Obituaries

Please note: Our office relies on families, congregations, and schools to provide obituary information. If you do not see an obituary here that you believe should be shared with the district, please contact communications@ndlcms.org to notify us.

Below are obituaries from the past 6 months.

Robert Pflieger, February 15, 2024

Robert William Pflieger, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on February 15, 2024, in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was born on February 18, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, to William and Bernice (Holt) Pflieger. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), River Forest, in 1956, and received a Master of Arts Degree from Stanford University in 1962. Ministries served include: Concordia High School, Seward, NE (1956-1959); Luther High South, Chicago, IL (1959-1963); and Concordia University, Seward, NE (1963-1998); retiring in June of 1998.

Mr. Pflieger is survived by his wife Donna Pflieger of Lincoln, NE; children, Sandra (Kevin) Drewel of Lincoln, NE and Thomas (Theresa) Pflieger of Highlands Ranch, CO; grandchildren, Micah (Abby) Price-Offermann, Jacob (Beth) Offermann, Adam Offermann, Erinn (Lane) Grist, Evan Steere, Makenna (Ben) Schmeling, Karissa Drewel, Grant Pflieger, Lauren Pflieger; great grandchildren, Maddyn Grist and Bree Schmeling; siblings, Russell (Josephine) Pflieger, Bruce (Jackie) Pflieger and Eileen (Art) Gundell; son-in-law, Roger (Jennifer) Offermann. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Bernice Pflieger; daughter, Wendy Offermann; siblings, Richard Pflieger and Judith Johnson.

The funeral service will be held Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward with interment at Greenwood Cemetery in Seward.

Memorials in care of Concordia University-Pflieger Pre-Seminary Scholarship Fund, Concordia University Athletic Department, and St. John Lutheran School.

If you cannot attend the service, you are invited to worship by live streaming here on YouTube, which will also be recorded and shared on the church’s website.

Gary Steinmiller, February 10, 2024

Gary Reuben Steinmiller, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on February 10, 2024, in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was born on September 13, 1939, in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Reuben and Mollie Strauch Steinmiller. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), Seward, in 1960, received a Master’s Degree in physical education from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1965, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1971. Throughout his career he served as a teacher and coach. He also enjoyed officiating high school and college football, baseball, and basketball. Ministries served include: St. Mark, Cleveland, Ohio (1960-1962); and Concordia College (Concordia University), Seward, Nebraska (1962-1986), retiring in 1999.

Gary is survived by his wife, Edith Herzberg Steinmiller of Seward, NE; daughters, Katherine Krohn (John Stromberger) of Fort Collins, CO and Elizabeth Steinmiller (Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko) of Philadelphia, PA; grandchildren, Sarah and Peter Krohn and Alexander and Nicolas Thomas-Tikhonenko; sister, Mary Betten; nephews, Mark and Mike Betten. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Reuben and Mollie Steinmiller; and brother-in-law, Don Betten.

The funeral service will be held February 17, 2024, at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward, NE with interment at Greenwood Cemetery in Seward.

Della Hartmann, February 7, 2024

Della J. Everts Hartmann, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on February 7, 2024, in Seward, Nebraska. She was born on June 16, 1928, in Grafton, Nebraska, to Reinhold and Etta Anna-Marie Baumann Everts. She graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), Seward, in 1959, and received a Bachelors’ Degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1969. Throughout her teaching career, she served at the following schools: Mt. Calvary, Omaha, NE (1951-1952); St. John, Wykoff, MN (1952-1953, 1954-1955); St. Peter, Deshler, NE (1960-1961); St. John, Ocala, FL (1970-1972); Our Redeemer, Staplehurst, NE (1975-1977); and Zion, Hastings, NE (1980-1992); retiring in May of 1992. 

