John Stoerker Altenbernd1

M, #102, b. 5 May 1929, d. 1 November 1992
Father of Sheila Sue Altenbernd
Father*William John Altenbernd2,3 b. 24 November 1885, d. 24 May 1941
Mother*Flora Stoerker2,3 b. 27 April 1894, d. 24 April 1972
     Recipe for BBQ Stuffed Green Peppers from John Stoerker Altenbernd.

     Photo of John Altenbernd (about 6 months) and Ella Stoerker circa 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo of Julia Stoerker (#62) and John Altenbernd (#102) in 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers(#132.)

John Altenbernd and Julia Stoerker

     John was born in Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, on 5 May 1929. John was born on Sunday, May 5, 1929 at 9:45 p.m. at Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas delivered by Dr. A.J. Anderson. He was the last baby to be born there before the hospital closed down. He weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces. He was baptized later in the year by Rev Theodore Hauck at St. Paul's Evangelical Church in Eudora, Kansas.

John was breast fed for 2 months and bottle fed for 11 months..2,4,3 He was the son of William John Altenbernd and Flora Stoerker.2,3
     Photo of Alma Stoerker holding John Altenbernd between May 1929 and June 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)

     Photo of Will Altenbernd (#55), John Altenbernd (#102) and Flora Altenbernd (#63) in June 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 5 weeks old.4

Will, John and Flora Altenbernd
John -- 5 weeks old

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102) and Flora Altenbernd (#63) in June 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 5 weeks old.4

John and Flora Altenbernd
John -- 5 weeks old

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102) in July 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 5 weeks old.4

John Altenbernd
5 weeks old

     Photo of Flora Altenbernd (#63), John Altenbernd (#102), and Ozie Bruce (#1209) in July 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 2 1/2 months old.4

Flora and John Altenbernd, Ozie Bruce
John -- 2 1/2 months old

     Photo of Flora Altenbernd (#63) and John Altenbernd (#102) in July 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 2 1/2 months old.4

Flora and John Altenbernd
John -- 2 1/2 months old

     Photo of Ozie Bruce (#1209) and John Altenbernd (#102) in July 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 2 1/2 mnnths old.4

Ozie Bruce and John Altenbernd
John -- 2 1/2 months old

     He was baptized at St Paul's Evangelical Church, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, in 1929.4

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102) in August 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 3 months old.4

John Altenbernd
John -- 3 months old

     Photo of Flora Altenbernd (#63) and John Altenbernd (#102) in August 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 3 months old.4

Flora and John Altenbernd
John -- 3 months old
Flora and John Altenbernd
John -- 3 months old

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102) and Ella Stoeker (#60) in November 1929. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 6 months old.4

John Altenbernd and Ella Stoerker
John -- 6 months old
John Altenbernd and Ella Stoerker
John -- 6 months old

     Photo of Wilhelmine Stoerker and John Altenbernd Late 1929 at Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Wilhelmine Stoerker and John Altenbernd

     Photo of John Altenbernd and Sport in December 1929 at Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

John Altenbernd
7 months old
December 1929
John Altenbernd
and Sport
7 months old
December 1929
John Altenbernd
and Sport
7 months old
December 1929

     Photo of Samples of material from John Altenbernd's baby clothes circa 1930 Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

Samples of material from John Altenbernd's baby clothes

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102) circa 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

John Altenbernd
John Altenbernd

     Photo of John and Flora Altenbernd circa 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

John and Flora Altenbernd

     Photo early 1930's in Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USAG.

     John Stoerker Altenbernd, Flora Altenbernd and William John Altenbernd's child, resided with Flora and William, in Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, in 1930.4
Altenbernd Farmhouse 1930s
Altenbernd Farmhouse 1930s

     John Stoerker Altenbernd was mentioned in a lettter sent by Flora Altenbernd to Eleanor Eudora Stoerker in 1930. Note on back of picture: Dear Eleanor: John wishes to thank you for the ball you sent him with Alma. He enjoys it very much. He is a big boy as you can see on the other side. Love from Aunt Flora.5
John Altenbernd
1 year old
Note of back of photo.

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102) in 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

John Altenbernd
1 year old
Garage, Corn Crib, and barn in the background
John Altenbernd
1 year old
John Altenbernd
1 year old
John Altenbernd
1 year old
Shep -- John Altenbernd's Dog

     He applied for his social security number in Missouri, USA; 499-42-5044.1

     Photo of Tracing of John Altenbernd's hand on his first birthday. on 5 May 1930 Altenbernd Farm, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

Tracing of John Altenbernd's Hand on his first Birthday

     Photo of Alma Stoerker and John Altenbernd (13 months) in June 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo in June 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). |Shep -- John Altenbernd's dog.4

Shep -- John Altenbernd's dog

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102) and Alma Stoeker (#57) in June 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 6 months old.4

Alma Stoerker and John Altenbernd
13 months
Alma Stoerker and John Altenbernd
13 months

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102) in July 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 14 months old.4

John Altenbernd
14 months
John Altenbernd
14 months
John Altenbernd
14 months
John Altenbernd
14 months

     Photo of Ozie Bruce (#1209), John Altenbernd (#102), and Shep in July 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 14 months old.4

Ozie Bruce, John Altenbernd, and Shep

     Photo in August 1930. Health Record for Preschool Children.4

John Altenbernd Preschool Health Record -- August 1930
John Altenbernd Preschool Health Record -- August 1930
John Altenbernd Preschool Health Record -- August 1930

