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Below are obituaries from the past 6 months.
Mrs. Christine Louise (Lawonn) Lindau, wife of the Reverend Robert H. Lindau, Jr., Omaha, Nebraska, departed this life on Thursday, June 11, 2020, at the age of 74. She was born on August 24, 1945, to Howard and Harriet Lawonn in Seattle, Washington. Soon after her birth, the Lawonn family moved to Denver, Colorado, where she spent her childhood. Christine lost her mom, Harriet, at age 6, but was blessed with her loving stepmother, Velma (Schleh), who raised her. Christine attended Concordia Teacher’s College in Seward, Nebraska, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Education. Christine was a Lutheran school teacher in Texas and Michigan, which is where she met Robert Lindau. Robert and Christine were married in Frankenmuth, Michigan, on August 1, 1970. Robert was ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 1981 and Christine faithfully served as a pastor’s wife for the next 32 years, serving congregations in New Fane, Adell, Sherman Center, and Freistadt, Wisconsin, and Glenwood and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Christine was the model of a Christian woman, wife, mother, and friend. She embodied and lived every one of the Fruits of the Spirit.
Christine is survived by her husband, Rev. Robert Lindau, Jr.; her four children, Rebecca (John) Bell, Robert (Sarah) Lindau III, Christopher (Diane) Lindau, and Timothy (Bridget) Lindau; six grandchildren, who she loved and adored, Bobby, Emily, Grant, Christian, Xander, and Blake; her four siblings, Bruce Lawonn, David (Cathi) Schleh, Susan (Mike) McDermid, and Heidi (Arlie) Aurich; and her brother-in-law, Richard Lindau.
Christine was preceded in death by her parents, Howard, Harriet, and Velma Lawonn, and her in-laws, Robert H. Lindau and Shirlee Lindau.
A celebration of Christine’s eternal life with her Lord and Savior will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at Zion Lutheran Church, 14205 Ida Street, Omaha, Nebraska. A visitation with family and friends will be held prior to the service at 1:00 p.m.
Memorials in Christine’s name can be made to the Scholarship Fund for Concordia Lutheran High School, 15656 Fort Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68116, or the Methodist Hospital Foundation, 8701 W. Dodge Road, Suite 450, Omaha, Nebraska 68114.
Condolences may be sent to Rev. Robert Lindau, Jr., 8511 Sheffield Street, Omaha, NE 68122.
Mrs. Edna Ella (Stueve) Moll, wife of the Reverend James Moll, Deshler, Nebraska, departed this life on Sunday, May 3, 2020, at the age of 84. She was born on August 30, 1935, to Henry G. and Sarah Lucy Ella (Lohman) Stueve on the family farm in rural Frohna, Missouri. She was one of 18 children and went to school at Concordia Lutheran School in Frohna and later earned her graduation equivalency diploma by correspondence school.
She was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna on September 8, 1935, and was confirmed there on April 10, 1949. She was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Deshler and attended Zion Lutheran Church in Shickley where her husband serves as pastor. She professed her faith in Jesus and His cross for eternal salvation, and she lived out her faith in service to her Savior.
Edna married the Rev. James Moll on June 19, 1954, at Frohna, Missouri. The Molls lived in Alton, Illinois; Uniontown, Missouri; South Gate, California; and for the last 43 years in Deshler. They had three children, Randy, Candiss, and Timothy.
She helped a number of families, working in their homes, and worked as a telephone operator in Frohna. She also worked as a cafeteria worker at Concordia Teachers’ College in River Forest, Illinois, where she and James met; as a waitress; and as a bookkeeper at the former Superior-Deshler.
She was active in supporting Pastor Moll in his ministry and in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, holding offices at the local, zone, and district level, including serving as president of the Nebraska South District LWML and organizing bus trips to national conventions. She was active in making quilts for distribution through Orphan Grain Train.
Edna enjoyed quilting, crocheting, gardening, canning, and doll collecting. She enjoyed playing softball in her younger years and was a pitcher.
