IN MEMORIAM (May 2021)
Obituary information is provided by district offices to the Synod’s Office of Rosters and Statistics. Any questions about content should be referred, therefore, to the appropriate district office. — Ed.
AHO, ORVILLE EUGENE REV., Aug. 11, 1925, Sebeka, Minn., to Feb. 7, 2021, Baxter, Minn.; son of Oscar and Alma (Rimpila) Aho; graduated Springfield Seminary 1947. Served 1947-1988. Ministries/Parishes: Thunder Bay, Ft. William, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Virginia, Ah-Gwah-Ching, Minn.; Buffalo, N.Y. Retired 1988. Preceded in death by his wife Signe (Nikkari) Aho. Survivors: sons: Brian, Michael; daughters: Suzanne, Mary Slowinski. Funeral and Interment: Feb. 13, 2021, Baxter, Minn.
BELL, GARY A. REV., Feb. 28, 1948, Merrill, Wis., to Jan. 23, 2021, Benicia, Calif.; son of Harry and Phyllis (Rusch) Bell; graduated Ft. Wayne Seminary 1988. Served 1988-2011. Ministries/Parishes: Hibbing, Maple, Wis.; Aurora, Colo.; Benicia, Calif. Retired 2015. Survivors: Sheryl (Lee) Bell; son: Rev. Aaron; daughters: Sarah Miles, Melinda Smith.
BISCHOFF, FREDERICK A. REV., Aug. 16, 1955, Milwaukee, Wis., to Jan. 21, 2021, Yorkville, Wis.; son of Ellsworth and Beridella (Semerau) Bischoff; graduated Ft. Wayne Seminary 1981. Served 1981-2020. Ministries/Parishes: Hardin, St. Xavier, Mont.; Waterford, Wis.; South Wisconsin District Circuit Visitor 1994-1997. Retired 2020. Survivors: Lori (Schoening) Bischoff; son: Phillip. Funeral and Interment: Feb. 1, 2021, Waterford. Wis.
DOWNS, GARY TRAVIS REV., Oct. 14, 1951, Travis AFB, Calif., to Jan. 24, 2021, Lansing, Mich.; graduated St. Louis Seminary 1982. Served 1982-2003, 2009-2021. Ministries/Parishes: Newan, Hayward, Calif.; Ridley Park, Pa.; Lansing, Mich.; California-Nevada-Hawaii District Circuit Visitor 1997-1999. Survivors: sons: Gregory, Michael. Funeral: Feb. 5, 2021, Lansing, Mich.
JANK, ROLAND A. SR. REV., July 14, 1920, Canby, Minn., to Jan. 27, 2021, Omaha, Neb.; son of Rev. Paul and Helen (Bussman) Jank; graduated St. Louis Seminary 1945. Served 1945-1987. Ministries/Parishes: Amherst, Sumner, Hastings, Columbus, Neb.; Guttenberg, McGregor, Iowa. Retired 1987. Preceded in death by his wife Norma (Buehler) Jank. Survivors: sons: Rev. Roland Jr., Michael, Joel. Funeral: Feb. 2, 2021, Omaha, Neb.; Interment: Feb. 2, 2021, Kearney, Neb.
MAZAK, RICHARD A. REV. DR., Aug. 30, 1932, Milwaukee, Wis., to Dec. 11, 2020, Hickory, N.C.; son of Rev. Stephan and Anne (Rybarik) Mazak; graduated St. Louis Seminary 1958. Served 1958-1991. Ministries/Parishes: Milwaukee, Wis.; River Forest, Ill.; San Angelo, Texas; Newton, N.C. Retired 2000. Preceded in death by his daughter Lynn. Survivors: son: Scott; daughter: Pamela.
MURRAY, JAMES EDWARD REV. DR., Aug. 19, 1929, Dodge Center, Minn., to Nov. 15, 2020, Lee’s Summit, Mo.; son of Andrew and Dora (Shorter) Murray; graduated Springfield Seminary 1965. Served 1965-1991, 2004-2013. Ministries/Parishes: Mellen, Marengo, Merrill, Kellner, Marshfield, Wis.; Red Oaks, Villisca, Missouri Valley, Iowa; St. George, Utah. Retired 2013. Preceded in death by his wife Marie (Kurth) Murray. Survivors: sons: David, Roger; daughters: Jamie, Rosemarie, Lori. Funeral and Interment: Dec. 8, 2020, Boulder City, Nev.
SCHEMM, MILTON ROGER REV., Feb. 24, 1934, Detroit, Mich., to Feb.13, 2021, Troy, Mich.; son of Milton and Catherine (Bessinger) Schemm; graduated St. Louis Seminary 1956. Served 1956-1996. Ministries/Parishes: Devils Lake, Penn, N.D.; St. Clair, St. Clair Shores, Mich.; Mt. View, Fresno, Calif. Retired 1996. Preceded in death by his son Kirk. Survivors: Leslie Schemm; sons: Keith, Mark; daughter: Cynthia Jacobson. Funeral: Feb. 20, 2021, Birmingham, Mich.; Interment: Detroit, Mich.
