On Saturday October 23, 2021, Calvin Otto Goerdel, loving husband and father of three boys, passed away at the age of 89.
Cal was born on June 25, 1932 in Indian Gap, Texas to Otto and Hilda Goerdel. He was baptized on August 14, 1932 and confirmed October 27, 1946, both in Trinity Lutheran Church, Pottsville, Texas. He married Donna Ruth Kuhlmann September 4, 1955 in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cole Camp, Missouri. He was ordained June 28, 1959 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Pottsville, Texas.
He was preceded in death by parents Otto and Hilda Goerdel (Marwitz), brothers Lemund, Clarence, and Auline [Bob]
He was survived by Donna Goerdel wife; sister Lorine Peters; sons, Timothy (wife Angela), Andrew (wife Michelle) & Peter; grandchildren Jeffery, Henry, Grayson, & Charlotte Goerdel, Alexandra, Eric, and Lillian Christensen, and sister-in-law Shirley (husband Auline).
On the personal side, Cal had several loves second only to Donna. He was an avid outdoorsman which included camping, hunting, and fishing. He fished for trout in Colorado, salmon in Alaska and Washington, and Texas crappie feared for their lives when Cal appeared. He was able to fix almost anything around the house. His vegetable garden always fed more than his family - he shared his crops and seeds. He was passionate about family history, traveling to Europe several times with Donna and corresponding with numerous churches and family members. All these efforts allowed him to determine family genealogy back to the 1600s.
Cal’s education and career were extensive in both breadth and locations. He graduated from Pottsville High School; Texas Lutheran College, getting his Bachelor of Arts; Wartburg Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity; then University of Denver, receiving a Masters of Social Work in Administration.
His career was long and productive, touching and uplifting innumerable people on his journey. After seminary, Cal’s first parish was St. James Lutheran Church in Llano, then he went to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Beaumont. Cal worked at Denver General Hospital as a Care Coordinator for mental health services. Next, he was director of the Health Planning Agency in Ft. Collins, where he organized and obtained funding which provided help for people in need.
Cal took calls from the church for this part of his career which all involved social services. He had a knack for solving difficult issues, in three cases not only keeping organizations from going under, but leaving them thriving. In this capacity, Cal was Seattle area director of Lutheran Social Services of Washington. Services included help for adoption, foster care, residential care for troubled teenagers, family counseling, family life education and chaplaincy. Cal then took a position as Vice President of Social Services for Lutheran Social Services of Texas. They provided development, management, and supervision of social services statewide. Many of the programs available were started by Cal. The next organization Cal served was Lutheran Welfare Service located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, another turn around. They provide nursing care and hospice care, family counseling and much more.
Cal’s work with the Lutheran Sunset Ministries was one of the most rewarding of his career. He not only turned it around but was able to raise funds to build a new facility. The staff teamwork and support from the community were key to revitalizing the ministry. In Clifton, Cal got very involved on the boards of several local community organizations including the Economic Development Corporation and Chamber of Commerce. He also served as interim pastor for Faith Lutheran Church in Meridian and Our Saviors Church in Norse.
During his work with social service agencies Cal created awareness of the services provided and how their funding helped people by preaching in local churches.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Lutheran Sunset Ministries at 413 Sunset St, Clifton, TX 76634.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 30th, 2021, 1 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church on 803 West 3rd Street, Clifton, Texas with viewing starting at 11AM. Graveside service will be at 3:30PM at Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery, Pottsville on FM218, 2 miles West of Pottsville. The service will be live streamed at this link https://www.facebook.com/trinityclifton/ (copy and paste the link in your browser).