Edna is survived by her husband, Pastor James Moll, Deshler; one daughter, Candiss (Galen) Kirchhoff, Deshler; two sons, Randy (Yolonda) Moll, Gentry, Arkansas, and Timothy (Sara) Moll, Seward, Nebraska; one brother, John Stueve, Monrovia, California; 23 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, 16 brothers and sisters, and one great-granddaughter, Ava Harrison.
A private graveside service was held May 6, 2020, at St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery in Deshler. A memorial and celebration service for all will be held when the Lord makes this possible.
Condolences and memorials in care of the family can be mailed to Rev. James Moll, 214 Crestview Drive, Deshler, Nebraska 68340.
The Reverend Donald E. Levenhagen, pastor emeritus, Fremont, Nebraska, departed this life on Friday, April 24, 2020, at the age of 85. He was born in Decker, Indiana, on July 11, 1934, to Lorenz and Hulda (Yochum) Levenhagen. He spent his younger years living in Vincennes, Indiana. At age 14 he left home to attend Concordia Lutheran High School, along with two years of preparatory school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On June 21, 1958, he married Dorothy Adkins in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
He graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1959 following a year of vicarage in Albany, New York. Pastor Levenhagen served the following congregations during his pastoral ministry: St. John and St. Paul, Almond, Wisconsin (1959-1963); Holy Trinity, Greensburg, and St. Mark, Shelbyville, Indiana (1963-1966); and Trinity, Fremont, Nebraska (1966-1996). Pastor Levenhagen also served as a Nebraska District Vice President from 1985-1994; on the Dunklau Foundation Board of Directors; Lutheran Church Extension Fund and Lutheran Family Services Board of Directors; and as President of Fremont Kiwanis. He retired from pastoral ministry on January 26, 1997. In retirement he served pastoral vacancies in various congregations in Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. He participated in family weddings and baptisms even up until last December.
Pastor Levenhagen is survived by his wife, Dorothy, of Fremont; three daughters, Becky Dabkowski, Plainfield, Indiana, Beth (Scott) Doht, Lyons, Nebraska, and Kris (Greg) Kavan, North Bend, Nebraska; two sons, Don (Ginger) Levenhagen, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Tim Levenhagen, Valley, Nebraska; 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Judy (Dick) Woolsey and Linda Canada; two brothers, Charles Levenhagen and Frederic Levenhagen; and a sister-in-law, Carol McKinley.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings and spouses, William and Joanne Levenhagen, Arlen Levenhagen, Dorothy and James Jones, and Janice Burkpile; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Robert and Betty Adkins, Richard and Ruthann Adkins, and Leroy and Lillian Adkins; son, Mark Levenhagen; grandchildren, Jeremy Hobson, Matthew Doht, Jakob Levenhagen, and Lakynn Rief.
A visitation and celebration of Don’s life will be held at a later date. Please direct memorials to The Levenhagen Family, c/o Ludvigsen Mortuary, 1249 E. 23rd Street, Fremont, Nebraska 68025.
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Dorothy Levenhagen, 2026 N. Howard Street, Fremont, Nebraska 68025.
Betty Jean Galen, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on April 7, 2020, in Seward, Nebraska. She was born on October 29, 1930, in Detroit, Michigan, to Gus and Catherine Lardner Oehmke. She graduated from Concordia College (now University), River Forest, IL, in 1959. Throughout her career she taught at Grace, River Forest, IL; St. Paul, Utica, NE; and Concordia College, Seward, NE; retiring in May of 1997.
Mrs. Galen is survived by her sons Christopher (Adele) Galen of Annandale, VA, and Luke Galen of Grand Rapids, MI; grandchildren: Grace and Gavin Galen of Annandale, VA; brothers: Jerry (Bea) Oehmke of St. Johns, MI, and Dave (Julie) Oehmke of Brentwood, TN; and sister: Joyce (Jerry) Cornelissen of Ft. Wayne, IN. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Galen; brother Don Oehmke; and infant brother Richard Oehmke.