     Photo of John Altenbernd (#102), and Shep in August 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 15 months old.4

John Altenbernd and his dog Shep
15 months old
John Altenbernd and his dog Shep
15 months old
John Altenbernd and his dog Shep
15 months old
John Altenbernd and his dog Shep
15 months old

     Photo of Flora Altenbernd (#63) and John Altenbernd (#102) in August 1930. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John 15 months old.4

Flora and John Altenbernd
15 months old

     Photo circa 1931 Wilhelmine Stoerker's House, St Charles, St Charles County, Missouri, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John Altenbernd (#102.)4

     Photo circa 1931 in Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). Will Altenbernd (#55) and John Altenbernd (#102) and Shep.4

Will and John Altenbernd and Shep
Will and John Altenbernd and Shep

     At the age of 27 1/2 months, John weighed 38 lbs. He was sleeping 13 hours per day. His overall health condition was fair. He had 16 teeth. By that age he should have had 20.

When John's father died, Helen Wichman (#99) was at the farm. When Will died, she came immediately to John to comfort him. John's Uncle Fred (#49) was also there. He went to comfort Flora.

John lived on the farm near Lawrence, Kansas from 1929 - 1951. He attended Kaw Valley School. His first grade teacher was Mrs. Ada Thurman and he received a combination of G's and S's. His second grade teacher was Maxine Schellack and he received all A's. His fourth and fifth grade teacher was Ann Williams and he received A's in everything, but writing which he received a B in. His sixth grade teacher was Miss Coila L. A. Thurber and he received A's in everything, but music which he received a B in. His seventh grade teacher was Mrs. Coila L. Hegeman (Miss Thurber married over the summer.) He received A's in everything, but music and writing which he received B's in. His eighth grade teacher was Mrs. Coila L. Hegeman again. He received A's in everything, but writing which he received a B in.

In August 1939, John and his mother took a trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

On May 22, 1943 at 2 p.m., the Douglas County Schools held a common graduation exercise at Liberty Memorial High School in Lawrence, Kansas. John was noted in the graduation program with an average of 90 or above.

On April 2, 1944, John was confirmed at St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church in Eudora, Kansas. Rev. H. Reifschneider performed the rite of Confirmation.

John starred as Carl Standing in the March 22, 1946 production of "I Shall Be Waiting" at Eudora High School, Eudora, Kansas. He also starred in "Pigtails" and as Cornelius Bean in "Jerry of Jericho Road" during his high school years. On May 14, 1946 John was initiated into the National Thespian Dramatic Honor Society for High Schools at Eudora High School, Eudora, Kansas.

John was number 33 of the 1946 Eudora High School, Eudora, Kansas football team. His weight at that time was 165 lbs.

On March 29, 1947, John was awarded the District Speech and Drama Festival second division award in after dinner speaking.

John participated in the 1947 Class B District Basketball Tournament in Baldwin, Kansas.

John was awarded a high school letter for his participation in basketball and football for the 1944-45, 1945-46, and 1946-47 school years.

On May 22, 1947 John was granted his high school diploma in graduation exercises at Eudora High School, Eudora, Kansas.

On September 15, 1948 John registered with the selective service.

On June 4, 1951 John graduated from Kansas University at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.

In 1951 he started attending Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves. He was there until 1954.

John was ordained on June 27, 1954 at St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church in Eudora, Kansas. Pastor's participating in the ordination included Rev. Joseph O. Polster, Rev. James R. McAllister, Rev. Myron W. Ross, Rev. Harold G. Barr, Rev. Frederick Stoerker, Rev. Karl F. Baur, and Rev. Adolph Stoerker. "The Lord's Prayer" was sung by Norma Wichman. There was a reception at his mother's home afterwards.

John then went to his first church in Berger, Missouri. It was here that he met and married Sue Herrell. They were married by Rev. Leon Slover. Their first daughter, Sheila was born here in 1956. They remained in Berger until 1958. They then lived in Concord Village, St. Louis County, Missouri from 1958 ? 1964. In Albuquerque, New Mexico from 1964 to 1967. In Collinsville, Illinois from 1967 to 1969. In Godfrey, Illinois from 1969 to 1976. In Charleston, Illinois from 1976 to 1980. In Shrewsbury, St. Louis County, Missouri from 1980 to 1988. In 1988 they moved to Concord Village again where they were still living as of 1992.

Cecille Benson (nee Herrell) recalls her first meeting with John. This was shortly after he and Sue met and before they were married. She thought he was a very handsome young man and pretty terrific. She considered Sue to be pretty lucky.

Dad has always been a strong figure in my life and a source of inspiration. He is a person to do things not just talk about what should be done. He gets involved in politics and community affairs and has a lot of compassion for those less fortunate than himself.

Being a minister allowed Dad to set his own hours to some degree. Because of this, my sisters and I saw more of our father during our growing up years than many of our friends did. When there was something special going on or some important event he was always there and now that we are grown that hasn't changed any.

It is the 1992 Lenten season. Dad misses preaching and has decided that he will conduct some services at the house for Mom and himself and a couple of friends. Each week, Bill and Noreen Pistrui joined my parents at their house and Dad would read a sermon followed by some religious discussion. Chris Lubert( a friend of Mom's from work also attended one evening.)

