Pastor Joan A. Mau

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 1:12 pm

Pastor Joan A. Mau, 65, died Sunday, May 24, 2015, as the result of a car crash on Highway 150 north of West Union in Fayette County, after officiating for and preaching at the Pentecost Sunday service at West Clermont Lutheran Church.

Joan Mau was born June 26, 1949, in Portland, Ore., the daughter of Rev. Carl H. and Thilda A. (Hellman) Mau, Jr. She grew up in Hanover, Germany and became fluent in German, then returned to the United States. She lived in Tacoma, Wash. and Madison, Wis. before returning to Europe – Geneva, Switzerland – where she became fluent in French. She graduated from the International School of Geneva.

Joan graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. with a dual major in German and theology and then went on to the University of Iowa to earn her master’s in theology. Finally, she attended Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, where she was ordained Nov. 18, 1979, by her father. She served as campus pastor for one year at Waldorf College in Forest City; as interim pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Adair; was called to serve as co-pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Audubon, and then as co-pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sioux City, before being called to serve the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church on Washington Island, Wis. and finally was called to serve Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah in 1999. Joan retired in August 2014 and became a member of First Lutheran in Decorah May 3, 2015.    She was an avid fan of Johan Sebastian Bach. During her ministry she had the opportunity to serve at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, which is where J.S. Bach himself served. Because of her language abilities, she also served as an interpreter of German and French at international church conferences and assemblies. Joan was honest, consistent, uncompromising in her theology and other areas of her life, and was also very well read. She was certainly not much of a cat lover until she crossed paths with one Melanchthon, often fondly referred to as the easier-to-spell “Mr. M.”

Pastor Joan is survived by her two brothers, Eric Mau of Seattle, Wash. and Chris Mau (Mari Shiobara) of Tokyo, Japan; and by one niece, Dhani Mau of Brooklyn, N.Y. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Domestic Abuse Resource Center, Helping Services for Northeast Iowa, P.O. Box 372, Decorah, IA 52101.


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