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Called home to eternal life–

Waldemar J. Bernthal

September 20, 1924 – January 13, 2002

For the past forty years Waldemar “Brownie” Bernthal was a familiar and dearly loved figure throughout much of the CLC. From his home congregation of Messiah, Hales Corners, Wisconsin to winter homes in Arizona and Florida, to service as a delegate at numerous conventions and conferences, he was a strong and faithful supporter of the Lord’s work among us.

As a gifted artist, he produced many covers for the Lutheran Spokesman. In addition, Brownie drew the long, black-and-white picture of the buildings at the CLC’s Immanuel Lutheran College. That drawing (which appears elsewhere in this issue–ed.) has often been used as a kind of logo or letterhead for our Eau Claire, Wisconsin school. He also taught drawing classes in the Christian Day School of Messiah church, Hales Corners.

On Sunday morning, January 13, after singing hymns with family members at his bedside, Mr. Bernthal completed his earthly journey and joined his Lord in glory. He was 77 years old. He is survived by his wife Elaine, five children, 27 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. By God’s grace he could say with the apostle: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness . . . ” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

–For the Spokesman, by Pastor Michael Eichstadt

From the Editor:

The masthead of the Lutheran Spokesman contains the name of Waldemar Bernthal beginning with the issue of Volume 14, No. 2 (August 1972) through Volume 38, No. 12 (June 1996). In other words, for some twenty-four years Brownie used his talents by contributing covers for our magazine. Though for a few years he shared the cover duty with other artists, most of the time he alone was responsible for them.

Our editorship began in 1984. We can say that Brownie could always be counted on–not only for deadline promptness, but also for a truly Lutheran depiction on the cover.

Perhaps our readers noticed the back-page notation in connection with last month’s cover? Matt Schaser, a relative of Brownie as well as one of our current artists, adapted one of Brownie’s Lenten covers (March 1985) for our February 2002 issue.

In this issue will be found other samples (of necessity, in black and white only) of covers done by Waldemar Bernthal.

“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).