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Obituaries: Rev. Jeffrey Walther


October 30, 2020

The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Walther, 58, of Esko went to his heavenly home on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, with his loving family by his side.

He was born on Feb. 24, 1962, to Howard and Elaine Walther in Wadena. Starting at an early age, Jeff felt called to a life of ministry. Jeff loved the outdoors, especially the national parks. He grew up visiting national parks with his parents and brother, which instilled in him his love of nature.

Jeff attended Concordia College in St. Paul and Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Throughout his seminary years, he spent six summers working and ministering with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. His final summer was in Grand Teton National Park, where he met the love of his life, Christina Stavrou. Thereafter, Jeff and Christina continued for years to enjoy the love of national parks across the country with their extended families.

During his 28 years of ministry, Jeff served at Grace Lutheran, Long Island, New York; Concordia University, St. Paul; and the last 20 years at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Esko. Jeff loved spending time with his wife, Christina, and children, Hannah and Alex. Together they enjoyed camping, hiking, kayaking, playing games and even dancing in the kitchen.

Jeff had the great honor of welcoming another son into the family as he united Hannah and Austen in marriage. The joy that he brought to all of us illuminated the entire room, and when he laughed, it was hard not to join him.

Before his passing, Jeff completed his doctorate of ministry at Talbot School of Theology. His thesis, "The Wonders of God and the Wonders of Creation," was published in May 2020.

Jeff is survived by his wife of 27 years, Christina; daughter, Hannah (Austen) Kovac; son, Alex Walther; parents, Howard and Elaine Walther; in-laws, Soterios and Elizabeth Stavrou; brother, Tim (Gretchen) Walther; brothers-in-law, Kyp (Sarah) Stavrou and Niko Stavrou; sister-in-law, Jennifer (Paul) Rodine; nieces and nephews, Naomi and Michala Walther, Amalia and Theodora Rodine, Jake Brouillard and Simon Stavrou; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Jeff devoted his entire life to the Lord, and we find great comfort and peace knowing that he will soar forever on eagle's wings, and along the mountain side, resting peacefully forever in Heaven's National Park.

Thank you to the incredible medical team at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center that took care of Jeff - you were exceptional.

Donations in memory of Jeff Walther may be made to any of the following: St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 4 Elizabeth Ave., Esko MN 55733; A Christian Ministry in the National Parks, 9250 E. Costilla Ave. Ste 203, Greenwood Village CO 80112; or Lutheran Island Camp, 45011 230th St., Henning, MN 56551.

Visitation: Drive-thru visitation 3-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 at St. Matthews Lutheran Church. A private funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The family invites friends, family and the community to join via livestream on the St. Matthews Facebook page, or by parking in the church lot and tuning in to 99.5 FM. Arrangements byAtkins Northland Funeral Home, Cloquet. To sign the guestbook and offer an online tribute, see

Pine Knot News, Oct. 30, 2020


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