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Gordon H. CarlsNovember 2, 1927 ~ February 21, 2017 (age 89)
TONICA – Gordon H. Carls, age 89, of Tonica, passed away Tuesday morning, February 21, 2017 at Liberty Village in Peru surrounded by his loving family.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 25th at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottawa, Illinois with Rev. David Ufkes officiating. Interment will take place at a later date in his home church cemetery in Hartford, South Dakota. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday at Gladfelter Funeral Home in Ottawa, Illinois and one hour prior to services Saturday at the church.
Gordon was born to Henry J. and Edith M. (Stride) Carls on November 2, 1927 at Hartford, South Dakota. He grew up on a farm near Hartford, attended a one room school, Hartford High School for 2 years, then Washington High School in Sioux Falls, graduating in 1945. He earned his BA degree from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, graduating in 1949, and continued his education at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated in May 1952 and was ordained into the ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Gordon was baptized, confirmed, and ordained in his home church, Zion Lutheran of Hartford, South Dakota. He began his ministry serving Louisburg Lutheran Church, Louisburg, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Bellingham, Minnesota, 1952-1955. His second parish was Chatfield Lutheran Church, of Chatfield, and Root Prairie Lutheran Church, Fountain, Minnesota, 1955-1960. He then accepted the call to East Freeborn Lutheran Church, Albert Lea, Minnesota, 1960-1972. His last parish call was Zion-St. John Lutheran Church, Sheffield, Iowa 1972-1981. He then took further training to become a nursing home chaplain, and accepted the call to Pleasant View Luther Home of Ottawa, Illinois, 1982-1993.
He retired from full time ministry in 1993 and moved to Tonica, Illinois for retirement. But he continued his ministry as interim chaplain at Mendota Lutheran Home, and parish visitation pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Ottawa, and St. Paul Lutheran Church of Streator. And was also guest preacher in many parishes in this area of Illinois, and retired fully in 2012.
Gordon wants all to know how he counted it a great privilege and gift to be able to serve in the ministry, to proclaim the Christian faith, that people may know Christ and be found in Him.
His interest in music was expressed in directing choirs in his first 3 parishes, and as a tenor soloist throughout some 50 years, numerous times singing the opening solos of Handel’s Messiah. His other hobby of woodworking evolved into woodcarving. When he was no longer able to handle the tools he began writing poetry for friends and family in 2012, continuing until his death.
Gordon was married to Arlene Tornberg in 1950. He married Donna E. Hylin in January, 1986. He leaves to mourn his passing: his sister, Shirley Odegaard of Rapid City, South Dakota, his beloved wife, Donna, and their combined family of 6 children, Mark (Kathleen), David, Philip (Tammy Vogel) Carls, Lois (Bill) Martin, Cheryl Schrader and Jeffrey Hylin, 11 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren and 27 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a son at birth and Steven Hylin.
Memorial contributions may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church of Ottawa; St. Paul Lutheran Church, Streator; Pleasantview, Ottawa; Lutheran World Relief; or the Food Resource Bank.