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Below are obituaries from the past 6 months.
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.
The Reverend Charles August Gottlieb Reimnitz, pastor emeritus, Omaha, Nebraska, departed this life on November 6, 2019, at the age of 90. Charles was born on May 30, 1929, in Chester, Nebraska, to Carl August Reimnitz and Emma Ortmann. He lived there during the early years of the depression and dust storms. He was the son of a missionary/minister and the grandson of immigrants who had homesteaded in South Dakota after arriving to this country from Germany in the late 1800’s. He had 6 brothers and sisters, Rev. Elmer Reimnitz, Edna Camberg, Elbert Reimnitz, Ruth Jacobs, Rev. Stewart Reimnitz, and Trudy Dawson.
He was a graduate of St. John’s College in Winfield, Kansas, where he studied to become a Lutheran minister following in the steps of his father. There he met his future wife, Betty Louise Acker. They were married on June 7, 1953, and remained married for over 65 years. They were married by the bride’s father with the groom’s father assisting. They had four sons – John, Joel, Jess, and James.
After graduating from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and serving as pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in New Baltimore, Michigan (1954-1958), he accepted a call to serve as pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. There he served an ever growing congregation for almost 40 years (1958-1996). He touched the lives of many people over the years with hundreds of baptisms, weddings, and funerals while at the same time counseling members of his parish. His additional church activities included circuit visitor Lincoln area, 3rd Vice President Nebraska District, Board for Higher Education LCMS (1977-1986), and Chair of Board for Higher Education (1983-1986).
His faith and connection to the church did not stop when he retired in 1996. Along with other members of Christ Lutheran, he helped found the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society where he served as a board member for many years. He was a lifelong Cornhusker fan and never failed to keep his sons informed on the latest news and who the Huskers were playing each week. He had a great passion for genealogy and was able to trace the roots of the Reimnitz family back in time and, in the course of doing so, made many friends and made contact with distant relatives throughout the world. His favorite bible text was Revelation 2:10, “be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.”
Pastor Reimnitz is survived by his wife, Betty Reimnitz; four sons, John, Joel, Jess, and James; seven grandchildren; and one brother and one sister.
Services will be held at Pacific Hills Lutheran Church, Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. Private interment held for family and extended family at Westlawn Hillcrest Memorial Park in Omaha.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed in Charles name to the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society, PO Box 22544, Lincoln, Nebraska 68542.
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Betty Reimnitz, 14925 Dorcas Circle, Omaha, Nebraska 68144.