On Good Friday, another service was scheduled. In addition to Bill, Noreen, and Chris; I attended along with Noreen's mother Vel Lauth. Vel had been a parishioner of Dad's while he was preaching at Faith Church in Collinsville, Illinois.

The service started with Mom playing the organ (Amazing Grace). We then sang a hymn (The Old Rugged Cross). Dad had his sermon on the Passion story followed by communion.

It was good to hear Dad preach again. It had been along time. The service tired him out some, but it was obvious that he thoroughly enjoyed being able to conduct a service once again.

Mom and Dad and the Pistruis decided that they would continue the practice once a month as long as Dad felt up to it. I think that decision pleased my father immensely.

John has written an autobiography entitled "ME - A personal memoir for my family". He began writing in 1981 and continued adding to it as he remembered things. (As of 1990, it consisted of nine volumes.) Much additional information about John and his family can be obtained from these records.

John enjoyed a good argument. When he would make visits back home to Lawrence, Wayne Schmille (#204) was one of those he would on occassion get into a discussion with. Wayne remembers that he could never win one of those arguments.

An Advent candle was purchased for St. Matthew as a memorial to John. On November 28, 1993 it was dedicated to the church. Sue read a scripture and lighted the candle for the first time. A special dedication was given by Rev. Brian Newcomb.

     Photo in 1931. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John Altenbernd (#102.)4

John Altenbernd -- aged 2
John Altenbernd -- aged 2
John Altenbernd -- aged 2
John Altenbernd -- aged 2
John Altenbernd -- Age 2
John Altenbernd -- Age 2

     Photo in 1931. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John Altenbernd (#102), Flora Altenbernd (#63), Shep.4

John Altenbernd -- Aged 2
Flora Altenbernd

     Photo of Tracing of John Altenbernd's foot on his second birthday. on 5 May 1931 Altenbernd Farm, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

Tracing of John Altenbernd's foot on his 2nd birthday

     John Stoerker Altenbernd was mentioned in a lettter sent by Friedaricka Elizabeth Hoelzel residing at at 2732 Gillham Road, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA, to Flora Altenbernd on 1 July 1931.
Dearest Flora,

I have intended writing to you for some time. We enjoyed getting John's picture so much, it is very good of him. I showed it to Mrs. Kobrock and she immediately said that he is a Stoerker in looks. Of course that is true and is very complementary to you. Thanks a lot for the picture.

It has been so very hot here for two weeks and for those who are and have to be busy in the sun I feel plenty sorry, for it is more than I appreciate and I can stay in and make myself as nearly comfortable as possible. I mean the heat is more than I appreciate. I guess Will and Carl are digging potatoes now, and I so hope they get a good price. It is so discouraging to put the money and labor in for a crop and then get such prices as the farmers are getting for wheat. I am about sure that never before has wheat been so cheap. The country is full of food supplies and there are so many people coming to my door every day for a little to eat. Prices with us too have changed a great deal. So many people are out of work. Emil has had no extra business all year, so we are dependent on our rental income. I am very thankful that we saved our money when we made good money. I know so many people who lived off their entire income and now feel the depression very heavily. Claire starts her vacation Friday, she is looking forward to a good time with Harvey. He is taking a 12 weeks summer course in Midland and wants Claire there for one month. She will live in Dr. Martin's home but will have her meals and recreation with Harvey. He preached in our church the last two Sundays and did remarkably well. Dr. Band is in Portland and paid Harvey to fill his pulpit. Ruth is rather lonesome, she enjoyed her year at K.U. so much. I guess she will go again next year. Carl is home again, just got back from a 10 day trip to Oklahoma City. I often think about Louis. Have Will and Carl heard from him? I am truly sorry the way things stand with him but I know what it would mean to us had we listened to his plea.

I am piecing a flower garden quilt. I love it. I like to talk quilts to people who like that kind of work, And now I must close and would like to hear from or better yet to see you after the heat is over. Claire and Harvey will be here after the 10th of Aug. Come down sometime when they are here.

With love


     Photo circa 1932 near Altenbernd Farm, Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John Altenbernd (#102.)4

John Altenbernd -- Age 3
John Altenbernd -- Age 3
John Altenbernd -- Age 3
John Altenbernd -- Age 3
John Altenbernd -- Age 3
John Altenbernd -- Age 3
John Altenbernd -- Age 3
John Altenbernd -- Age 3
Sitting on Cistern
Garage in Background
John Altenbernd
Age 3
Eudora, Kansas Farm
John Altenbernd
Age 3
Eudora, Kansas Farm

     Photo circa 1932. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John Altenbernd (#102), Carol June Decker, Lolly Decker, Bill Durr.4

Carol June Decker and John Altenbernd
John Altenbernd, Lolly and Carol June Decker, Bill Durr

     Photo circa 1932. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John Altenbernd (#102) aged 3 and Will Altenbernd (#55.)5

John Altenbernd -- age 3
Will Altenbernd

     Photo circa 1932. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John Altenbernd (#102) aged 3 and Flora Altenbernd (#55.)5

John Altenbernd -- age 3
Flora Altenbernd

     Photo of Drawing by John Altenbernd of his mother in March 1932. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

Drawing by John Altenberd of his mother when he was 2 year 10 months old

     Photo circa 1933 near Altenbernd Farm, Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). John Altenbernd (#102) aged 4.5

