Waldemar Neisch

Rev. Waldemar Otto Neisch

July 18, 1930 June 29, 2020

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Obituary for Rev. Waldemar Otto Neisch

“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Rev. Waldemar Otto Neisch, age 89, of Ypsilanti, passed away in the arms of Jesus on Monday, June 29, 2020. He was born July 18, 1930, to Henry and Louisa (Vogel) Neisch. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Gerhardt, his sisters, Esther (Neisch-Kassahn) and Ida (Aaberg), son-in-law, Andrew Bailey, and his devoted wife of 63 years, Elaine.

Wally will be lovingly remembered by his son, Jonathan (Deborah) Neisch; daughters, Susan Bailey, Karen (Brent) O’Banion, and Kimberly (Robert) Gager; grandchildren, Katherine (Brian) Klinge, Jennifer and Joshua Bailey, Christopher and Matthew Gager, Sarah Neisch, Ian and Caitlin O’Banion; great-grandchildren, George, Elizabeth, Marjorie, Andrew, and Douglas Klinge; and brother, Ewald “Frank” Neisch.

A truly good and faithful servant, Wally’s life was devoted to sharing God’s love with others. Begun in the boyhood habit of reading a pocket bible while tending sheep on his family’s farm, Wally’s education continued through his graduation from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1956. He returned later to complete a Master of Divinity. His vicarage at Central IL District in Deaf Ministry included preaching at 8 stations plus the State School for the Deaf and assisting with sign language classes at Springfield Seminary. At the conclusion of his vicarage, he married Elaine Arkebauer on July 2, 1955. Their marriage was a beautiful example of loving union with one another and Christ, and Wally was blessed to preside over the baptism, confirmation and wedding of each of their children. They shared his forty-plus years of ministry serving many hearing and deaf LCMS congregations: Deaf Ministry in GA-FL District, Jacksonville, FL 1956-58 (also Civil Air Patrol chaplain, Jacksonville); Salem, Affton, MO 1958-61; Zion, Harvester, MO 1961-63; St Paul, Parkersburg, WV (and Buchannon Mission Station) 1963-71; Circuit Counselor, OH and MI Districts; Mid-MI Deaf Ministry, St Paul Deaf Lutheran Church (Flint, Saginaw, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Muskegon) 1971-84; also Ephphatha (deaf ministry) Conferences and National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf; and Redeemer, Flint, MI 1984-95. Wally was a gifted counselor and shepherding pastor, admired by young and old. His favorite pastoral commission was administering the Lord’s Supper, and after retiring with Elaine to Swartz Creek, he continued to serve as Pastor of Visitation for Faith, Grand Blanc, MI 2001-08.

Arrangements are being made for a memorial service. More details will be available shortly.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make memorial contributions to:

Concordia Seminary
801 Seminary Place
St. Louis, MO 63105
800-822-5287 or

Lutheran Deaf Mission Society
P.O. Box 434038
St. Louis, MO 63143
240-498-5726 or

The Gilbert Residence Assisted Living
Compassionate Care Fund
203 South Huron St,
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:21)

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