Homer C Altenbernd1

M, #101, b. 25 June 1922, d. 18 February 1997
1st cousin 1 time removed of Sheila Sue Altenbernd
Father*Carl Conrad Altenbernd b. 6 September 1883, d. 27 September 1963
Mother*Martha Lydia Sophia Gerstenberger b. 14 April 1885, d. 12 December 1967
     Homer was born in Kansas, USA, on 25 June 1922.2,1,3 He was the son of Carl Conrad Altenbernd and Martha Lydia Sophia Gerstenberger.

     Photo of On cot left to right -- ?, Ed Schaake, ?
In rear - ?,?,?, Harry Young
On right - William Altenbernd, Carl Altenbernd. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)2

     The following information is from the records of John Altenbernd.      

Homer is seven years older that I, and, in effect became my big brother during my growing up years -- much more than just a cousin. Homer had begun dating Charlotte Stadler of Eudora shortly before being drafted in World War II. There was no formal engagement that I am aware of, but the two were serious. Charlotte was a Catholic girl, so Aunt Mattie made a clean sweep with her children by objecting to this impending marriage as well. But with Homer in the Army in wartime, perhaps going to be part of an invading force onto the Japanese mainland (Homer was training for it, but no invasion was ever necessary. The atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasake in 1945, and the Japanese abruptly surrendered without further fight.), the fear of his being killed softened Aunt Mattie. She accepted Charlotte as a daughter-in-law, attending their wedding in 1946, the only wedding of her children she did attend. Homer and Charlotte lived in Eudora for a time until Uncle Carl sort of semi-retired and moved to Eudora himself. Then Homer and Charlotte moved to the farm, taking over the old house. They have four children -- Rebecca (Becky), Carl Barton (Bart), Michael, and Lisa. Lisa is a great deal younger than the other three. The three are married with families.

I had nothing to do with any of this, but my cousin, Homer Altenbernd, told me the story later.

Homer was maybe seventeen. He had Uncle Carl's car. Among the places Homer had been told to stay away from was the Tepee north of Lawrence, a rather unsavory beer hall and hangout. But Homer had gone there anyway. Junior Neis, a friend of his from high school, was also there, having come in his father's car.

The two boys left The Tepee at the same time to go to their respective cars. They were headed for some other place in Lawrence.

It was dark by that time. Homer pulled out of The Tepee onto the highway to head for the intersection that turned toward Lawrence. Homer saw another pair of head lights behind him. The car behind him started to pass, and Homer, assuming it was Junior Neis, decided to race him to the intersection. Homer had to get up to a pretty hefty speed to keep ahead of him.

Then the red lights and the siren came on. The car behind him was not Junior Neis. It was a police car.

Homer got a ticket for speeding and for trying to elude a police officer. To make matters worse, Homer didn't have his driver's license with him. He was taken to the station where he had to call Uncle Carl. Uncle Carl in turn had to call his son-in-law, Al Wichman, to borrow his car so he could get to Lawrence to get Homer. Everybody was fit to be tied. Homer's reception when he got home -- especially from Aunt Mattie -- was probably worse than anything the police did. Knowing where Homer had been picked up by the police car, they also knew that Homer had been to The Tepee.

End of information from John Altenbernd.
Homer is listed in the 1956 Lawrence, Kansas telephone directory living at RFD2. His phone number was VI3-3196.

Homer had heart surgery about 1987.

For the first time in 1991, Homer hired all harvesting and Chemical application jobs to be done by custom operators.

Homer and his son Mike drove to St. Louis for the funeral of John Altenbernd (#102). John was very close to Homer. He considered Homer to be more of a big brother than a cousin. John would have been pleased that Homer was able to attend the memorial service.