John Altenbernd
Age 4
Altenbernd Farm near Eudora, Kansas
John Altenbernd
Age 4
Altenbernd Farm near Eudora, Kansas

     Photo of Frieda Mohr, Flora, John, and Will Altenbernd in 1933 in Colorado, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo of Christian and Frieda Mohr, Will, John, and Flora Altenbernd, Waldemar Mohr in 1933 in Colorado, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

ME by John Altenbernd

Trip to Colorado

     I was little, four years old maybe. I look about that age on a snapshot taken on that trip. So this would have been the summer of 1933.
     My mother's oldest sister, Frieda, and her husband, Christian Mohr, and their grown son, Waldemar, lived in Denver, Colorado. Uncle Christ (rhymes with wrist) had been a parochial school teacher in his early years, the teacher at a school associated with one of my Grandfather Stoerker's churches. That was how he met Aunt Frieda. Mom at one time had been one of Uncle Christ's students. Mom remembered him from those years as a very hard taskmaster and disciplinarian. But my memory of Uncle Christ is much different. He had evidently mellowed with the years. They had moved to Denver for the benefit of their son's health. He had always been frail and was to die still a young man. Uncle Christ now worked in an office, as did Waldemar.
     We drove to Denver by car, 600 miles, quite a trip in those days. I had a puzzle map of the United States with each state cut as a separate piece. I was playing with that in the back seat. My mother had a road map up in the front seat with her which she would look at periodically and tell something to Dad. I was smart enough to know she was reading the map somehow. So after I got all the states put in their proper places in my puzzle, I handed it to Mom and asked her to read it to me. I couldn't for the life of me understand when she said she couldn't do that.
     As we drove across Kansas, Dad at one point said, "Let's go into Colorado and leave John in Kansas." I wasn't sure what that meant. I didn't want to be left anywhere. When we got to the Kansas-Colorado border, Dad stopped the car so that the state line ran right between the front seat and the back seat. "See," my mother said to me, "now we're in Colorado and you're still in Kansas."
     Sometime before that we had gone through Russell, Kansas. Oscar Russell was my father's black hired hand. So when we got to Russell, I asked if that was where Russell came from.
     A little ways into Colorado, the scenery changed drastically as we got into the Rocky Mountains. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

     Uncle Christ's house was a small one. They had no room for us, so we stayed in a rooming house somewhere. (Motels had not really come into being yet, and hotels were too expensive.)
     The next days were tours through the mountains with Dad driving, and Uncle Christ and Aunt Frieda pointing out this, that, and the other things. There were all sorts of especially set up tourist attractions, and I enjoyed those things most of all, especially a little miniature mining town.
     My folks decided to drive up Pike's Peak. It was a rainy day. All at once they noticed I was lying down in the back seat. I couldn't sit up without being dizzy. The thin air was getting to me. They turned the car around and drove back down without getting to the top. I screamed and hollered. I wanted to go on, but they came back down anyway.
     Also there was a visit to an amusement park, the like of which I had never seen before. Among the rides was a train that ran around the park. We rode on that. It had a whistle that really shrieked. My cousin Waldemar, who had hearing in only one ear, said, "I could even hear that in my bad ear."
     Mom and Aunt Frieda went into downtown Denver one day for shopping. Dad and I went off alone and looked at some toys. He bought me a toy truck that transported cars, complete with the cars. In fact, he bought me two of them for some reason.
     We finally got tired of messing around waiting for Mom and Aunt Frieda to get finished, so we sat down on the curb stone right there on main street and waited for them. Dad was never one to stand on ceremony. If he wanted to be comfortable, he was going to be comfortable, no matter what.
     We drove on to Cheyenne, Wyoming, one day to watch the big Rodeo there. That was a highlight of the trip for me. While in Cheyenne, Dad bought himself a ten-gallon cowboy hat, which he wore on occasion for the rest of his life. I think one of the greatest joys in his life was that day in Cheyenne.
     I don't know how long we stayed in Denver, maybe a week. Then we went back home.
     A year later Aunt Frieda went to the dentist to have an infected tooth extracted. The tooth came out, but the infection didn't. The infection went into her brain and caused her to lose her mind. She was institutionalized in Colorado Springs.

     We went back to Denver the following summer to visit Aunt Frieda. I didn't see her. Kids couldn't get into the Home. I had looked forward to this trip, but of course it wasn't the same as before. There was overhanging sadness about it all, and there were no trips in to the mountains.
     We did go back to the park for my benefit. But that didn't seem the same either.
     Aunt Frieda did not know my mother. She didn't even know Uncle Christ and Waldemar. Nor would she ever again. She would live out her days - until well into her 90's - in that Colorado Springs Institution.
     Mom and Aunt Ella visited her in the early 1960's. Aunt Frieda was hale and hearty physically, but she knew nothing. She was like a little girl.
     Uncle Christ died around 1940. My cousin Waldemar, never used to fending for himself, had a rough time of it. He wrote my mother a letter a few months after his father's death, saying he was worried about himself. He could feel his own mind slipping. A short time later we were notified he had died.

