Elwood Resident: Richard W. Schwarz, 90 (1923-2013)

Pastor Richard W. Schwarz, 90, of Elwood, Nebraska, died Tuesday, March 19th, 2013, at Golden LivingCenter in Cozad, Nebraska.

Richard Walter Schwarz was born January 2nd, 1923, to Matthaeus and Katherine (Weisz) Schwarz, on a farm southwest of Hazen, North Dakota.

He graduated from Wartburg College of Waverly, Iowa, in 1946 and then from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, with a Master of Divinity degree in 1952. He married Vera E. Hock of Strawberry Point, Iowa, in July 1951. This union was blessed with four children, Jonathan, Kathryn, Joel and Steven.

Following graduation from seminary, Richard was ordained at Peace Lutheran Church in Hazen on July 13th, 1952. He served congregations in Kulm, Jud and Fredonia, North Dakota. The family then moved to Parkston, South Dakota, in 1957, where he served for 12 1/2 years. He then accepted a call to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eustis, Nebraska and was there for seven years before accepting a call to Long Lake, South Dakota. He retired from full-time ministry in 1988, when he and Vera retired to Elwood.

Since his retirement, Pastor Schwarz served as interim pastor in over 30 different parishes through the ELCA’s Nebraska Synod. Sometimes the road was very rough and he learned that thus the Lord lead in the refining of his instruments. But always God’s promises were a sure and faithful guide and the joys and satisfactions outweighed the disappointments.

Surviving Pastor Schwarz are his wife, Vera of Elwood Care Center; sons, Jonathan (Carolyn) Schwarz of Lincoln, Nebraska; Joel (Maria) Schwarz of Layton, Utah and Steve Schwarz of Arapahoe, Nebraska; daughter, Kathy Gundell of Eustis, Nebraska; eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, Jeremy (Brooke) Schwarz and Gavin of Lincoln, Nebraska, Jennifer (Dayne) Crawford and Brooklyn of Goodyear, Arizona; Amanda (Bryant) Brockmeier and Lane, Baxter, Evan, Reid and Jennae of Eustis; James (Gwen) Gundell and Turner and Jaxson of Gothenburg, Nebraska; Christopher Schwarz of Sioux Falls; Adam (Jessica) Schwarz and Jaleigh and Reese of Suffolk, Virginia; Danielle Schwarz and fiance, Scott Woodstock of Logan, Utah; and, Samuel Schwarz of Layton, Utah; his sisters, Pauline (Melvin) Brinkmeyer of Eureka, South Dakota and Eva (Richard) Neikirk of Gahanna, Ohio; brother-in-law, Pastor A.L. (Gerda) Hock of Strawberry Point; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Emil, Martin, Wilhelm and Bernhard; and sisters, Helen Zenker and Maria Scheid.

A Memorial Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eustis, with Reverend Beverly Rautenberg-Panko officiating.

Burial will be held prior to the memorial service at 9:30 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery at Eustis.

Visitation will be Friday, March 22, 2013, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eustis.

Memorials are suggested to Oaks Indian Mission, Oaks, Oklahoma.

Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is in charge of arrangements.

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