The Rev. William (Bill) Enno Woldt, age 90, died on June 18, 2021. He was born in Buffalo, New York on June 4, 1931, in the care of the Lutheran Children’s Friend Society of New York. He became the child of the Rev. Enno Louis and Mrs. Clara Rose (Kuehner) Woldt on September 25, 1931, by adoption. He became a child of God through Holy Baptism on September 27, 1931, at Christ Lutheran Church, Lansing, Michigan. His early education was guided by his parents, his grandparents, The Rev. Paul Frank and Eva Johanna Maria (Schemm) Woldt, and John J. Kuehner and Anna (Wierig) Kuehner and his Sunday School teachers at Christ Lutheran Church.
Pastor Woldt attended Concordia Lutheran High School and College in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He attended Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1954, he married his childhood sweetheart, the late Janet Irene Stumpfig of Lansing, a 1954 graduate of MSU in Elementary Education. His Vicarage was spent serving the newly opened Martin Luther Chapel at MSU. In 1956, he graduated from Concordia Seminary and was ordained into Holy Ministry on June 17, 1956, by his father at Christ Church, Lansing.
His first call in the ministry was as Mission Developer in the Southern California District – Missouri Synod, for Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear Lake. He served as the first Pastor of Mount Calvary, Lake Arrowhead, and St. Timothy, Big Bear Lake churches. In 1958, he was called to be the Pastor of Grace Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. During his pastorate, a new Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall were designed and built. In 1967, he was called to be the Mission Counselor of the English District – Missouri Synod in Detroit serving District churches in 22 states and 2 provinces of Canada. In 1977, he was called as Pastor of Ascension of Christ Church in Birmingham, Michigan. In 1987, Pastor Woldt was called as Assistant to the Pastor at Faith Church in Livonia, Michigan, and thus joined the new Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. In 1989, he became the interim Pastor of Good Hope Church in Detroit, a congregation of the new Evangelical Luther Church in America, and in 1990 he became Pastor of Good Shepherd Church, Redford, Michigan from which he retired in June 1993. Jan, who was also newly retired from teaching in the Farmington Public School system, and Bill moved to their new home on Houghton Lake, Michigan. Bill served as Interim Pastor of Messiah Church in Roscommon, Michigan. He later served as Supply Pastor at various churches in Michigan and Florida.
Bill loved sacred and secular Classical music. He was a proficient singer, first as a boy soprano and at maturity as a “basso profundo.” He was a featured bass soloist with the Concordia Seminary Chorus, the Mikenauk Chorale, and the Spanish Lakes Chorale. He sang with and sometimes directed, the choirs in the parishes he served or in which he held membership. He was also the soloist for many services, weddings, funerals, and civic events. Through the years, he composed hymn stanzas set to classic hymn tunes and two hymns set to original melodies composed by his good friend, the Rev. Charles Anders.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Jan, daughter Sharon and his brother Paul, and is survived by his three daughters, Julie Rose Woldt (Livonia, MI), Janine Renee Woldt (Falls Church, Virginia), Mary Beth Woldt Sorenson, and son-in-law Timothy Sorenson (Lewiston, New York), as well as his grandchildren Caitlin Woldt Lowery Talley and husband Corbin Talley, Braden Woldt Babb, Cameron Joseph Sorenson, and wife Tracy Altherr Sorenson, Corinne Woldt Lowery, Kylie Marie Sorenson, great-grandson Cole Jackson Talley and his brother and sister-in-law, David and Beth Woldt, sister-in-law Jackie Woldt, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. A memorial service will be held on July 11, 2021, at Peace Lutheran Church of Alexandria, VA at 2:00 PM.
“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, honor, and power both now and forever more!”
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