     Homer completed 4 years of high school.1

     Homer C Altenbernd was listed as Carl Conrad Altenbernd's son on the 1940 US Federal Census of Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas, enumerated 13 May 1940. Homer's age at his last birth date was listed as 17. He was born in Kansas. He was married. He owned his home. The value of the property was $3500. He did live on a farm. He had not attended school since March 1, 1940. His highest grade completed was Junior in high school.4 His address on April 1, 1935 was Eudora Township, Kansas. He did work the week of March 25 to March 30, 1940.4
     Homer worked. He worked as Farmer.
     When Homer enlisted in service he was single with no dependents.1

     Homer C Altenbernd lived in Douglas County, Kansas, USA, in 1944.1
     Homer C Altenbernd was a geographer.1
     As of 23 October 1944, Homer C's citizenship was with the United States of America.1

     Homer C Altenbernd served in the Army in World War II. His serial number was 37754456. He enlisted in Fort Levenworth, Kansas, USA, on 23 October 1944 as an enlisted men. He served as a Private, Grade 8.1

     Homer C's race was white.1

     Homer C Altenbernd married Charlotte Stadler, daughter of William Stadler and Anita Greiner, in Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, on 9 November 1946.2,5
     Homer C Altenbernd ended military service. as a US Army Sgt.3
ME by John Altenbernd

Ordination Day

Ordination Day was a day to be approached with some degree of fear and trembling as well as with joy and anticipation. It marked the end of a lot of things as well as marking a beginning.
I was 25 years old. I had been in school ever since I was 6, and that had been a long time. There would now be no more of that. While school carries with it a great deal of responsibility, it is still a kind of sheltered responsibility. From here on I would be on my own. Instead of being a student under somebody, I would be the head man.
The farm house in Kansas would no longer be my home. And I did love that place. I had neither the desire nor the natural talent and knowledge to be a farmer, but I did love being there and working on it. There's a great difference between working on a farm and having the know-how to run it. My genes were primarily from the Stoerker family rather than from the Altenbernds, and I was smart enough to know that early on. Any attempt at farming as a living would have been doomed to disaster. I hated leaving the farm, but I've never had regrets for having done so.
I had already accepted the dual pastorate of St. John's and Bethany Churches in Berger, Missouri, so I knew where I was going. July 11 would be my first Sunday there. I had been serving there as student supply during the last few months at Eden, so I had some knowledge of the place and of the people. And although it was a farming community, as was the Kaw Valley of Kansas, it was a vastly different world. Around Lawrence and Eudora things and people were as much urban as rural, not at all the usual stereotype of country people. Berger, particularly around Bethany Church, was very definitely and exclusively rural. I wasn't at all sure I would like Berger, but I had to start somewhere. So this too was on my mind that day.
June 27 was a Sunday. The Ordination service would be that evening at St. Paul's Church in Eudora. Uncle Adolph Stoerker and Aunt Marie, with their daughter Joanne (now Kleuter), were there at the farm house from Aurora, Illinois, where he was pastor. Uncle Adolph was on vacation, and they were visiting my mother. Also there was Rev. Myron Ross, a friend from Eden (black) who had been ordained a year earlier. He was not yet married.
Uncle Fred Stoerker, pastor of Zion Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, and Aunt Hilda would come in that afternoon. He was to

Page 610

be the ordaining pastor. They would be bringing with them his student assistant for the summer, Lorenz ("Ike") Eichenlaub, another old friend from Eden who would be ordained two years later.
Rev. Karl Baur and his wife, Betty, would come from Kansas City in time for the service. Karl Baur had been pastor at Eudora during my teen years, and I had dated his daughter, Joan, who was now married and would not be with them.
Dr. Harold Barr, Dean of the School of Religion at Kansas University, was to be the preacher at the service. He only had to come from Lawrence so he would go directly to the church.
Rev. James McAllister, my roommate my Senior year at Eden, was also scheduled to be there but couldn't make it. He was a Methodist, and he was transferred to Roodhouse, Illinois, from Payson, Illinois, that week. So he was busy moving.
All the ministers mentioned above would participate in the Ordination service, along with Rev. Joseph Polster who was pastor in Eudora at the time. Rev. Polster was a half-educated, boorish, obnoxious man for whom I had little use, but as pastor of the church he could not simply be left out and ignored.
We went to church that morning as usual. It wasn't long before it became obvious that this was going to be a very hot day - and it would remain hot into the evening.
There was a lot of picture taking that afternoon. St. Paul's Church had given me a pulpit robe (Not the one I now have. That one long since wore out), and there was a lot of posing in it for the benefit of other people's cameras, I would wear the robe that evening at the service.
My mother continued with preparations for a reception at the house after the service that evening. With a large front porch and a large lawn on a summer evening, space was no problem.
The service was splendid. Dr. Barr was at his preaching best. Rev. Polster behaved himself. I was afraid he might decide to say "a. few words" somewhere along the line (something he could do with embarrassing frequency, and when he did so it usually was a display of ignorance).
When the time came for my formal Ordination, Uncle Fred called me forth and I stood before him. Uncle Fred was flanked by Uncle Adolph, Rev. Baur, Rev. Ross, Rev. Barr, and Rev. Polster. Uncle Fred asked me, and I accepted, the vows of service to God and to the Church. I then knelt for the laying

