MALINTA -- Rev. Norman Ferdinand Norden, 76 of Malinta, Ohio, entered the Church Triumphant on the afternoon of February 10, 2014.
He was born July 14, 1937, at the home of his parents, Ferdinand and Mathilda (Badenhop) Norden in Henry County, Ohio. He graduated from Ridgeville High School in 1955, and then received a bachelor of arts from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, in 1960. He received a bachelor of divinity from the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 1963. He interned at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mobridge, S.D. In June 1963, he was ordained into the ministry at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Napoleon Township, Ohio.
He married Wanda Wiemken in 1960. Norm and Wanda, along with their children, served in Papua, New Guinea, as Lutheran missionaries spreading the Christian gospel for 16 years, the last six years of which he was the stewardship director of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea. Upon return to the United States, Norm served as the pastor of Hope Lutheran Church, Hamler, Ohio, for 19 years until retirement in 1999.
Norm was a missionary and pastor to the church, well-loved and highly respected. He was one of those saints who labored faithfully and made a difference in the lives of many others. He was active in the community, serving on numerous boards and committees. He was the kind of disciple Jesus was talking about when he urged us to be the "salt of the earth."
Norm is survived by his loving wife, of 53 years, Wanda, and three children, Chris (Danielle) Norden of Enon, Ohio, Lisa (Kevin) Ehlert of West Chester, Ohio and Rachel (David) Downs of Dublin, Ohio; five grandchildren, Ethan and Brenton Norden, Enon, Ohio, Daniel and Philip Downs, Dublin, Ohio, and Kylie Ehlert, West Chester, Ohio; sisters, Florence Behnfeldt, Defiance, Ohio, Mary Ann Iliff, Defiance, Ohio Margarite (Melvin) Lanzer, Napoleon, Ohio, and Gladys Dachenhaus, Paulding, Ohio; sister-in-law, Joan (Leonard) Norden, Napoleon, Ohio; and brother; Dan (Toni) Norden Ravenna, Ohio; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ferdinand and Mathilda Norden; and brother, Leonard Norden.
We commend him to the loving care of the Shepherd he served so faithfully and well. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday and 2-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Friday at Rodenberger Funeral Home, Napoleon. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2014, at Hope Lutheran Church, Hamler, with one hour of visitation prior to the funeral. Interment will follow at Hope Lutheran Cemetery.
The family suggests memorials be made to Hope Lutheran Church endowment fund. Online condolences can be made at www.rodenbergerfuneralhome.com.