Obituary for The Rev. Dr. J. Peter Pelkonen
The Reverend Dr. J. Peter Pelkonen was called out of this world on May 7, 2014. He was 76 years old.
Pastor Pelkonen received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wittenberg University in 1958 and a Bachelor of Divinity degree with honors from Hamma School of Theology in 1961. After graduation, he was granted a year's study at the University of Helsinki, Findland, under an appointment as a Theological Exchange Scholar of the Lutheran World Federation. Later, her completed doctoral studies in church history at Duke University and received his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Religion in 1972.
He was ordained in December 1962 and went on to serve as a mission developer and pastor for Holy Trinity, Fort Walton Beach, Florida; as a faculty member of Hamma School of Theology in Springfield, Ohio; pastor of Faith, Akron; and St. John's, Dayton. He retired in 1995. During his retirement he served as interim pastor for St. Mark's, New Carlisle; Zion, Springfield; and Lutheran Church of Our Savior, Oakwood.
He served the wider church in a variety of elected and appointed positions, many of them related to theological education. He was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of Hamma School of Theology and of Trinity Lutheran Seminary and was elected secretary of the Trinity Seminary Board. For 10 years, he was the writer of a series of sermons for the Clergy Journal and a reviewer of books for the same publication. He translated a number of articles and reports from Finnish into English for the Lutheran World Federation. When the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Southern Ohio Synod were formed, Pr. Pelkonen was elected to serve as the first secretary of the synod.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy and sister, Effie Jussila of Marquette, Michigan.
A memorial service for Pr. Pelkonen was held at Westminister Woods on Julington Creek in Florida on May 12, 2014.