Music was a focal point for the Galen family, bringing Betty and Bill together at the start of their relationship in Chicago, and later through their involvement with both Concordia and the St. John’s church choir. Betty was a proud member of the Seward Women’s Club for five decades and a long-time board member of Seward Arts Council.
In light of the coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings, her family will delay a memorial service until such a time as when her extended relations can gather for a celebration of life…hopefully this summer.
Arlen G. Ahlers, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on March 22, 2020, in Pierce, Nebraska. He was born on February 10, 1931, in Gregory County, South Dakota, to August and Anna Seevers Ahlers. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), Seward, in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science and his Lutheran Teacher Diploma. In 1962, he received a Masters Degree from Queens College in Flushing, New York. He served his country in the United States Air Force from 1951-1955. He married Dorothy Bohlsen in 1955. Throughout his career he served as administrator and teacher at Trinity, Hicksville, NY; Ascension, Torrance CA; Christ, Costa Mesa; and St. John’s. Orange, CA; retiring in 1993. He also served on many boards and committees on the congregational level and for the Pacific Southwest District.
Mr. Ahler is survived by his wife Dorothy Ahlers of Pierce; one son, John (Laura) Ahlers of Pierce; two daughters, Nancy Ahlers and Julie Butler; Grandchildren: Timothy Craven, Mathew Craven, Megan Short, Daniel Napolitano Rachel Griel, Beth Williams, Amelia Ahlers & Josiah Ahlers; Great-Grandchildren: Eden Short, Mabel Short, Oliver Short, Ruth Williams & Esther Williams; brother, Wayne (Virginia) Ahlers; many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister Linda Lunderborg and husband Roger, his brother Laurence Ahlers and wife Gladys, and his brother Walter Ahlers and wife Betty.
A memorial service for Arlen will be held at a later date at Zion Lutheran Church in Pierce. Stonacek Memorial Chapel in Pierce is in charge of arrangements.
The Reverend H. John Cotton, Nebraska City, Nebraska, departed this life on Friday, March 20, 2020, at the age of 64. He was born in Orlando, Florida, on November 21, 1955, to Hugh M. and Jennie (Stanko) Cotton. He attended school in Orlando and graduated from Boone High School. He later attended F.T.U. in Orlando. John worked for the family insurance agency – Hugh Cotton Insurance Agency – in Orlando for 20 years.
He was united in marriage to Lauren M. McIntosh on February 16, 1985, in Oviedo, Florida, and to this union one daughter, Cathryn, was born.
In 1994, he began studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He was ordained in 1998 and began his career in the ministry. Prior to his ordination, he served as vicar at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Norfolk, Nebraska. Pastor Cotton’s first assignment was at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Davenport, Nebraska (1998-2004). He would later move to Nebraska City to become pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, Nebraska City, and St. Paul Lutheran Church, Weeping Water, Nebraska (since 2005).
He was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in both Orlando, Florida, and Omaha, Nebraska.
Pastor Cotton is survived by his wife, Lauren Cotton, Nebraska City; daughter, Cathryn (Josh) Scheerer, Lincoln, Nebraska; grandson C.J.; siblings, Cindi (David) Parker and Tom (Kathy) Cotton, all of Orlando; Nancy (Glen) Wendt, Round Rock, Texas; other extended family, his church family, and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.
An open visitation will be held Wednesday, March 25, from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Nebraska City.
A family funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, at Christ Lutheran Church and the service will be live-streamed on Gude Mortuary’s Facebook page.
Graveside services will be held Friday, March 27, at 2:00 p.m. at Wyuka Cemetery, and all attendees should follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, hand hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, etc. Memorials may be given to Mission Central, Mapleton, Iowa, or Orphan Grain Train, Norfolk, Nebraska.
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Lauren Cotton, 2201 2nd Avenue, Nebraska City, Nebraska 68410.
