertscher) Reber. He was a graduate of Apple Creek High School and of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is survived by his wife Sylvia, with whom he celebrated more than 49 years of marriage.
“Doc” lived a full life centered around farming. He was voracious in learning and was an avid reader: Many topics captured his attention. He had an interest in people and would engage and entertain almost everybody in lively conversation, which was peppered with details and trivia gleaned from his readings. Fascinated with genetics and being a farmer at heart, he began a breeding program of polled Jerseys within his own herd. He loved to teach and to write, and during his career published over 500 monthly “Doc’s Newsletters” for his clients. He was a phone call away: always ready to lend his expertise. His large animal practice focused on preventative dairy medicine — including animal nutrition, and the prevention and treatment of mastitis. “Doc” was an innovator in his field, influencing generations of farmers. He maintained his practice as a large animal veterinarian for over 53 years.
John was a believer, a righteous, faithful servant all his life. He was a Biblical scholar, a favorite in the adult Sunday School classes and through that fellowship made many lifelong, intimate friends. He attended Mennonite Christian Assembly in Fredericksburg.
John is survived by his wife, Sylvia (SirLouis) Reber; and by their children Emily (Tom) Benekos of Wooster, Frederick (Marnie) Reber of Wooster, Lucinda (Gary) Zanders of Fairview, TX; Jane (Gary) Caskey of West Salem, and Melinda (Matt) White of Alden, NY. He is also survived by ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild: Nick (Caitlin) Benekos and Ben Benekos; Abby Reber (Andrew) Lawler and Mary (Todd) Church; Mark Zanders, Alan (Neha) Zanders, and Betsy Zanders; Sylvia, Abigail and Vivienne White; and great-granddaughter Everly Benekos. John is survived by siblings Larry (Becky) Reber, Donald (Bonnie) Reber, Dwight Reber and Christine (Namen) Dalton all of Apple Creek.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Bernice Reber; and by his first wife, Kathryn (Zuercher) Reber, who was the biological mother of his first four children, and with whom he celebrated 14 years of marriage. As John always said, “I married well. TWICE.”
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the Fairlawn Mennonite Church, 8520 Emerson Rd, Apple Creek.
Friends will be received on Friday from 5:00-8:00 PM and one hour prior to the service at the church.
McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.
John was a member of the American Jersey Cattle Association, The North Coast Breeders, and a lifetime member of the Apple Creek Historical Society.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Apple Creek Historical Society, PO Box 6, Apple Creek, OH 44606.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com
So sorry for your loss, prayers for the family.
We are so sorry for your loss.Sending love,thoughts,and prayers. Our family will keep your family in our prayers 🙏🏼🙏🏼
I remember playing unending games of hide and go seek in Uncle John’s house. Such fun memories. I also loved his library as a kid. Uncle John and Aunt Sylvia made us feel at home when we visited from far away. Just wanted to say thank you for your lovely hearts filled with gracious hospitality.
I am so sorry for your loss. Doc was a great supporter of the Ohio Jersey News and the Jersey breed. I always enjoyed his ads and I enjoyed visiting with him and Sylvia when I delivered copies of the magazine. My thoughts are with you all at this time.
Melinda, Matt and family…so sorry to hear of your loss…sending prayers and love to you all during this difficult time.
My condolences to you all. I am sorry to hear of your loss and will pray for you all in this time of mourning.
Sylvia I’m so sorry for your loss. John had a great impact on me personally and I am forever grateful for all of his teaching and his encouragement in developing our breeding program.
God’s blessings have flowed through John to farmers and Jersey breeders all over the country. It is an honor to have know John and I am thankful that he is spending eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Emily and Tom – Our deepest condolences on your loss. Apple Creek has truly lost a precious gem.
To Doc’s Family and Friends, Our deepest sympathies go out to you. May God, and the many good memories, sustain you; now and also in the future.. Our thoughts and prayers are for you and your families. Sincere condolences from Art(Eileen Snyder)Beerys, Smithville, Ohio
My condolences to John’s family and friends. I’ve known John since we were teenagers, and our families went to church at Orrville Christian Missionary Alliance. My husband, Larry Pittman, went to Apple Creek to school with John. My thoughts are with you during this sad time, with prayers.
I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Reber. He was a friend and our veterinarian. Arriving in his yellow truck, he always had a smile on his face and something interesting to say. I am so sorry he is gone; he will be missed.
Lots of love, thoughts and prayers for the entire family. May God’s love fill you with peace.
Deepest Sympathy to the John Reber family: Lost. Track of John always enjoyed talking to John and feeling encouraged after a conversation with John. He had a jolly spirit and happy smile. He will be missed! Heart felt sympathy Jerry Ungerer family
Sylvia and family, so sorry for the loss of Doc. I learned so much from him that helped me be a better herdsman. My favorite day of the month at Rohrer Farms was herd check day when Doc would talk all subjects from cows to politics. When he left he would always say “ I’ll see you next time the Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”
Emily, Tom and all your family, we are sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. He was a vital part of the farming community for many years. We always enjoyed talking with him when he was attending Grace Church. We are praying for you all.