Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:59 pm
Rev. Allen Hermeier, 80, of Decorah, died Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at his home. Services were at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at Glenwood Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Rev. Stacey Nalean-Carlson and Rev. Marshall E. Hahn presiding. Hymns were “Lift High the Cross,” “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” “The Lord’s Prayer,” “How Great Thou Art” (solo, Kurt Meyer) and “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing.” Organist was Carolyn Storlie. Assisting minister was Rev. Waldemar Gies. Ushers were Eric Christianson, Rob Ruen, Aaron, Nicholas and Darren Lovstuen. Casket bearers were Pastor Allen’s grandchildren: Rachel, Jennifer, Amy and Sarah Hermeier, Cody and Mia Campbell. Interment is at a later date at Pontoppidan Cemetery, Decorah. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be given to Lutheran World Relief, PO Box 17061, Baltimore, Maryland 21298-9832.
Allen Elmer Hermeier was born Sept. 7, 1936, at the Union Prairie Township, rural Waukon farm of his parents, Elmer (Dick) and Amanda (Carlsborg) Hermeier. He grew up on the family dairy farm, attended Waukon High School playing football and was active in speech, drama and debate before graduating in 1954. He went on to attend Luther College, graduating in 1958 with majors in theater and history. While still at Luther, he married his high school sweetheart, Helen Ardys Ruen, Aug. 18, 1957. In 1962, he graduated from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, and interned at First English in Fergus Falls, Minn., prior to being ordained at Glenwood Lutheran Church June 17, 1962.
Pastor Hermeier went on to serve Lutheran congregations in Burr Oak and Hesper, St. Paul’s in Atlantic, First Lutheran in Northwood, and St. Olaf in Fort Dodge, before “retiring” in 2000. Retirement was short lived, however, as he quickly returned to the pulpit, serving interim roles at First Lutheran in Mabel (Minn.), Immanuel Lutheran in Cresco and St. Paul’s in Postville before settling in at Waterloo Ridge (rural Dorchester) for the past 11 years. He continued to serve for the remainder of his days, preaching his last sermon on Sunday. He died in his home Tuesday morning. Pastor Hermeier had a passion for trout fishing although this was only an occasional interlude from his lifelong mission of serving the Lord. Beyond the congregations that he served, he also taught at Buena Vista College for many years, and he was active with prison ministry, Urban Ministry and Interfaith forum. He served on more than 60 Brothers in Blue weekends at Iowa and other prisons. Pastor Hermeier received multiple awards for his church and public service, including two Iowa Volunteer of the Year awards. He served on the Waldorf Board of Regents for 12 years, including several years as president. He mentored dozens of interns and pastors in his 55 years of ministry. In his “free” time, he and his family enjoyed summer vacations at the cabin he built on Leech Lake in Walker, Minn. He was an avid and diverse reader and scholar, accumulating a library containing thousands of books. He also enjoyed baseball and he attended more than 25 Twins home openers with his children. He loved to travel, including many trips to Israel, prison trips to Belize, and trips to Sierra Leone and Alaska, and numerous trips to Europe and Africa with his wife, Helen.
Pastor Allen is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Helen Hermeier, Decorah; daughter Elizabeth Hermeier, Minneapolis, Minn.; son John Hermeier and daughter-in-law Julie, Wascott, Wis., and granddaughters Rachel, Jennifer, Amy and Sarah; daughter Ami Campbell and son-in-law Glen, DeForest, Wis., and grandson Cody and granddaughter Mia; brother Pastor Gene Hermeier and sister-in-law Ruby, Decorah; sister Carol and brother-in-law Ron Stockdale, Tacoma, Wash.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Robert and Wanita Ruen, Decorah; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Lucille and Dean Christianson, Owatonna, Minn.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Diane and Norbert Lovstuen, Decorah; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and other family.
He was preceded in death by son Steven in 1963, parents Elmer and Amanda, niece Kristi Hermeier, father-in-law and mother-in-law Adolph and Harriet Ruen, and tens of thousands of trout.
There are various pathways, sunshine and shade; all of it grace, be not afraid.