|Pastor Joel D. Albers, 28
Pastor Joel D. Albers, 28, of Naperville, Ill., a Blair native, died on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 1998, as a result of an automobile accident in western Illinois.
Services were Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Roseville Lutheran Church in Roseville, Minn., where he had been confirmed and later ordained as a Lutheran pastor.
Joel David Albers was born on Dec. 1, 1969, in Blair to Rev. Robert and Sonia (Syverson) Albers.
He was baptized into the Christian faith at First Lutheran Church on Jan. 4, 1970.
He attended elementary school in Blair where his father served First Lutheran Church from 1968 to 1979.
He also attended elementary school in Claremont, Calif., and junior and senior high school in Roseville, Minn.
He received his bachelor of arts degree with majors in sociology/geography/ anthropology in 1992 from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. He had been instrumental in developing a menís volleyball club, served as a collegiate fellow in residential housing, worked in the admissions office and was appointed as an academic assistant in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Department in his senior year.
He worked for one year with the Lutheran Volunteer Corp in Chicago, Ill., where he coordinated volunteers at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
He enrolled at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago in 1993. He participated in the Gospel Choir, worked in the admissions office and did his contextual parish work at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago. He interned at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba, Mich. He graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology in 1997 with a master of divinity degree.
After his ordination, he was called as an associate pastor to Alleluia Lutheran Church in Naperville. His work included special responsibility in youth and family.
He was an active man who loved life and played volleyball and basketball. He loved fishing with family and friends, movies, gardening, keeping physically fit and talking about his niece and hephew, Emily Ann and Nathaniel Joel Albers.
He is survived by his parents of St. Paul, Minn., his sister Joyce Albers of Roseville; a brother, Stephen Albers, and his wife, Heidi, and their children Emily and Nathaniel of Shoreview, Minn.; and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Louise and Melvin Syverson and Helen and Herbert Albers.
An endowed scholarship fund will be established at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for students preparing for pastoral ministry. Memorials are suggested to the fund.