Lawrence Reuther, 81, of Fredericksburg, passed away Tuesday, December 30, 2008, at the Knopp Healthcare and Rehab Center after a lengthy illness. Funeral services were held at Bethany Lutheran Church on January 3rd with the Rev. Steve Qualben officiating. Interment followed at the Gooch Cemetery in Mason, TX.
Mr. Reuther was born December 4, 1927, in McIntosh County, North Dakota, to David and Martha (nee Bendewald) Reuther. He was baptized on February 12, 1928, at Peace Lutheran Church, Jewel District, North Dakota, and confirmed his faith in June, 1942. Lawrence and Lilly V. Merkel were married on November 28, 1947, and together they farmed for eighteen years before moving into Ashley, ND, where they owned and operated the Ashley Motel until 1973. Lawrence was a faithful employee of the CoOp Oil Company for many years as well. He and Lilly tore down, remodeled and built homes in their “spare time” until moving to Pflugerville, TX in 1986 in order to be closer to their grandchildren. There, Lawrence worked for the PISD as custodial supervisor at PHS.
Since 1994 they have lived in Fredericksburg. For eight years Mr. Reuther worked for the FISD before retiring in 2002. His work and his family, especially the grandchildren, were his pride and joy.
In his native McIntosh County, Mr. Reuther served on the School Board as secretary of the district; on the Zion church council; and as Superintendent of Sunday School. The editor of the local newspaper called him “a pillar of the community and a role model for many young men.” In Fredericksburg he was an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church and attended many football games, PYSA soccer games, and marching band contests as a proud grandfather.
Mr. Reuther is survived by his wife of 61 years; one daughter and son-in-law, the Rev. Lucinda and the Rev. Casey Zesch of Fredericksburg; two grandsons, Zachary Zesch of Fairfax, VA and Benjamin Zesch of Bryan, TX; one sister, Violet Knopp :and husband Marvin of Greeley, CO; sisters-in-law Esther Lux (Lead, SD), Irene DewaldHaro (Ashley, ND), Norma Merkel (Spearfish, SD), Calina Merkel (Ashley, ND), Royette Merkel (Deadwood, SD), Phyllis Merkel-Golz (Jamestown, ND), and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, David and Martha Reuther; father and mother-in-law Julius P. and Katherina (nee Nicklaus) Merkel; brothers-in-law Adolph Lux, Ruben Dewald, Norman Merkel, Enoch Merkel, Delmar Merkel, Dennis Merkel, Alex Reister and one sister-in-law, Loretta Reister; one nephew, Danny Merkel and two nieces, Shirleen Knopp Watkins and Doris Portscheller.
Pall bearers were Zachary Zesch, Benjamin Zesch, Norm Merkel, Anthony Merkel, Scott Zesch and Terry Neans. Serving as honorary pall bearers were Marvin Knopp, Wilbur Pressler, Harvey Ellebracht, Arthur Haun, Jr., Sy Simonson, Paul Toomey and Daniel Sagebiel.
Memorials may be made to Bethany Lutheran Bus Fund in Fredericksburg, Immanuel Lutheran (Pflugerville) Seminary Fund, the Gooch Cemetery Association (Mason), or to the charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements were under the direction of Fredericksburg Funeral Home.