Joanne Wanda Lau Heider, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on March 9, 2020, in Grand Island, Nebraska. She was born on February 10, 1929, in Murdock, Nebraska, to William H. and Selma Schliefert Lau. She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Murdock in 1929 and confirmed there in 1943. She graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), Seward, with an AA degree in 1948, and began teaching at Trinity Lutheran School in Grand Island until 1951. She married Herbert F. Heider and they lived in Grand Island for the rest of their lives where they raised six children. Mrs. Heider received a Bachelors Degree from Concordia Teachers College in 1973 and her Masters in 1983. She taught kindergarten at Trinity Lutheran School from 1970 until she retired in 1994.
Joanne was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Island, belonged to LWML, LLL, and other organizations at Trinity.
She is survived by six children and their spouses: Bill (Wendy) Heider of Grand Island; David (Sheena) Heider of Amarillo, TX; Stan (Laura) Heider of Lincoln; Mary (Karl) Ziegler of Papillion; Ruth (Bob) Armao of Indianapolis, IN; and Paula Heider of Grand Island; 16 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and her brother, Vern Lau of Murdock. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert F. Heider; parents, William and Selma Lau; infant granddaughter, Leah Heider; daughter-in-law, Theresa Heider; infant great-granddaughter, Gabrielle; and sister-in-law, Dorothy Lau.
Visitation will be Sunday, March 15, 2020 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home in Grand Island. The family invites you to join them for the committal service at 9:30 a.m., Monday, March 16, 2020 at Westlawn Cemetery. The service will follow at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Island at 11:00 a.m. Memorials may be designated for Trinity Lutheran School of Grand Island in lieu of flowers.
Martin Louis Stork, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on January 1, 2020, in Seward, Nebraska. He was born on May 29, 1921, in Monticello, Minnesota, to Rudolph and Lois Stork. He was baptized on June 20, 1921 and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont, NE in 1934. He attended Concordia High School (graduating in 1938) and then Concordia Teacher’s College, graduating May 29, 1942. He met his wife Etta Schoen while teaching in Dodge City, KS and then went to start a school at Redeemer Lutheran in Flint, Michigan. He served at Redeemer from 1942-1959. He received his Master of Arts Degree from Michigan University in 1949 and saw the church and school through two building projects. He then served as a faculty member at Concordia Teacher’s College in Seward until he retired in 1986. While at Concordia, he earned his Doctor of Education Degree at UNL in 1966. He became the director of student teaching, A Cappella tour director, and was the “Voice of the Bulldogs” for 42 years (1959-2000). At the end of every game, he would say “See you in church on Sunday!”
Martin served on many District and Synodical committees and was active in civic affairs, including the Seward Country Club Board of Directors, Seward City Council, and started a Christmas Tree farm in 1974. He served on the Finance Board of St. John Lutheran Church, Concordia’s Centennial Committee and the CU Athletic Hall of Fame Board. In 1995 Martin received Concordia’s Lifetime Service Award and was inducted into the CU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
Mr. Stork is survived by his daughters: Annetta Stork and Elizabeth (Stan) Obermueller; Grandchildren: Marie (David) Willweber, Tasha (Danile) Fingerlin, Martin Obermueller and Megan Obermueller; Great-grandchildren: Micah, Anna and Jada Willweber and Nora, Rya, Nolan and Lola Fingerlin; his brother Alan (Jan) Stork; two sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Etta; his sister Ferra; his brother Robert Gieselman; many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Visitation will be Monday, January 13, from 2:00-8:00 p.m. at Volzke Funeral Home in Seward with family greeting friends from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held January 14, 2020, at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward. Interment will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Seward.