( Colorado, USA, in 1933.)7
ME by John Altenbernd

"John's Lion"

     Uncle Theophil Stoerker was a man of many talents and interests. He was an excellent preacher, a talent too much unused (a shame really) during his many years as Superintendent of the Emmaus Home for the Feeble Minded at St. Charles, Missouri. It should be said that he was also a caring pastor, which was not unused and which served him - and the residents - well at Emmaus.
     He was also a photographer who did his own developing and enlarging in the Dark Room he had fixed up in the Superintendent's house on the Emmaus grounds.
     When I was quite small Uncle Theo and his family came to the farm for a visit, and Uncle Theo was quite excited about a new jigsaw he had bought. He found it to be a lot of fun to work with.
     "I'll cut out something from wood for you, John," he said to me. "What would you like?"
     I don't know why exactly, but I came up with the first thing that popped into my head.
     "A lion," I told him.
     True to his promise, Uncle Theo soon sent a little box through the mail to me. Inside was a sawed out lion with all the intricate cutting around the mane. It was painted yellow with black markings. On the lion's back was painted in black letters, "John's Lion."
I still have the lion, although the tail has long since broken off and disappeared.

( Kansas, USA.)8

     Photo of Flora and John Altenbernd and Wilhelmine Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Flora and John Altenbernd and Wilhelmine Stoerker
Flora and John Altenbernd and Wilhelmine Stoerker

ME by John Altenbernd

Unique Road Map

     I'm not sure just when along the line that Uncle Fred Stoerker and Aunt Hilda moved from Booneville to St. Joseph, Missouri, but I was 7 or 8 maybe. The first time we went there to see them was on the way home from a trip to somewhere, probably from seeing my Grandmother and Aunt Julie. We stayed just for a relatively short time and then drove on home.
     I recall Dad and Uncle Fred looking at a road map that Uncle Fred had. I guess Dad was interested in knowing the shortest way to get home from St. Joseph. Anyway, I was close enough at hand to get a good look at the road map, and it was unlike any I had ever seen before. The roads and highways were drawn onto the map in black and red as is usually the case with such maps. But the added feature of this map was that there were pictures of tiny cars and trucks on those roads and highways.
I thought that was fabulous! When Uncle Fred got road maps, he got a real good kind! I wondered why Dad never got such wonderful road maps as that when we went on trips. I never saw such road maps again.

( St Joseph, Missouri, USA, circa 1935.)9

     Photo of John Altenbernd's first lost tooth circa 1935. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)4

John Altenbernd's first lost tooth

     Photo near Altenbernd Farm, Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). Altenbernd Farm.4

Altenbernd Farm
Altenbernd Farm
Altenbernd Farm
Altenbernd Farm

     Photo near Altenbernd Farm, Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172). Farm Animals.4

Bob and Hy are in the center
(Hy has the white tail)
Altenbernd Farm
Bob and Hy are in the center
(Hy has the white tail)
Altenbernd Farm
Altenbernd Farm
Altenbernd Farm
Altenbernd Farm

     John Stoerker Altenbernd was mentioned in a lettter sent by Adolph Stoerker residing at Gary, Indiana, USA, to Flora Altenbernd and William John Altenbernd on 10 February 1935.

February 10, 1935.

Dear Flora and Bill:-

You will perhaps be much surprised to get a letter from me. It has been so long in the making that I'll be greatly surprised myself if I finally succeed in getting it written. Many times since my delightful days with you last summer have I wished myself back again. And often have my intentions been to write you how much I really enjoyed being with you and thank you again for the many kindnesses shown. But when one gets back to work and the fall and winter work needs to be planned - for two places and there's not much to plan with - then there are always many things that I neglect. Writing is one of them - and so I beg to be excused for this long silence.

Have often wondered how the turnips came out and whether the rye Bill was going to plant made some feed for the stock? - The Indiana farmers around here had very late pastures and so did not have to start feeding until late in fall. And then there were lots of soy beans everywhere and also corn fodder. So they fared much better this winter. Nearly every farmer has a dairy herd and gets a milk check every two weeks. Butter is 44 cents a pound and eggs 40 cents a dozen. Milk 12 cents a quart. Bacon 30 cents per pound. -- So prices are double what they were 18 months ago. But wages in the Steel mills here are not quite half what they were 3 or 4 years ago. And that gives most people a bare existence. So you can figure out for yourself why people here have no money to spare even tho they may be working full time. --- I have an opportunity here to watch both the industrial workers and farmers - and in a year or two I believe the farmers of this community will be far ahead of those who work in the city. And its about time that the farmers get fair play. Their products keep the nation alive.

Well, I guess Fred is in his glory now. I haven't heard a word from him but heard from mother that they had moved to St. Joseph. That's the biggest and most prosperous church in the West Missouri District. I don't ever hope to be in line for that size job. A smaller group appeals to me better. And I'm not such a great preacher anyhow. So if there is to be any greatness on my part I'll have to find it in being of service.

J. J. Braun is going to be here Thursday this week to study the Gary mission with me. I have surveyed the community and sent in my report. In response they're coming here to investigate my findings. That's what I have been hoping for some time. There is not much hope for a future church here since the population is so transient. There is a Reformed Church 9 blocks away farther towards the city. And since the bottom has dropped out of the finances here with little hopes of a substantial increase for some years I feel that an adjustment of some kind will be made offer the Mission Board gets thru checking on Thursday.

Joanne and I were home over New Year's. Mother was surprised to see us. As usual glad to have us come. She seems to be doing quite well. I sometimes wish I were closer home but guess I'll have to be satisfied where I am and with what I've got.

