HJ/ED

Aug. 14, 2006

Waldo Moberg spent his last years serving others

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Many retirees can’t wait to spend their free time golfing or traveling, but Waldo Moberg used his health and energy to serve others.

In Cokato, Waldo spent 50 years in the car business and was one of the founding members of the Cokato Charitable Trust and was instrumental in developing a locally owned non-profit health care campus in Cokato, according Michelle Haefner, administrator of Cokato Manor.

“We were fortunate to have him in our community,” Haefner said.

He was also active in his church, Elim Mission Church, especially with the second building committee, according to Pastor Wally Glucklich.

“He was a faithful member and spiritual leader,” Glucklich said.

He was also an active member of Cokato Dassel Rotary Club.

After retirement, Moberg decided to take his work elsewhere. He and his wife Janet spent six of his first years of retirement doing missionary work in Japan and Mexico City.

Moberg used to say his missionary services during his early years of retirement were some of the best of his life and would recommend others to do similar causes.

“He loved being of use to people,” Janet said.

In both countries, Moberg’s job was keeping a guest house for the foreign mission visitors and saving missionary hours by showing them around and supporting the local churches.

He often spoke of how God answered his prayer in allowing the sale of three properties within just a few months so he and Janet could do service elsewhere.

“This gave him assurance it was the right thing to do,” Janet said.

Janet explained some of Waldo’s natural abilities or interests he used during his missionary work.

In large cities like Mexico City, Waldo’s “aggressive driving” came in handy especially for the long trips to the airport and to the pyramids, she said. These short 25-mile trips sometimes took them three hours, Janet explained.

Waldo loved to eat, which was necessary when eating foreign foods and trying different dishes to please the nationals, even the Mexican dish, mole, which can have up 20 different spices, Janet said.

His love for the Bible and his local church was at the center of his missionary work.

At 65, Waldo took Spanish lessons three times a week with a tutor for two years and eventually was able to give sermons, which was unnatural for a car dealer, Janet explained.

His love of people helped him to be able to build relationships despite the language barriers, she said.

“Without language skills, he still made lasting friendships,” Janet said.

In Japan, Waldo only learned greetings and places but became best friends with a Japanese pastor.

Waldo had served in the US Navy during World War II, while his new Japanese friend had been his enemy in the Japanese Navy at the same time.

After double knee replacement in 1995, he was unable to do much of the work he had done previously and was confined to a walker and later a wheelchair.

This was proof to Waldo and Janet of God’s good timing. He was able to touch the lives of others while he was still physically healthy and able.

Prostate cancer eventually took him before it overtook his body, Janet explained.

Even in his death, Janet believes “God’s timing is perfect.”

“We have peace in knowing he is with the Lord he loves and served,” she said.


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