In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Mariam Misner, 91

Mariam Misner, 1930-2021
IMB Photo

Mariam Lou “Merm” Misner, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Indonesia, died Nov. 7, 2021, at her home in Saint Joseph, Missouri. She was 91.

Misner was born August 6, 1930, in Saint Joseph to the late William J. and Bess Isenhour Misner. She grew up in rural Andrew County and graduated from Savannah (Missouri) High School. She received the Associate of Arts from Saint Joseph Junior College and the Bachelor of Arts from William Jewel College, Liberty, Missouri. She attended the School of Medical Technology at the former Missouri Methodist Hospital and became a registered clinical lab technologist. She received the Master of Religious Education from the former Carver School of Missions and Social Work in Louisville, Kentucky.

When seeking missionary appointment, Misner wrote that she had been involved for years in her church’s Woman’s Missionary Union organization for girls when she found herself writing an essay entitled “My Ambition.” “I was trying to decide what my ambition was when it seemed I heard a voice say, ‘Why not be a missionary?’”

She wrote that she was stunned at first but began to write. She had been impressed by the needs of the world through her Girl’s Auxiliary involvement, but she didn’t feel any personal responsibility to do anything about it — yet. The next summer, she publicly dedicated her life to special Christian service.

After years of schooling and working as a medical technologist, Misner was appointed in 1956 as a missionary to Indonesia, where she became known as “Merm” by her coworkers. She worked with the medical team and served as director of the laboratory and X-ray services in the Kediri Baptist Hospital in Java and in the Imanuel Hospital in Lampung, Sumatra. She also served in the village churches in the area, helping them to grow and mature. After serving 35 years, she retired in 1993 and returned to Missouri.

She is survived by several cousins.

A funeral service was held Nov. 11, 2021, at Journey Baptist Church, St. Joseph, with burial in Savannah Cemetery.

Donations in her memory may be made to the International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity

Read an obituary here.