The box you had Santa Claus deliver here at Christmas time was much enjoyed by all. The cookies were a treat. Why do somebody else's cookies always taste better?!!! Sonny liked his pencil. You know he was 9 years of age the 24th of last month. And he's reading, writing, drawing etc. So the pencil was just the thing. And Joanne with her handkerchiefs --- was she proud? She's just like her mother. Hasn't ever got enough things to wear or should I say too many things to wear. Thanks a lot for everything!

Next Sunday the Elmhurst Girls' Sextette will present a musical program at the vesper service at the Gary Christian Church. Mr. Hille will play several organ selections. Rev. Schuster and I are jointly arranging this. We expect to have the group here for lunch after the service. So Marie has started to get the house in order for the occasion. And also for the visit of honorable J.J. Braun.

Received Bill's card from St. Charles last fall. Glad he got the cigars in good shape. They sure put them out by the boxes at the Fair last summer. And say - if I had been at home when you were there Bill would have had company at the World's Series games.

How's that big boy of yours? Keeping you going no doubt. You'll have a better chance raising him there than in the city. This town of Gary isn't very desirable for raising children. The Gary school system may be famous but that doesn't tell the story.

Now I've about had my say. I'm not a very good typist so you will have to make some allowance. Perhaps I will do better next time.
Let us hear from you again when you feel that you can take time.
With kindest regards to all of you,
Adolph & co,

P.S. Sonny and Joanne send special greetings to John and invite him over to play!10

ME by John Altenbernd

Typewriter Fever

     Uncle Fred Stoerker and Aunt Hilda had moved from Booneville, Missouri in 1936 to St. Joseph, Miissouri, where Uncle Fred became pastor of Zion Church there.
     That took some getting used to for me. Aunt Hilda, in writing us cards and letters, had always signed them, "The Booneville Folks (as a little kid I always thought that was Boomville.) That was about the first thing I thought of when they moved, and "The St. Joe Folks" just didn't sound right. (I don't recall that Aunt Hilda ever used that term in writing to us from St. Joe. Maybe she thought it didn't sound right either.) Anyway, since they were so much closer to us we saw them more often.
     I remember once when we were there a year or so after their move I discovered a typewriter in Uncle Fred's Study (upstairs in his home). I was fascinated by typewriters at that age, and I asked Uncle Fred if I could type on it - saying that I wanted to write a letter. (Eight-year-old kids, of course, never willingly write letters.) Uncle Fred laughed, got out some paper and put a sheet in the typewriter for me.
     "Now, Dear Miss Who?" he asked.
     I just grinned, rather embarrassed at such a question.
     But that was about the last anyone saw of me. I spent the rest of the afternoon there using the typewriter, just typing words and sentences by hunting and pecking. As soon as supper was over I went back up to the study until my folks were ready to go home.
     That early love of typewriters didn't last however. Nowadays I regard a typewriter simply as a necessary evil. I find it much easier to write in longhand. The only trouble with that is people have difficulty reading it. In more recent years a Christmas letter to the David Kruegers prompted a response from my niece, Wendy. "It was nice to get a letter from Uncle John," she said. "Too bad we can't read it."
*     *     *     *     *
A couple of years later Dad got me a used Corona portable typewriter for Christmas.

( St Joseph, Missouri, USA, circa 1936.)11

     Photo late 1930's in Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USAG.

     Photo of John and Flora Altenbernd, and Ella Stoerker in St Louis, Independent City, Missouri, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

ME by John Altenbernd

What Will They Think Of Next?

     We went to visit Uncle Theo Stoerker and Aunt Frieda at the Emmaus Home in St. Charles, Missouri, one summer. Emmaus provided their Superintendent with a home on the grounds, and the Stoerkers' personal yard area was maintained by the Emmaus groundskeepers along with the rest of the Emmaus property.
     We were sitting on the front porch one day, and I could see one of the groundskeepers cutting grass around the dormitories in the distance. I had never seen a motorized lawn mower before, and I was fascinated.
     I don't know if I said something or if Uncle Theo noticed my fascination. Anyway, he went over to where the groundskeeuer was cutting grass, and talked to him briefly. Then the two of them headed back to the front yard where we were sitting on the porch, bringing the lawn mower with them.
Uncle Theo demonstrated it to me, at one point taking his hands off the mower handles entirely and letting it run on by itself, cutting the grass as it went. It was the most amazing thing I ever saw!

( St Charles, St Charles County, Missouri, USA.)12
     Mattie Altenbernd (#98) always seemed to have homemade ice cream on hand in the summer time. John Altenbernd (#102) would devise ways to go slowly by their house in the hopes that Mattie would see him and invite him in for a bowl, which she often did.13
     John Stoerker Altenbernd was listed as William John Altenbernd's son on the 1940 US Federal Census of Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas, enumerated 13 May 1940. John's age at his last birth date was listed as 11. He was born in Illinois. He was single. He had attended school since March 1, 1940. His highest grade completed was 5th.14 His address on April 1, 1935 was Eudora Township, Kansas. It did a farm.14

     Photo of Bert Mankopf and John Altenbernd. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo taken by |Sue Myers (#130) circa 1945. Original photo in the possession of John and Flora Altenbernd, Billie & Frank Greb and stepdaughter with Wayn Greb in front.

     Photo of Ella Mankopf, John Altenbernd, and Julia Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo of Ella Mankopf, John and Flora Altenbernd. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo of Julia Stoerker(#62), John(#102) and Flora Altenbernd(#63). Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers(#132.)

