Lorla Nothdurft

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lorla Marie Nothdurft, 92, died Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, at her home in Overland Park, Kan.

She was born July 3, 1918, in St. Louis, daughter of Charles Paul Baenziger and Marie Malinda Hildenstein.

Nothdurft was preceded by a brother, Norman Baenziger, who passed away Dec. 2, 2010.

Growing up, Lorla was an active member of 4-H club and its leadership. She demonstrated at county fairs and won many award ribbons. She was interested in many types of crafts, read extensively and enjoyed basketball and tennis. Parties and playing games were a favorite way of entertaining.

She received a bachelor of arts degree from Hamline University in 1939; a professional certificate from Chicago Training School (then a part of Garret Theological Seminary) in 1940; and a master of arts degree from Northwestern University in 1941. She had majors in religious education and psychology.

Lorla was married to Ivan Henry Nothdurft on April 9, 1941, in Winona, Minn. He preceded her Dec. 31, 1998.

Three daughters were born to them: Sally Marie Gallion, who preceded her June 4, 2009, Marjorie Ellen Pryor and Jane Elizabeth Rall.

The Nothdurfts served three small churches in southern Minnesota before going to South America as missionaries of the Methodist church. In Cochabamba, Bolivia, they were engaged in education work, both primary and secondary schools. Plans were begun for the construction of a Good Neighbor chapel to serve both English and Spanish congregations.

Lorla was supervisor of the boarding students, in addition to teaching English and shorthand and serving as a pianist for the music classes.

In 1946, the couple was transferred to Lima, Peru. In addition to managing the mission headquarters, Lorla served as bookkeeper of the Victoria school, and assisted in the office of the treasurer for the mission. She was an active worker with the women of the church locally and held offices in the district and national organizations, starting new units within them. She planned curriculum for vacation Bible schools and training for the teachers.

In 1957, the Nothdurfts were sent to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the American Bible Society. Lorla primarily led Bible studies, retreats, and worked with women and children. She provided the weekly church bulletins and assisted in the search for a pastor in the English speaking church.

Returning to the U.S. in 1967, Lorla was employed by Lawyers Title Insurance Co. on Long Island as an administrative assistant and office manager. She continued to work with women and children in local church activities, served as adviser to the youth organizations, was president of the Study Club, and held various offices in the district Association of Pastors Wives.

She held offices in the United Methodist Women, both overseas and in her local church upon returning to the U.S. She was chairwoman of the education committee and innovated many new activities as chairwoman of the Mission Committee in Hempstead, N.Y., and in Cape Girardeau.

In 1982 the Nothdurfts retired to Cape Girardeau where they were very active in Centenary United Methodist Church. In 2004 she entered a retirement community in Overland Park. She had been the manager of an in-house ministore and was very active in her local church. In addition, she enjoyed spending time with family and friends, telling jokes, reading, making crafts and playing games.

Lorla Nothdurft is survived by two daughters, Margie Pryor of Overland Park, Jane Rall of Rockville, Md.; five grandchildren, Juanita Gallion of Washington, D.C., Amy Welgos and Mark Pryor of Overland Park, Janet Chilcott of Wilmington, N.C., William Rall of Bellevue, Wash.; and two great-grandchildren, Cadence and Addison Welgos.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Cape County Memorial Park in Cape Girardeau, with the Rev. Jeff Long officiating.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to organizations of Lorla's choosing: American Bible Society, 1865 Broadway, New York, NY 10023-7505; or General Board of Global Ministries of United Methodist Church, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115.

Ford and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at www.fordandsonsfuneralhome.com.