Mrs. Hartmann is survived by her children, Gayle (Milt) Bayer of Lincoln, NE; Steven (Kathy) Hartmann of Seward, NE; David Hartmann of Lincoln, NE; Lori Uden of Hastings, NE; and Lonna (Roger) Richters of Utica, NE; Grandchildren: Tim (Christine) Hartmann of Germany, Ben Hartmann of Seward, NE, Khristina (Jason) Hindmand of Lincoln, NE, Taylor Richters of Berkeley, CA, Ryan Richters of Utica, NE, and Jacob Uden (Jaci Anderson) of Hastings, NE; Great-Grandchildren: Holy Venetis, Caleb Venetis, Caric Hindmand, Landon Hindmand, and Jamison Uden; Siblings: Viola Hartmann of Minden, NE and Warren (Ladonna) Everts of McCook, NE; sisters-in-law: Doris Hartmann of Seward, NE, Arlys Hartmann of Wamego, KS, and Ardath Hartmann of Seward, NE. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Donald Hartmann; brothers and sisters-in-law, Helen Everts, Dale and Maxine Everts; infant sister, Esther Everts; son-in-law, Loren Uden; brothers-in-law, Dick Hartmann, Bill Hartmann, Jim Hartmann, and Walt Hartmann; sisters-in-law, Jeanette (Emil) Lampe, Marj (Dan) Heibel, and Dorothy M. Hill.

The funeral service will be held Thursday, February 15, 2024, at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward, NE.  Visitation will be Wednesday, February 14 at Volzke Funeral Home in Seward from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m., with gathering of family and friends from 6:30 to 8:30. Private Committal will be at the Seward Cemetery.

Memorials in care of St. John Lutheran School or donor’s choice.

 

 

Dean Raabe, January 15, 2024

Dean Warren Raabe, Commissioned Minister—teacher/principal Emeritus, departed this life on January 15, 2024, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was born on December 13, 1946, in West Point, Nebraska, to Warren and Sylvia Raabe. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), Seward, in 1970, and received a Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha in 1983. While attending Concordia, he met his wife, Linda Pawluk and they were married on August 8, 1970.  Throughout his career he served as a teacher and principal. Ministries served include: Ebenezer, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1970-1971); Emmaus, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1971-1976); Calvary, Houston, Texas (1976-1978); and Concordia Academy (Wider Omaha Lutheran School Association), Omaha, Nebraska (2004-2013); retiring in June of 2013.

Mr. Raabe is survived by his beloved wife Linda; his son, Chris Raabe (Melanie) of Omaha, NE, and his daughters, Angela Firuccia (John) of Kansas City, MO, and Holly Leeds (Stephen) of Papillion, NE; and his grandchildren, Emma Marvin (Joe), Reagan Raabe, and Olivia Raabe; and great granddaughter, Willow Marvin; two sisters, Lois Hoger (Lou) and Helen Heller (Lynn); his aunt, Elaine Raabe; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Peggy Pawluk, Ken and June Pawluk, Bob and Alvina Pawluk, Jim and Sue Wolcott, Dave and Shelly Schnier, LaRae Watson; and many precious cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

The funeral service was held Monday, January 22, at 10:30 a.m. at Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, with interment at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in rural Beemer, Nebraska.

Memorials to Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha; Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, Omaha; and GraceHill Church, Elkhorn.

Rev. Carl Lilienkamp, January 13, 2024

The Reverend Carl Rickey (Rick) Lilienkamp, pastor emeritus, Wayne, Nebraska, departed this life on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at the age of 72. Carl was born March 10, 1951, in Lockwood, Dade County, Missouri, to Gilbert Lilienkamp and Elnora Brinkhoff Lilienkamp. He was baptized as a baby at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Lockwood, Missouri, and confirmed on April 11, 1965, at Immanuel. He grew up a Missouri farm boy on his parents’ farm, but God put it into his heart at a young age to be a pastor. He used to preach to his mother’s hundreds of chickens and gather the eggs as the offering. He attended Immanuel Lutheran School; Lockwood High School; St. Paul’s College in Concordia, Missouri; Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana; attended two years at Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois; and graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1977. He earned a Doctorate in Theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1994.

