The Reverend Nolan William Obermueller, pastor emeritus, Seward, Nebraska, departed this life on June 15, 2019, at the age of 99. He was born on February 13, 1920, in Lincoln, Kansas, to Theodore and Frieda (Von Fange) Obermueller, was baptized as an infant and later confirmed into the Christian faith.
As a child he attended parochial school. At age 14 he began attending St. John’s Lutheran Academy in Winfield, Kansas, where he also went on to graduate from St. John’s Lutheran College. He received pastoral training at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating in 1945.
During his ministry, Pastor Obermueller served the congregations of St. Paul, Plainview, Texas (1945-1949); Immanuel, Sheridan, Wyoming (1949-1963); St. John’s, Fayetteville, Arkansas (1963-1966); Trinity, Cheyenne, Wyoming (1966-1972); and St. Luke’s, Worland, Wyoming (1973-1984). He also served many congregations with pastoral vacancies. In Sheridan, Nolan led the congregation in building a beautiful new church on the hill. In Fayetteville he was campus pastor for the University of Arkansas, and in Wyoming he served for many years as First Vice President of the LCMS Wyoming District. What always rose to the fore was his faithfulness to the Word of God and his pastoral heart. His sermons always included Law and Gospel, declaring that “it is by grace you are saved, through faith. It is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” For more than 40 years he was a true, humble shepherd who loved those whom God gave to his care.
Nolan married Cordelia (Hedemann) in 1945, his sweetheart of six years, two days after graduating from the seminary. The Lord blessed them with three children: Stan and Jerry were born in Plainview, Texas, and Victoria in Sheridan, Wyoming. Nolan loved his family! He embraced his two daughters-in-law, Liz (Stan) and Vickie (Jerry), and his son-in-law Dave (Victoria). He was proud of his nine grandchildren and their spouses: Marie (Davis) Willweber, Tasha (Daniel) Fingerlin, Martin Obermueller, Megan Obermueller, Ed (Lisa) Obermueller, Pete (Stacy) Obermueller, Joe (Janette) Obermueller, Julie (Dave) Ayer, and Becky (Greg) Buell. He followed their lives, families, and careers, and he prayed for them.
Nolan was an outdoorsman. He was an accomplished baseball player in his high school and college years. His recreation included hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping, mostly in the wonderful Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Pinochle was his game of choice.
Pastor Obermueller is survived by his three children and their spouses, his nine grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren; his only sister, Lorene Buttenhoff; and sisters-in-law, Evelyn Obermueller, Dolores Obermueller, Sidona Obermueller, Celia Kershaw, Jean Zessin, and Eloise Roskovich; as well as many nephews, nieces, and several generations of their offspring.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Cordie; his parents and his brothers, Louis, Milfred, Reinhold, Vernon, Virgil, and Delbert; sisters-in-law, Mildred (Louis), Bernice (Milfred), and Martha (Reinhold).
Visitation with the family will be held on Monday, July 1, from 6-8 p.m. at the Volzke Funeral Home in Seward. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, at St. John Lutheran Church, Seward, Nebraska. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Seward, Nebraska.
Eugene M. “Gene” Oetting, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on May 29, 2019, in Seward, Nebraska. He was born on February 27, 1932, in Emma, Missouri, to Norbert W. and Lydia M. Nierman Oetting. He attended Holy Cross Lutheran Elementary School from 1938-1946. To continue his education and career goal of becoming a Lutheran teacher, he attended Concordia High School in Seward as a boarding student from 1946-1950. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), Seward, in 1954 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
While in college, he met Harriet “Peg” Martha Pueggel. They were united in marriage on July 19, 1953, at St. John Lutheran Church in Garner, Iowa. After their marriage, the couple moved to Houston, TX, where Gene taught and coached at the Lutheran High School for two years. They moved to Los Angeles, CA where he taught, coached and was part of the administration at the Lutheran High School from 1956 until 1967. While there, he received his Master of Arts in Religion degree in 1959 from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. In 1967, Gene received his M.A. in Education Administration from Los Angeles State University. The couple moved back to Seward in 1967, where Gene was the Director of Counseling, Professor of Education and Dean of Education until 1997 at Concordia University. Gene received his Ed.D. in Secondary Education in 1973 from the University of Nebraska. He later attended a sabbatical semester at Concordia in Irvine, CA from 1978-1979. He also taught part time at the Teachers College at UNL from 1982 until 1987. Gene retired in January of 1997.
Gene was very active on many boards and committees over the years: the Stewardship Board for the Southern California LCMS District, California Lutheran Hospital Board, Christ College Founder Board of Regents, Nebraska Council of Teacher Education, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Unit Committee, Board of Finance and Board of Elders at St. John Lutheran Church, Seward. Gene was also an instructor for Prison Ministry and led worship at Brookdale and Ridgewood Care Center. Gene held recognitions from Nebraska High School All State 6-Man Football; athletic awards as a student athlete, including Concordia and Nebraska Football Hall of Fame; Outstanding Teaching award from Concordia University and a 40-year faculty award with the LCMS. Through his years as a dean of education, he would shepherd hundreds of future teachers into their professions.
Mr. Oetting is survived by his two children, David and wife Julia Oetting, Sarasota, FL, Shauna Oetting, Seward; three grandchildren, Dimitri, Alanna, and Quinten; three brothers, Larry and wife Kitty Oetting, Lincoln, Bob and wife Carol Oetting, Charleston, IL, Dennis Oetting, Emma, MO; sister, Sharon Sherrill, Farmington, MO; sister-in-law, Carol Pueggel, Garner, IA; nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews and a host of many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Peg (2012); two sisters, Mary Ann Oetting, Lois and husband Gerald Pomerenke; infant brother, Roger Oetting; brothers-in-law, Mike Sherrill, Harold Pueggel; sisters-in-law, Donna Oetting and Viola Monahan.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at Zabka-Perdue Funeral Home in Seward, Nebraska from 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. with family receiving friends from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held June 7, 2019, at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward at 1:30 p.m. with graveside service and interment at Greenwood Cemetery in Seward.