Family, friends remember pastor who passed days after 100th birthday

Updated: Friday, August 1, 2014
Family, friends remember pastor who passed days after 100th birthday story image

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A well-known Kalamazoo pastor died late Saturday night, two days after celebrating his 100th birthday.

Now, his family and friends are looking back on 100 years of memories.

The face of Pastor Louis Grother was a familiar one around the city of Kalamazoo -- one that was there to comfort, teach, love, and serve. Friends and family say he always seemed to be around when you needed him.

"It's hard to find someone in the area who wasn't baptized, married, confirmed by him, or been to a funeral or wedding or something he's performed," said grandson Dave Mann. "He's touched so many lives in Kalamazoo."

The memories are now flooding back, after Grother died Saturday night, just over 48 hours removed from celebrating his 100th birthday.

His family had come in from all across the country to be with him on his milestone.

Grother served as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church from 1949 to 1984.

"He was quite an inspiration to many people, and through the congregation here has touched the community in a strong way," said current Pastor Tim Seeber.

Old photos show a man in love with his family and faith, also serving as chaplain for Kalamazoo Public Safety for years.

He started the campus ministry at Western Michigan University, and the State Hospital.

His family says he always looked for ways to serve and reach those in need--a strong role model for his four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

"He left a wonderful legacy of faith and his love for family and I feel very blessed to have had so many years with my grandfather," said granddaughter Karole Grano.

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