On June 9, 1973, he married his college sweetheart, Darlene Lois Oehlert, at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Pastor Lilienkamp served his entire ministry in Nebraska at the following congregations: St. John (Green Garden), Madison, Nebraska (1977-1981); Our Redeemer, Staplehurst, Nebraska (1981-1984); Christ, Columbus, Nebraska (1984-1998); senior pastor, Trinity, Arapahoe, Nebraska (1998-2004); and Grace, Wayne, Nebraska (senior pastor 2004-2013 and associate pastor 2013-2016). As a retiree, he joyfully served Grace, Wayne, Nebraska; St. Timothy, Tanacross, Alaska; Immanuel, Osmond, Nebraska; and Beautiful Savior, Anchorage, Alaska.

Carl was an avid outdoorsman, loved spending time with his family, traveling, bicycling, hiking, camping, scootering, gardening, smoking meat, studying the Bible, and teaching about the love of Jesus. He lived a life of joy, had a dry sense of humor, enjoyed playful teasing, and had a gift for remembering people’s names. Although he retired in 2016, he was happiest when he was serving a congregation. He and Darlene spent several summers as Alaska Mission for Christ volunteers, serving in Anchorage. They were also the LCMS Nebraska District Uplifting Pastors’ Families marriage retreat leaders for three years. Carl was a Post-Seminary Applied Learning and Support (PALS) leader, mentoring new seminary graduates.

Survivors include his wife, Darlene Lilienkamp; son, Dan (Christi) and their children Connor (fiancé Sydney Piccolo), Alyssa (fiancé AJ Forbes), and Christian; daughter, Krista (Chad) Young and their children Freya, Patrick, and Cloey; son, Adam and his children Andrew and Matthew; son, Ben and his children Jade, Evelyn, and Braelyn; his sister Lois Kretschmar; brothers-in-law, Orrin Shaw, Ted Oehlert, Dan (Diana) Oehlert, and many nieces and nephews.

Carl was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Mary Rusch and her husband Herbert Rusch, Jr., Agnes Shaw, Betty Steadman and her husband Charles, and brother-in-law, Ray Kretschmar.

Visitation will be held Friday, January 19, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Grace, Wayne. The funeral service will be Saturday, January 20, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Wayne. Committal will be at Christ Lutheran Cemetery, Columbus, Nebraska, later that day. Other than those who are officiating, the family indicated a preference that clergy attending not vest but they will be invited to process and be seated together. They are also welcome to sit with their own family members if preferred.

Memorials may be directed to Anchor Lutheran School/Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Anchorage, Alaska.

Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Darlene Lilienkamp, 2420 N. Highway 15, Wayne, Nebraska 68787.

Norman Hoppmann, January 11, 2024

Norman Glen Hoppmann, Commissioned Minister—Teacher/Principal Emeritus, departed this life on January 11, 2024, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was born on January 16, 1937, in Garden County, Nebraska. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), Seward, in 1960. While attending school in Seward, he and Jeanette Stuthman were married on July 31, 1960 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Wisner, NE. Throughout his career he served at schools in Missouri, Texas, Indiana, Wisconsin, and at St. John, Columbus from 1964-1969. Mr. Hoppmann retired from teaching in Wisconsin in 1999 and returned to Nebraska.

Mr. Hoppmann is survived by his wife, Jeanette Hoppmann of Elkhorn, NE; children: Dan (Beth) Hoppmann of Concordia, MO; Jon (Theresa) Hoppmann of Dalton, WI; Karen (Scott) O’Brien of Broomfield, CO; and Sara (Joe) Conrad of Valley, NE; Grandchildren: Paul (Jessica) Hoppmann, Brandon (Ashley) Hoppmann, Emma Hoppmann, Keenan and Kaden O’Brien, Quinten, Payton and Owen Conrad; great-grandchildren: Cora, Eden and Elowen Hoppmann; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and six brothers: Duane, Melvin, Lyle, Marvin, Mervin and Albert Hoppmann.