Gilbert Herman Daenzer, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on December 9, 2019, in Seward, Nebraska. He was born on November 13, 1930, in Conroy, Iowa, to Albert and Ada Zuber Daenzer. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Conroy, Iowa and attended the church’s one room school, graduating in 1944. He graduated from Calumet High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1948 and then attended Concordia Teacher’s College in River Forest, Illinois, graduating in 1952. He then attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated in 1959. He married Bonnie Kroeger in June of 1952 and they were blessed with three children – David, Beth, and Douglas. Throughout his career he taught at schools in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (1952-1955) and St. Louis, Missouri (1955-1965). He then taught at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska for 30 years, retiring in July of 1995.
Mr. Daenzer is survived by his wife Bonnie; his children, Beth (Steave) Landon, Douglas (Sandy) Daenzer; daughter-in-law, Katrina Daenzer; grandchildren, Sean (Audrey) Daenzer, Alycia (Ben) Miskle, Trevor Landon; step grandchildren, Casey (Alyssa) Trimble, Kami Tash, Kelli Woods, Stacey Trimble; great grandchildren, Lucia, Monica and Renata Daenzer, Payton, Parker and Paisley Trimble, Tess and Tatum Tash, Everleigh and Aiden Woods; sister, Frieda Wenck; brother, Franklin Daenzer; sisters-in-law, Marjorie Mohr, Joyce (David) Wenck; brother-in-law, Richard Hentzen. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Ada Daenzer and son, David Daenzer.
Visitation will be at Volzke Funeral Home in Seward on Sunday, December 15 from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. with family greeting guests from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held December 16, 2019, at 10:30 at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Seward.
The Reverend Theodore Erich Allwardt, Sr., pastor emeritus, Kearney, Nebraska, departed this life on Sunday, December 1, 2019, at the age of 85. Theodore “Ted” was born on July 10, 1934, in Willoughby, Ohio, to Erich B. and Olga R. (Grapatin) Allwardt. He graduated from Concordia Lutheran High School, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in 1951. He received an A.A. degree from Concordia College, Ft. Wayne, in 1953 and his B.A. degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1955. Ted then pursued graduate studies at Concordia Seminary and the University of Tuebingen in Germany. In 1959 he received his Theological Diploma from Concordia Seminary.
Ted was united in marriage to Marian R. Boriack on June 19, 1960, in Rome, New York. Ted and Marian were blessed with three children – Theodore, Jr., Carol, and Timothy.
Ted was ordained on December 1, 1960. During his ministry Pastor Allwardt served the following congregations: St. Paul, Rugby, and St. Paul, Willow City, North Dakota (1960-1965); St. John, Oakes, North Dakota (1965-1973); Peace, Garrison, and St. Matthew, Max, North Dakota (1973-1979); Trinity, Lebanon, Missouri (1980-1986); Shepherd of the Hills, Rathdrum, and First, Spirit Lake, Idaho (1986-1989); and St. John, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (1989-2000). He retired on January 1, 2001. During his retirement, he also served a vacant congregation in Oregon (2007-2010).
Pastor Allwardt was an avid writer, publishing several devotions in the Lutheran devotional Portals of Prayer. He also published three books – Rattlesnakes and Rainbows, Messages from the Coast, and More Rainbows Than Rattlesnakes.
Survivers include his wife, Marian Allwardt, Kearney; one daughter, Carol (Rev. James) DeLoach, Kearney; two sons, Ted Jr. (Ruth) Allwardt, Frederick, Maryland, and Timothy (Sarah) Allwardt, West Hills, California; six grandchildren; three sisters, Dot Nuechterlein, Valparaiso, Indiana, Ellen Thorson, St. Louis, Missouri, and Alys Allwardt, Portland, Oregon.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Ruth Hanna; and brother, Rick Allwardt.
Memorial services will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, Kearney, Nebraska, on Friday, December 13, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. There will be no visitation and burial will be later.
Memorials are suggested in lieu of flowers. Please send them to Zion Lutheran Church and earmarked “Ted’s Missions.” His family will see to their distribution.
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Marian Allwardt, 1717 Prairie View Place, Kearney, Nebraska 68845.