Obituaries

Obituaries

Rev. Norman L. Steffen 1928 - 2010 Lawrence

A memorial service for the Rev. Norman L. Steffen, 82, Lawrence, will be at 3 p.m. Friday at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lawrence. Private burial will precede the service at the Stoney Point Cemetery in southern Douglas County.
The Rev. Steffen died Friday, Sept. 10, 2010.
He was born on Aug. 29, 1928, in Omaha, Neb., the son of Otto and Hulda Jetter Steffen. He attended First Lutheran Church in Omaha and was an all-star catcher and running back at Omaha Tech High, where he was voted most likely to succeed.
He began his college education on a Rector Scholarship at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. After one year he transferred to St. John’s Lutheran College in Winfield, Kansas, to begin pre-seminary training. He graduated in 1949 and continued his studies at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis. After completing his vicarage in Bismarck, N.D., he graduated from the seminary in 1955.
The Rev. Steffen’s career in campus ministry began in 1954 in Davis, Calif., where he pastored a mission congregation, Davis Lutheran Church, and did campus ministry work. In 1965 he came to Lawrence to a campus congregation, first known as University Lutheran Church, which later merged with Immanuel Lutheran Church. In 1977, he moved to serve a town-gown congregation in DeKalb, Ill., for another 13 years before retiring to Lawrence in 1990. In retirement, he continued interim ministry, including six months as a “snowbird minister” in McAllen, Texas. He and he wife were active in senior and campus ministry and served as a host family to several foreign students at Kansas University.
From 1965 until 1974, he served on the Human Relations Commission of the city of Lawrence. Both as a member and as chairman, he worked to ease racial tensions of the time by promoting dialogue and understanding. His efforts advanced equal access to facilities and resources, and promoted fair housing/employment ordinances.
He was a member of the Ministerial Association and the Lawrence Tennis Association, and played in the slow pitch softball church league. He enjoyed dancing with his wife and attending musical, athletic and other performances. He was proud of his family and officiated at many of their weddings and baptisms.
He married Kathryn “Kay” Pierce on December 22, 1951, in Minneapolis. She survives.
Other survivors include four daughters, Nancy Anderson and husband Fred, of Las Cruces, N.M., Carolyn Steffen and Julie Burik, of Shawnee, Suzanne Steffen and Bob Hyland, of Kansas City, Mo., and Janice Steffen and Jan Madlock, of Bonner Springs; a son, David Steffen and Jill Kerr, of Carrboro, N.C.; a sister, Marilyn Seitz, of California; 13 grandchildren, Avery Demby, Jaimee Harris, Jessie Steffen, Emerald Anderson, Ivy Anderson, Georgia Steffen, Zoemma Steffen, Louisa Steffen, Natalie Hyland, Liam Hyland, Mercedes Steffen Madlock, Hailie Steffen Madlock and Keani Steffen Madlock; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Arnold and Paul, and a granddaughter, Leilah Steffen.
The family will greet friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
The family suggests memorials to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lawrence, the Alzheimer’s Association, or a hospice of the donor’s choice, sent in care of the mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.
Online condolences may be sent at warrenmcelwain.com