Julia Stoerker, John and Flora Altenbernd

     Photo of Julia Stoerker, Flora and John Altenbernd, Hilda Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Julia Stoerker, Flora and John Altenbernd, Hilda Stoerker

     John Stoerker Altenbernd was mentioned in a lettter sent by Adolph Stoerker residing at Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, USA, to Flora Altenbernd on 23 November 1948.
November 23, 1948

Dear Flora:-
Let me again thank you for being so very good to Sonny and. myself during our short stay with you. I was uneasy and restless while I was away because I left in the thick of work. However I did not want to see Sonny disappointed entirely to have someone come to Denver to meet him halfway. So I went. And now I feel that I might have been led to make the trip. For I had a good visit with you, got to see Alma before her departure, saw Theo and Frieda, and proved to be instrumental in sending help to all of you in getting Josie to go to Blue Springs. I had made up my mind that she or Marie had to go. But I am glad that Josie went because I feel that she can do a better job since Alma feels closer to her. I was so glad when she said that she would go.

Sorry that you were out when I called you Friday night. I just wanted you to know that help was coming.

Here is the address which I promised to send: Eden Cemetery Association, 9851 Irving Park Boulevard, Shiller Park, Illinois. Rev. Paul Stoerker, Secretary. Please write to him again. He needs some reminders so that he will meet some of his long neglected obligations.

You can be proud of John. He is a fine young gentleman and will make a very promising preacher.

Wishing you both blessings for health and strength!

Sincerely, your brother

     Photo of John Altenbernd and Fred Stoerker circa 1949. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

John Altenbernd and Fred Stoerker

     Photo of Flora and John Altenbernd and Hilda Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)

Flora and John Altenbernd and Hilda Stoerker
John Stoerker religion was United Church of Christ. He was principal at Kansas University, Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, in 1951 when an unknown person was a student. School: an unknown place .16

     Photo in 1951 Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA.16

     John Stoerker Altenbernd and Flora Altenbernd appeared on the census of 1953 RR2, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA; At the time of the Kansas Census, Flora was 58 ad John was 23.17

     Photo of Sheila Altenbernd circa December 1953 farmhouse near Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Flora (#63) and John (#102) Altenbernd.5

Flora and John Altenbernd
Farmhouse near Eudora Kansas

ME by John Altenbernd


     In the Fall of 1954 I made preparations for my Installation as Pastor of St. John's and Bethany Churches.
     Rather than have a joint Installation service in the afternoon at St. John's, I decided to have the Installation during the regular morning services of both churches - St. John's first, and then Bethany. Then we would go back to St. John's for a luncheon reception.
     The Rev. Paul Rahmaier, President of what was then the Missouri Valley Synod, asked me who I wanted to be the installing pastor. He would then designate that person as the Synod's official Installer (or whatever the title).
     I thought of my Uncle Theophil Stoerker, Superintendent of the Emmaus Home in St. Charles, Missouri. He was close, and he had not been a part of my Ordination.
     Uncle Theo was happy to oblige.
     My mother came to Berger for the event. Uncle Theo brought Aunt Frieda with him, and also their youngest daughter, Marian (or "Toosie" as she was called).
     I had never had occasion to hear Uncle Theo preach before. And I found him to be one of the best. As Superintendent of the Emmaus Home for virtually all of his professional life he really didn't get that much opportunity to preach. Even granting all the good and worth of what he did at Emmaus for the feeble-minded, I couldn't help but think as I listened to him, "What a waste of talent."
     As things turned out in later years, Uncle Theo made sort of a mini-career out of installing me in pastorates. There was my Installation at St. John's and Bethany in 1954, my Installation at Faith Church in Collinsville, Illinois, in 1967, and my Installation at Community Congregational Church in Godfrey, Illinois, in 1969.

( Berger, Missouri, USA, in 1954.)18

     Photo. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130). Eleanor Stoerker, Flora Altenbernd, Hilda Stoerker, John Altenbernd, ?,?, Mildred and C.F. Stoerker.

Eleanor Stoerker, Flora Altenbernd, Hilda Stoerker, John Altenbernd, ?,?, Mildred and C.F. Stoerker
John Stoerker Altenbernd was graduated in May 1954 at Eden Seminary, Webster Groves, St Louis County, Missouri, USA.

     Floyd once made the statement, "I run the station. My son-in-law (John) runs the church."5

     John worked. He worked as Minister.
ME by John Altenbernd

Preaching for Uncle Fred

     Uncle Fred Stoerker invited me to preach in his pulpit at Zion Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, the Sunday before my ordination. He would be the one ordaining me the following Sunday evening at St. Paul's Church in Eudora, and he said he wanted the privilege of introducing me to his congregation. Needless to say, I was flattered. This would be Sunday, June 20.

     Mom and I drove to St. Joseph on Saturday. Uncle Fred did things up in style. He put my name on the church's bulletin board along with the title of the sermon, "Our Father Comes to Meet Us." That was an old sermon I had used as a student pastor in Berger earlier on, but it was Uncle Fred himself who suggested my using an old one. "An old one does best when you're in a new place for the first time," he said. It was a sermon based upon Jesus' parable on the Prodigal Son.

