The Reverend Edward Conrad Werner, son of George and Minnie Neuwerk Werner, was born at Battle Creek, Nebraska on August 21st, 1913. He was baptized at St. John Lutheran Church on September 21st, 1913, and on April 10th, 1927, publicly confessed his faith in the Rite of Confirmation. He received his elementary education at St. John Lutheran School in Battle Creek, his secondary and part of his college education at St. John College in Winfield, Kansas. He graduated from Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois in 1942.
On August 16th, 1942, Pastor Werner was ordained at Zion Lutheran Church in Leigh, Nebraska, where he remained until 1954. In 1953 he made his pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the LLL Tour and celebrated his 40th birthday in Jerusalem. He traveled extensively to Mission congregations showing his travelogues, "In the Cross of Christ I Glory." From 1954 to 1963 he served St. Peter Lutheran Church of Deshler, Nebraska. While in Nebraska, he served on the District Stewardship Committee, the District Audio-Visual Aid Committee and Circuit Counselor.
From January 1963 to December 1970 he served as Pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Cleveland, Ohio. While in Ohio, he was also Chairman of the Institutional Ministry. From December 1970 to September 1977 he served as the pastorate of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Freeman, South Dakota. From 1977 to January 1984 he served a mission at Rainbow Lakes Lutheran Church in Donnellon, Florida. On January 15th, 1984 he was installed as Assistant Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward, Nebraska.
On April 20th, 1947 he was united in marriage to Luetta Groteleuschen at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Columbus, Nebraska. They have been blessed with eight children and thirteen grandchildren. His hobbies included fishing and photography but his chief joy was serving the Lord through the ministry of the Word.
Preceding him in death are his parents, George and Minnie Werner, a brother, Ruben, and a granddaughter Renee Jurkovich.
Pastor Werner attained the age of 72 years, 6 months, and 6 days.
Survivors include his wife Luetta, of Seward; his brothers Martin, Philip, and John of Battle Creek; his sisters Mrs. Leona Leimer of Battle Creek, Mrs. Onita Buck of Crete, and Mrs. Anna Blank of Madison; his sister-in-law Mrs. Luetta Werner of San Marcos, Texas; sons and daughters Mrs. Wayne and Kathy from Tomball Texas, Mrs. Cray and Rachel Little from Columbus, Ohio, Mrs. Dennis and Priscilla Jurkovich from Longmont, Colorado, Timothy Werner from Mansfield, Ohio, Dan Werner from Dolton, South Dakota, Mrs. Lynn and Ruth Stuhr from Omaha, Nebraska, Paul Werner from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Rhoda Werner from Lincoln, Nebraska; along with thirteen grandchildren.
Dr. Luetta (Grotelueschen) Werner, 90, was born July 18, 1926, and died on October 14, 2016. A promise conferred on the day of her confirmation into the Christian faith was fulfilled as Luetta Grotelueschen Werner was embraced into the welcoming arms of
her Savior: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life. Revelation 2:10" A woman of accomplishment, resilience, compassion, and faith, throughout her life Luetta served as a role model and inspiration for many. After serving as clerk of the district court, she pursued education as a lifetime learner, earning two masters' degrees, an educational specialist degree, and in 2002, graduating from the University of South
Dakota with a doctorate degree in education with expertise in grief counseling. She has served as a college and university instructor, a lecturer, professional counselor and counseling consultant, was a world traveler (including three trips to the Holy Land), a weekly newspaper columnist for twenty years and a prolific author of published articles,poems, and children's books, also an enthusiastic member of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) and a volunteer extraordinaire. Her handwritten letters and post cards have been an encouragement to many.
While her professional accomplishments were remarkable, her greatest joy and fulfillment came from family. Together, she and her husband, Pastor Edward Conrad Werner, rejoiced in parenting their eight children. Luetta's love of children knew no bounds. When she recognized lack of attention given to children with special physical and learning needs, she established and taught a weekend ministry specifically designed for them. She and her husband served as foster parents to five special needs and Native American children. A favorite Bible verse that sustained her throughout her life and which she used to encourage others was Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Luetta's uniqueness and significance did not go unnoticed. In 1985, she became Nebraska's Merit Mother of the Year. In 2013, she was a recipient of the Spirit of South Dakota award.
Luetta is survived by a sister, Dorothy Groteluschen; sons, Timothy Werner, Dan (June) Werner, and daughters, Mary Kathleen (Wayne) Graumann, Rachel (Cray) Little, Priscilla (Dennis) Jurkovich, Ruth (Lynn) Stuhr, and Rhoda (Shane) Thorell; 21 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Luetta is preceded in death by her parents, Conrad Grotelueschen and Martha (Mueller) Grotelueschen; two sisters, Esther Folken and Vernetta Cattau; her husband, Pastor Edward C. Werner; son, Paul Werner; and grandchildren, Heidi (Little) Oglesbee and Renee Jurkovich.