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Rev. John E. Midtling, 86

Rev. John Edward Midtling, age 86, of Minneapolis, died Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009.

He was born in Minneapolis May 16, 1923 to John Edward Midtling and Clara Tvedt Midtling. John graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis.

During World War II, John served as an officer and later, chaplain in the US Army. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor and throughout the South Pacific.

Following discharge from the army, John attended and graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, where he was an outstanding athlete, earning varsity letters in ice hockey at Augsburg. He was also a championship heavyweight boxer.

John met his future wife, Elsie Ann Martha Hein, while in the army, through World War II correspondence.They were married Aug. 27, 1949, in Minneapolis.

In 1952, John graduated from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul. Throughout his ministry, he served parishes in Centuria, Mount Sterling, Sun Prairie, Ashippun, and Rio, WI.

In 1959, he founded Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sun Prairie, which grew from a few families to nearly 1,000 members.

Following his retirement in 1985, he served as visitation pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

He was an active member of Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, faithful to the Word of God in preaching, teaching, and through life example. A faithful and loving husband, father, and grandfather, his kindness, generosity, and sense of humor were unmatched. His unconditional love for his wife Elsie, his compassion for those less fortunate, and his commitment to excellence were inspirational.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Edward, Clarice, Ruby, Gertrude, and Lillian; and his son, Stephen.

John is survived by his wife, Elsie; son, Dr. John (Linda) and grandchildren Dr. Anna (Nicholas), Emilie, Natasha, and Colby; and son Dr. James, and grandchildren Matthew, Jennifer, Christopher, Stephanie, Micaela, and Olivia.

Visitation was Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 4 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. The Rev. Paul Youngdahl officiated. Interment was in Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Cokato.

Arrangements were by Washburn-McReavy Swanson Chapel. Memorials may be made to Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Pastor Midtling’s name.