The funeral service will be held Tuesday, January 16 at 10:00 A.M. at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Elkhorn, NE. Interment will be held Tuesday afternoon in Pilger Cemetery, Pilger, NE. Visitation will be held at 9:00 A.M. at Lord of Life.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mission Central, Mapleton, IA; Lutheran Hour Ministries; or St. Paul High School in Concordia, MO.

Kathryn Cook, November 26, 2023

Kathryn M. (Schnoor) Cook, Commissioned Minister—Teacher Emeritus, departed this life on November 26, 2023, in Lincoln, NE. She was born on August 18, 1943, in Wayne, Nebraska, to Melvin I. and Vera M. (Andersen) Schnoor. She graduated from Concordia Teachers College (now University), Seward, in 1965. She married Donald D. (Don) Cook on June 26, 1966, in Norfolk, Nebraska. Along with being a wife, grandmother, and homemaker, Kathy was a much loved and respected LCMS teacher for 25 years. Throughout her career she served at Concordia, Peoria, IL (1965-1966); Christ, Norfolk (1966-1969); Calvary, Lincoln (1979-1981); and Christ, Norfolk (1981-2001); retiring in June of 2001.

Kathy is survived by her husband, Don Cook (Lincoln); daughters: Amy Cook (Omaha), Rebecca (Michael) Case (Lincoln); grandchildren: Logan (MaKenna) Case, Zach (McKenna Laurenroth) Case, Haley (Caleb Duncan) Case; and great granddaughter, Sophia Kate Case, all of Lincoln.

Services were held December 1, 2023 at Faith Lutheran Church in Lincoln and burial at Fairview Cemetery in Lincoln.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Christ Lutheran School Foundation in Norfolk, Lutheran High Northeast in Norfolk, Seward Concordia Guild Scholarship Fund, or Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.

Rev. Robert Pierce, December 31, 2023

The Reverend Robert James Pierce, pastor emeritus, Ogallala, Nebraska, departed this life on Sunday, December 31, 2023, at the age of 84. Robert was born December 13, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois, to Glenden and Bessie Pierce. He was baptized on March 3, 1940, at Chatham Fields Lutheran Church in Chicago. He confirmed his Christian faith on March 29, 1953, at Chatham Fields Lutheran Church. Robert married Bonita (Beck) on May 22, 1976, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Snyder, Nebraska. They were blessed with three daughters.

Pastor Pierce impacted many lives in his 53 years of preaching and loved sharing the good news of Jesus with those around him. He attended Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Concordia Senior College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, in May 1966. His vicarage year was spent at Trinity Lutheran Church, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. On June 26, 1966, he was ordained in his home congregation, Chatham Fields Lutheran Church in Chicago. Pastor Pierce served Immanuel Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran Churches in Schuyler, Nebraska, from July 1966 to January 1984. He served as pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Waco, Nebraska, from February 5, 1984 to May 1996. Pastor Pierce was then installed as pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Ogallala, Nebraska, in June 1996 and served there until his retirement in July 2019.

Pastor Pierce was the circuit counselor of the Nebraska District Western Sandhills Circuit for several years. He also served as the vacancy pastor at Lutheran churches in the area over his years of ministry. He was active in the Ogallala Kiwanis Club and the Ogallala Garden Club. Over the years, Robert enjoyed bowling, playing with model trains, attending his daughters’ activities, gardening, watching football, reading, telling jokes, taking naps, visiting with people, reading cartoons, and playing with his grandchildren.

Robert is survived by his wife Bonita of Ogallala; daughters, Michelle Degenhardt of Cypress, Texas, and Kristina (Justin) Schilke of Houston, Texas; grandchildren Ashlyn and Caleb Degenhardt and Beckett and Laura Schilke. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Laura Pierce; son-in-law, Ryon Degenhardt; his sister, Carol Wunder; and his parents, Glenden and Bessie Pierce.

A funeral service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ogallala, Nebraska, on Friday, January 5, 2024, at 10:00 am. Visitation will be on Thursday, January 4, from 1:30-3:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, suggested memorials are to Mission Central in Mapleton, Iowa, or Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.

Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Bonita Pierce, 2311 Westridge Drive, Ogallala, Nebraska 69153.