Rev. Eugene Harold Vetter
Rev. Eugene Harold Vetter, 89, of Mazomanie, WI, died on May 8, 2014, at home, surrounded by his family. Rev. Vetter is survived by his loving wife of nearly 64 years, Joan Louise (Bader), who cared so lovingly for him over the past few years of his illness.
He will be dearly missed by his ten children and their spouses: Dr. Mary (David Sauchyn) of Regina, SK, Canada; Susan (Jim Clark) of Wheaton, IL; Gene (Caroline Carboni-Vetter) of Grasse, France; Dr. Alisen of Mazomanie, WI; Dr. James (Barbara Vetter) of Portola Valley, CA; Dr. Christine (Ramesh Subramanian) of Westport, CT; Dr. John (Aileen Vetter) of Sun Prairie, WI; Dr. Sally (Victor Chen) of Tucson, AZ; Dr. David (Nodira Vetter) of Tacoma, WA; and Dr. Ann (John Dally) of Mazomanie, WI. Their beloved grandpa is mourned by his 26 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his parents, his brothers Rev. Donald Vetter and Rev. Harold Vetter, and his sister Dr. Elaine Bartel; and survived by his sister-in-law Marjorie Vetter of Golden City, MO, his brother-in-law Fred Bartel and wife Grace of Madison, WI, Joan’s siblings Henry, Lois, Betty, Ted, Bill and Carol and their spouses, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rev. Eugene Vetter was born on January 13, 1925, in Milwaukee, WI, to Julius William and Irma Clara (Heuer) Vetter. His entire life was defined by his membership in and service to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He graduated from Concordia High School and Concordia College in Milwaukee, WI (1944), from Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis, MO, with a Master’s Degree in Divinity (1950), and from Concordia Teacher’s College’s in Seward, NE, with a Bachelor of Science in Education (1950). Later he earned a Master’s Degree in Science from Wayne State Teacher’s College in Wayne, NE (1963). His pastorates include St. John’s Lutheran Church, Ruma, IL (1950-52), where he was also a teacher; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Linkville, MI (1952-56); St. John’s Lutheran Church, New Haven, MI (1956-59); Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Rapids, WI (1959-61) as associate pastor; St. John’s Lutheran Church, Battle Creek, NE (1961-75); and Zion Lutheran Church, Gresham, WI, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Stony Hill, Shawano, WI, a dual parish (1975-90). He always taught school when needed. He served as Circuit Counselor in Wisconsin and as Chaplain at Shawano County Mission Society. He was widely sought after as a speaker on the topics of Stewardship, Science and the Bible, and Christian Family Life. He spoke at many conferences and conventions throughout the United States and in Toronto, Canada. After retiring to Milwaukee, WI, in 1990, Rev. Vetter assisted St. Peter-Immanuel Lutheran Church with pastoral visitation for six years and also assisted various congregations during pastoral vacancies. After moving to Arizona, Eugene and Joan were active in assisting in classrooms with Spanish-speaking children, which brought them both so much joy.
A firm believer in the value of education, Rev. Vetter encouraged all of his children and grandchildren to follow their hearts and minds in their studies. His emphasis in his life and in his preaching on Jesus’ gospel message of grace made a lasting impact on so many. He loved the hymns, and throughout his life he could be heard quietly singing or humming as we carried out our daily activities. His gentle and always kind spirit showed itself in so many ways: the wonderful family vacations in the school bus that he and his children converted into a camper, his love for others and continual concern for their well being, his selfless generosity, and his deep and unwavering faith in the love and mercy of God. We miss him terribly.
Funeral services for Rev. Vetter were held at Zion Lutheran Church in Worms, NE, on May 13, the same church in which he and Joan were married, and he was buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery.
A memorial service, followed by a light lunch, will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Baraboo, WI (1120 Draper Street) at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 22.
Memorials are suggested to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Global Mission Fund, 1333 Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7226 or to a charity of your choice.
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