Rev. Reuben C. Baerwald went peacefully to his eternal home on December 31, 2021 at the age of 96, with his wife Martha at his side. Reuben Carl Martin Baerwald was born on October 24, 1925 in Horicon, WI and baptized on November 29, 1925.
Pastor Baerwald attended Concordia College, Milwaukee, WI 1939-1945 (Graduate Cum Laude); Concordia Seminary St. Louis, MO 1945-1949, B.A. 1946 B.D. (MDiv 1946). Vicarage in Campus Ministry 1947-1948 Sampson College, Sampson, New York, William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Concordia Seminary St. Louis, MO, Graduate Summer courses 1964-1965; 1967-1968, Graduate Fellow 1949-1950 B.D. (M Divinity) 1949, Concordia Seminary Graduate School, St. Louis, MO 1964-1965, occasional graduate courses in Philosophy, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, Personnel Management Program: Planning, Programming, Budgeting Systems, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Church Executive Development, Lake Junaluska, NC. Secretary, Department of Campus Ministry Lutheran Council USA. 1969-1973, Executive Director Division of Campus Ministry; Educational Services Lutheran Council in the USA, 1973-1983.
After accepting the Call to come to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, St. Charles, IL, he was installed on November 6, 1983. Pastor Baerwald has said of his time at St. Mark’s, “Coming to St. Mark’s was the capstone of my parish ministry – to serve a congregation like this and to finish that phase of my life in such a joyful situation.” After retiring in 1990, in 1994 he became Assistant to the Northern Illinois District Presidents serving a total of three District Presidents! He enjoyed being Pastor Emeritus of St. Mark’s and preaching especially during holidays. The last time he was able to enjoy preaching was on Christmas Day 2018! He also loved teaching Bible studies, leading book reading discussion groups, listening to beautiful music, and singing in the choir. He was very grateful God blessed him with so many ways to serve Him for 71 years. Favorite foods were Chinese food, steaks, ribs, ice cream, and he ate popcorn almost daily! He loved fishing, golfing, tennis, playing cards, and getting together with family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Charles Carl F. Baerwald, his mother Amanda (nee Quandt) Baerwald, his sister Mildred Drager (Norm), his brother-in-law Norman Drager, his brother-in-law Robert Dunham (Beata), his nephew Brian Dunham, his brother-in-law Greg Lampard (Sarah), previous spouse Margery (nee Wind) Baerwald (mother of Susan and Charles), and previous spouse Joan (nee McCauley) Baerwald (mother of twin sons John and Mark). His son Mark went to Heaven in February 2021.
Survived by his spouse Martha (nee Spell) Baerwald (married nearly 19 ½ years), daughter Susan (Ken), grandson David Mitchell, sister Beata (nee Baerwald) Dunham, Dr. Rosalind (nee Dunham) (Dr. Eric) Leaming (Michael, Whitney, Nicolas), Sarah (nee Dunham) (Greg) Lampard (Tyler, Mega, Annie), nephew Steve Drager (Bonnie) son, Bobby, and niece Sandra Drager. Stepdaughter Patricia (nee Fisher) (Aaron) Van Dyke (Megan, Lauren, Daniel (Jennifer), and great-grandsons Jackson and Owen Van Dyke. Stepsons John (Miriam) Fisher, (Samantha, Tiffani, Hope), Joel (Nikki) Fisher, (Jackson and Joshua (Meghan)), and great-grandson Lucas.
Visitation will be held Friday, January 7, 2022, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Yurs Funeral Home, 405 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL 60174.
A second visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 8, 2022 followed by a “Celebration of Life” funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 101 S. Sixth Avenue, St. Charles, IL 60174.
The service will be livestreamed at stmarkslife.org/live.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent in Pastor Baerwald’s name to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 101 S. Sixth Avenue, St. Charles, IL 60174, or Lutheran Child and Family Services, 7620 Madison Street, River Forest, IL 60305.