In memory of
Jungkuntz , Theodore 2/6/1932 - 6/8/2020 Ann Arbor, Michigan Theodore Robert Jungkuntz was called home to Jesus on June 8, 2020 exactly 10 years to the day after his beloved wife Lois was called to her heavenly home. He suffered a stroke on Saturday, June 6, while doing what he loved, teaching his men's Bible Study. He died, with his son on his right and his daughter on his left, holding his hands as he was ushered into the arms of his Savior, the one who bled and died for him and now called him home. Just as the hand of God was evident in his death, the hand of God was evident throughout his lifetime. Theodore Robert was born in Watertown, Wisconsin on Feb. 6, 1932. The fifth child out of six. His parents, Otto and Clara Jungkuntz, had experienced the devastating loss of their six year old son from a brain tumor while Clara was pregnant. They received this child as a "gift of God" in the midst of their loss, hence his name, Theodore, which means "gift of God." His middle name, Robert, is in honor of the brother who died. This experience marked him as he knew from a very young age the reality of death and the importance of "counting his days aright and applying his heart towards wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). Growing up in the home of a Lutheran teacher, principal, organist, and choir master and having both grandfathers as pastors also shaped his life. After being confirmed on March 25, 1945, it was only natural that he should leave home to go to Northwestern Preparatory School for high school and then Northwestern College to prepare to be a pastor. Although up to that point Ted had followed the typical course for a son of a teacher and grandson of a pastor, he next charted his own course by taking a year off prior to going to the seminary to get a Master's Degree in Classical Languages from the University of Missouri. After that he returned to Wisconsin to go to the Wisconsin Synod Seminary in Thiensville from 1954-1958. During that time he also taught Latin and Greek at Northwestern College in Watertown. After graduating from seminary, his brother, Richard, also a pastor, encouraged him to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany. Much to his surprise, he won the scholarship! The hand of God. One week before he left, he dated his father's favorite first grade teacher, Lois Westcott. They continued writing almost daily letters after he left and were publicly engaged by Christmas. She traveled to Germany the next summer and they were married on August 1, 1959 in Erlangen, Germany. The newlyweds lived in Heidelberg, Germany for two more years and he received his Doctor of Theology in Nov. 1962. Ted received his first call as a Missouri Synod pastor and was ordained on March 17, 1963, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Concordia, Missouri. That first year of being an assistant pastor was very difficult for him and led to a time of deep depression. During this time his daughter Rebecca Lois, known as Becky, was born. A year later he received a call to teach Latin at St. Paul's College in Concordia. God's hand was present in the midst of the challenging experience of his first pastorate. What at first felt like a failure in his life opened the door for God's next step in his future which was being called to teach theology at Valparaiso University from 1966 to 1983. These were fruitful years. His second child, Theodore Michael, known as Ted, was born. It was also during this time that he came into contact with people in the Charismatic Renewal and he had a personal experience of the Holy Spirit which changed the course of his life. While at Valparaiso University he was given the opportunity to become the Director of the Reutlingen Study Center in Germany from 1969-1972, where he both taught classes and led study center trips throughout Europe. After returning home and inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book Life Together he became interested in living out Christian community. So Ted and Lois purchased a 100 year old home which they called Covenant House and invited students to live with them. Their "household" continued from 1974 – 1983. This led to a life rich with relationships and continued to develop his pastoral shepherd's heart. Life was full with teaching at the university, serving at Immanuel Lutheran Church, and speaking around the country at Lutheran Charismatic Conferences and even speaking in East Germany. He was a founding member of Renewal in Missouri and was a regular contributor to the RIM Newsletters and other journals. During this time he published several books: The Formulators of the Formula of Concord, Lutheran Charismatic Catechism, and Confirmation and the Charismata, as well as writing several chapters in Welcome, Holy Spirit. He also participated in Lutheran Catholic Dialogues at Notre Dame. He had put down roots and fully intended to end his career at Valparaiso University. But God had other plans for him and his family. In 1983, he received the call to pastor Cross and Resurrection Lutheran Church, a church started by the Word of God Community in Ann Arbor Michigan. While deeply faithful to his understanding of the Lutheran Confessions, he had a deep appreciation for his brothers and sisters in Christ in other denominations and was drawn to this ecumenical community. After much prayer, he felt God's leading to put the theology he was teaching into practice in pastoral ministry and he accepted the call. He loved serving this small but vibrant congregation. During his time in Ann Arbor he became involved in the prolife movement and participated in a number of Operation Rescue sit-ins in front of Planned Parenthood Clinics which resulted in a 10 day stay at the "Hogback Hilton" otherwise known as the Washtenaw County Jail. Ted and Lois then made a commitment to pray outside of the Ann Arbor Planned Parenthood which they did for many years caring for both those visiting the clinic and those who worked inside the clinic. He also continued to be involved in speaking internationally, going to Finland with Larry Christenson, and doing mission trips to Latvia, Nigeria, India, and Israel. He retired from Cross and Resurrection in 1999. In 2001, Ted began serving as Pastor Assistant at St. Luke Lutheran in Ann Arbor where he continued to serve in a variety of ways until his death. While he spent time preaching, teaching, and writing, he also devoted much time to caring for people, counseling in the basement office of his home or later at his office at St. Luke. In his later years, his ministry focused on caring for the homebound, the sick, and the dying and giving them Jesus in the sacrament of Holy Communion. In 2003, his beloved wife Lois was diagnosed with "mild cognitive impairment" which later led to an Alzheimer's diagnosis. This difficult journey brought them close together as she learned to be a care-receiver and he a care-giver. Their love and commitment testified to God's work in their lives and they saw God's hand of love sustaining them through the challenges of living with Alzheimer's. It is no coincidence that he joined her in glory on the 10th anniversary of her death. When asked which title (Reverend, Doctor, Professor) he wanted on his gravestone, he immediately replied "Pastor Ted" as that title most reflected his heart. His life was not about what he had accomplished, but rather about being faithful in loving others as he had been loved by Jesus and pointing to the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." He is survived by his daughter, Becky Johnson, and her husband, Tom, and stepchildren, Eric (and his children, Hailee and Ashlynn) and Kirsten; and son, Ted, and his wife, Katherine, and grandchildren, Faith and Josiah. He is also survived by his sister, Doris Schumann, and brother, Daniel Jungkuntz and his wife, Patricia, and by many nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 from 2:00-5:00 pm & 6:00-7:30 pm at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 4205 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor. Funeral service will be take place on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 10:30 am at St. Luke's Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Luke Lutheran Church or Ann Arbor Christian School. The above photo was taken on Easter Sunday of 2020 per Dad's request. His final picture with his grandchildren, Josiah and Faith.
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