Page 611

on of hands. Uncle Fred's hand was on my head, and the hands of the others were on top of his. Uncle Fred then pronounced the words of Ordination.
I then rose and accepted the hand of fellowship and collegiality from each of the ordained pastors before me. I was one of them now. I said a few words of appreciation to them and to the assembled congregation, pronounced the benediction (my first official act as an ordained pastor), and the service ended.
     I was very moved by it all, a highlight of my life.
The church was nearly full. St. Paul's congregation had turned out in force for me, only the second son of the congregation ever to be ordained. (Rev. Carl Schmidt was the other one a good many years earlier.) Other friends and relatives were there too. Among them was a surprise - Rev. Theodore Hauck from Higginsville, Missouri, who had baptized me years before when he was pastor of St. Paul's. He had arrived a little late, and we didn't know he was there or we would have asked him to participate in the Ordination.
A good many of them were at the house afterward for the reception, including Uncle Carl Altenbernd and Aunt Mattie, cousins of mine - Homer and Charlotte Altenbernd, Herb and Peggy Altenbernd, Helen and Al Wichman, Irene and John Vogel, and Frieda and Arthur Heck. There was also my father's hired hand when I was a boy, Oscar Russell. He was an old man by then, and I hadn't seen him in years.
     I wished my father had lived long enough to have been there.
There was only one negative note in the whole thing. Connie Peters had said she would drive down for the Ordination. I was expecting her. But she neither showed nor called. That hurt a bit.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I was the second son of St. Paul's Church to enter the ministry. Carl Schmidt, brother of Ralph Schmidt, had been ordained in 1930.

( at St Paul's Church, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, on 27 June 1955.)6
     Homer C Altenbernd lived at 1522 E. 1850 Road, Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA.
     Homer died on 18 February 1997 at age 74.5,3
     The following item appeared at Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA, on 21 February 1997
Homer Altenbernd
Homer Altenbernd, 74, Lawrence, KS, passed away Tuesday, February 18, 1997, at St. Francis Hospital, Toprka, KS. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Saturday, February 22, at St. John The Evangelist Church; burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. A Prayer Service and visitation will be 7-8:30 p.m. Friday, at the Warren-McElwain Mortuary. The family suggests memorials to the American Heart Association, the care of the mortuary.7

He was buried on 22 February 1997 in the Mount Calvary Cemetery located in Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA.7,3
     Elvin Conrad was unable to attend the funeral of Homer C.8
Last Edited=4 May 2013

Family: Homer C Altenbernd and Charlotte Stadler


  1. [S377] "U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946", Box Number 1259, Reel Number 6.25; http://www.archives.gov/; The National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Prince George's County, Maryland, USA, at. Hereinafter cited as "U.S. World War II Army Enlistment."
  2. [S25] John Stoerker Altenbernd unknown date.
  3. [S1093] Altenbernd, Homer (#101) Burial Information, online http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov, viewed on May 3, 2010, viewed by Sheila Altenbernd . Hereinafter cited as Burial Information.
  4. [S510] Carl Altenbernd (#53) household, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Douglas County, Kansas, population schedule, town of Eudora Township, enumeration district (ED) 23-3, supervisor's district (SD) 8, sheet 8A, dwelling 184, National Archives micropublication . Viewed at www.ancestry.com . Hereinafter cited as 1940 Census.
  5. [S654] Charlotte Altenbernd (#167) Obituary, Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Kansas, October 20, 2007, www.KansasCity.com, viewed at www.legacy.com/KansasCity/DeathNotices.asp on October 20, 2007 . Hereinafter cited as Kansas City Star.
  6. [S1410] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Ordination Day" in ME; Page(s) 609-611; Published:.
  7. [S820] Homer Altenbernd (#101) Obituary, Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Missouri, February 21, 1997, page C3, C4, viewed at www.ancestry.com on December 28, 1998 . Hereinafter cited as Kansas City Star.
  8. [S194] Norma Wichman unknown date.

Compiler: Sheila Altenbernd
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