STOHLMANN, STEPHEN C. REV. DR., Nov. 30, 1942, Norfolk, Neb., to Feb. 15, 2021, Mahtomedi, Minn.; son of Paul and Pearl (Holtz) Stohlmann; graduated St. Louis Seminary 1968. Served 1971-2008. Ministries/Parishes: Hampton, Polk, Neb.; St. Paul, Minn. Retired 2008. Survivors: Jeanette (Zabel) Stohlmann; sons: Seth, Micah, Rev. Philip; daughters: Naomi, Mary. Funeral: Feb. 19, 2021, White Bear Lake, Minn.; Interment: Feb. 19, 2021, Mahtomedi, Minn.
VOKT, MICHAEL E. REV., July 29, 1957, Atlantic, Iowa, to Jan. 25, 2021, Bettendorf, Iowa; son of Robert and Jean (Cron) Vokt; graduated St. Louis Seminary 1986. Served 1986-2021. Ministry/Parish: Davenport, Iowa. Survivors: Jill (Evola) Vokt; son: Peter; daughter: Kristen. Funeral and Interment: Jan. 30, 2021, Davenport, Iowa.
WESSLING, EDWARD W. REV., Dec. 26, 1924, Stockton, Calif., to Feb. 2, 2021, Wickenburg, Ariz.; son of Rev. Albert and Antonia (Ohm) Wessling; graduated St. Louis Seminary 1949. Served 1949-1961, 1973-1990. Ministries/Parishes: Madison, Wis.; Valparaiso, Ind.; Denver, Colo.; San Diego, Calif. Retired 1990. Preceded in death by his wives Esther (Sommer) Wessling, Evelyn (Myhre) Wessling, Gale (Matthewson) Wessling and son Mark. Survivors: sons: Scott, Todd; daughters: Hope Keesling, Eve Wall. Memorial Service: Feb. 20, 2021, Wickenburg, Ariz.
BRAUER, ETHAN R., Oct. 19, 1932, Chicago, Ill., to Jan. 24, 2021, Detroit, Mich.; son of Rev. Richard and Erna (Bohl) Brauer; graduated Seward 1955. Served 1955-1997. Schools/Ministries: Frankenmuth, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Mich. Retired 1997. Survivors: Grace (Stevenson) Brauer; son: Richard; daughter: Jennifer. Funeral: Jan. 30, 2021, Beverly Hills, Mich.; Interment: Jan. 30, 2021, Detroit, Mich.
CARTER, KARLA (ABEL) DEAC., April 2, 1948, Tulsa, Okla., to May 8, 2020, Bartlesville, Okla.; daughter of Karl and Marjorie Abel; graduated Ft. Wayne 2013. Served 2013-2015. School/Ministry: Bartlesville, Okla. Survivors: Rev. Mark Carter; son: Matthew Gross; daughters: Emily Gross, Hilary Gross. Funeral and Interment: May 19, 2020, Tulsa, Okla.
EHLERS, VIOLA BERTHA, Aug. 3, 1922, Newell, Iowa, to Feb. 14, 2021, Albert City, Iowa; daughter of Henry and Bertha (Ripke) Ehlers; graduated Seward 1949. Rostered as Emeritus 1989. Funeral and Interment: Feb. 19, 2021, Storm Lake, Iowa.
GLANZER, ELLEN EDITH (BERGT), May 21, 1933, Schuyler, Neb., to Jan. 15, 2021, Norfolk, Neb.; daughter of Erich and Gertrude (DeBower) Bergt; graduated Seward 1974. Served 1974-1998. School/Ministry: Norfolk, Neb. Retired 1998. Preceded in death by her husband Harlan Glanzer. Survivors: son: John; daughters: Joan LoMele, Janet Wiechelman. Funeral and Interment: Jan. 20, 2021, Norfolk, Neb.
THACKER, JESS MICHAEL, Dec. 20, 1969, Omaha, Neb., to Jan. 22, 2021, Maumee, Ohio; son of Jerry and Georgina (Jacobsen) Thacker; graduated Seward 1992. Served 1992-2021. Schools/Ministries: Leavenworth, Kan.; Houston, Texas; Toledo, Ohio. Survivor: Angie (Schiessl) Thacker. Funeral: Jan. 29, 2021, Toledo, Ohio.
VON BEHREN, ERICH W., Nov. 24, 1930, Detroit, Mich., to May 12, 2020, Frankenmuth, Mich.; son of Walter and Carolyn von Behren; graduated River Forest 1953. Served 1953-1993. Schools/Ministries: River Forest, Chicago, Ill.; Detroit, Frankenmuth, Mich. Retired 1993. Survivors: Carol (von Hoffmann) von Behren; sons: Erich, David, John, Paul. Funeral: May 16, 2020, Frankenmuth, Mich.