Rev. Louis Launhardt

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Rev. Louis Herbert Launhardt, 74, of Jackson was born Aug. 20, 1931, in St. Louis, son of Henry and Henrietta Launhardt. He married LouAnn Boehne June 23, 1957, who survives him.

He died Sunday, July 16, 2006, at his home.

He was blessed with three children: Lori Launhardt of Cape Girardeau, Greg Launhardt of Columbia, Mo., and Krista Sanford and husband, Ron of St. Louis; a brother, Edward Launhardt and wife, Cindy of St. Louis; loving mother-in-law, Lucille Boehne; Don and Judy Eckert of St. Louis, Don and Jeanne Boehne of Carbondale, Ill.; nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews survive him.

Louis attended Holy Cross Lutheran Grade School and Jennings High School in St. Louis where he graduated in 1949. As a youth leader, Louis was active in water sports and safety at youth camps and served on the district Walther League Camp committee and staff for several years.

Louis graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis with a master's degree in divinity after serving his vicarage year at Zion Lutheran Church in Schenectady, N.Y. He was called in 1958 to be a missionary at large and served as the first pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Cairo, N.Y. Louis accepted the call in August 1964 to serve St. Andrew Lutheran Church, which he did until his retirement in 1996.

While at St. Andrew he initiated the Kennedy Evangelism program and the Stephen Ministry in 1985. Pastor Launhardt served the Lutheran Campus Center from 1964 to 1967 and was instrumental in calling the first full-time pastor to serve the students at Southeast Missouri State University. He served as circuit counselor in New York and Missouri a number of years.

Louis served on the Southeast Missouri Hospital Ethics Committee and served as chairman of the IRB Committee at Saint Francis Medical Center. He represented both hospitals on the IRB Committee in St. Louis. Louis was a volunteer probation officer and served on the Cape Girardeau Probation Board.

He is a past winner of the Southwestern Bell Volunteer of the Year Award. In May 2001 he was awarded the "Walter" award for his outstanding commitment and contributions to Lutheran Family and Children's Service where he served as chairman of the first board of directors and was instrumental in the opening of the Southeast Missouri office in Cape Girardeau.

Throughout his ministry he served as a group travel coordinator with specialty to the biblical sites of the Middle East. He visited Israel five times, Greece two times, and Asia Minor (Turkey).

After his retirement he served as chaplain coordinator at the Missouri Veterans Home until his aortic dissection surgery in February 2000. Pastor Launhardt was instrumental in training and starting the Stephen Ministry program for veteran residents. He also campaigned for state legislature monetary support for the spiritual needs of veterans.

The family requests memorials to St. Andrew Lutheran Church or Lutheran Family and Children's Service.

Visitation will be today at St. Andrew Lutheran Church from 4 to 8 p.m.

The funeral will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the church, with the Rev. Bill Matzat and Rev. Paul Short officiating.

A celebration luncheon will follow after the service.

A private family entombment will be later that day at Cape County Memorial Park Mausoleum.

Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.