     Lorenz ("Ike") Eichenlaub was also there, serving as Uncle Fred's student assistant for the summer. We were old friends, of course, so we went out together on that Saturday night. We had a few beers somewhere in town. I came back to Uncle Fred's house rather late, and Mom was a bit perturbed that I came in "smelling like a brewery," as she put it. I had not over-indulged, but I did have the smell on me. Whether or not I got close enough to Aunt Hilda for her to smell it I don't know. Aunt Hilda was always most disapproving of any kind of alcohol in any amount - despite a brewery owner in Zion Church who was one of the financial mainstays of the congregation.

     The sermon went fine the next morning. I wore the pulpit robe St. Paul's Church had given me. (I had been given it early so that I could wear it the night of graduation from Eden.) This was my first ministerial function wearing it.

     Afterward the congregation came by with "Fine sermon" and the like. After all, what else were they going to say to the nephew of their pastor?

     I thought a great deal of my Uncle Fred. He was my favorite uncle. I was pleased that he had asked me, and I was glad it went as well as it did.

     My friendship with Ike Eichenlaub would continue over the years as we served together in St. Louis and then in the Illinois South Conference. Ike would die of cancer in 1981.

Luke 15:11-52

     Our Father comes to meet us. This is the thing about the Christian faith that makes it unique. Other religions believe that the worshipper must work his way up to God, must somehow through his own efforts, win favor with God. But the Christian faith believes that God comes down to us and lifts us up to where He is, at least those of us who are willing to be lifted up. God does not force anyone. We remember the words of Scripture, "God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." God, through Christ, came down into the world to confront us and to save us. He did this while we were yet sinners. We did not have to work for it. It was given to us as a gift from God's own out-flowing love. He came down to meet us, both the righteous and the unrighteous, both the willing and the unwilling. This is the God of the Christian faith.

     Christ preached and taught about this God in many different ways, in many different parables, the greatest of which probably is the parable of the prodigal son. Or perhaps we should not call it the prodigal son. It is better to use the plural and call it the parable of the prodigal sons. This father in the parable had two sons, both of whom were prodigals, only in different ways. Both alienated themselves from their father, one by riotous living in sins of the flesh; the other alienated himself in spirit, in the sin of self-righteousness and pride. And does not our Father God have these same two kinds of some in us? Some of us wastrels in one sense or another, and others of us self-righteous and prideful?

     Jesus, in telling this parable, speaks first of the younger son. Most likely it is unfair to assume that the younger son was a bad man when he left home. There is no hint given that he was any sort of juvenile delinquent in his younger days. Most likely he was just a young man with dreams, with initiative. He was looking for new worlds to conquer. A young man with ideas is seldom content to remain in his own small town. Usually it is right that he should go. The world needs such initiative and dreams of young men. Abraham Lincoln did not stay in his Illinois log cabin. Harry Truman did not stay on his Missouri farm. Neither was President Eisenhower content to spend his life in Abilene Kansas. These young men took their share of the heritage that had been left to them by their fathers and moved on with their dreams, and the country has benefited from their statesmanship. But these men did not forget their fathers. They did not throw their heritage to the four winds in riotous living. They became stewards of their heritage and used it for the betterment of their fellow men and to the glory of their God. These men had dreams and doubtless high resolves when they left home. The younger son in the parable might have had equally high resolves as well as high hopes when he left home. But this younger son made the mistake of putting himself in the center of his dreams. And he said to his father, "Give to me what belongs to me." He intended to do with his inheritance as he saw fit. No father was going to tell him what to do. He would trust his own wisdom in how to spend it. He intended to be a success and he was going to be free. He was going to strike out on his own. He knew better than his father. And so the younger son went out on his own, forgetting all, or disregarding all, that his father may have told him in former years. Trusting only his own judgment he sank into a degenerate life of wine, women, and song. Most of us can take a look at ourselves and find ourselves not guilty of such excesses of immorality as is attributed to this younger son. Most of as do not make a habit of getting filthy drunk. Most of us do not keep mistresses. Nor do we paint the town red several nights a week. Consequently there is the temptation to point our finger at the other fellow and condemn him as the type of the younger son. But the sins of the flesh cover a wide territory and all of us are guilty of some of them. An intense desire for fame,fortune, and popularity, regardless of cost or compromise with ideals, can be just as deadly in the line of sinning as the more obvious things of wine, women, and song. There is the story of the financially successful father who told his son, "Son, make money. Make it honestly if you can, but make money." Or the American statesman of our early history who said, "My country, may she always be right, but my country right or wrong." Or the pathetic figure of the salesman in the broadway play of several years ago, The Death of a Salesman. Willie Loman believed that the only thing that counted in life was that people like you. Certainly such philosophies of living are just as much sins of the flesh as were those committed by the younger son in the parable. All have thrown their Father God out the window. All have forgotten they are sons of a heavenly Father, created in his image, and have set out on their own.

     But this man had two sons. There was also an elder son who was just as distant from his father in spirit as his younger brother was in body. We can also assume that this elder brother had made a good start in life. He was going to stay home and work hard. Certainly this was a noble aspiration which no one can find fault with. But just like his younger brother, he put himself in the center of his dreams. He was doing just what his father wanted him to do. He was proud of that and was quick to notice when others did not come up to his own set standard of righteousness. He liked to take sidelong glances at his own goodness. He was a leading and respectable citizen of the community who looked down his nose at his less perfect neighbors. He was playing the role of the self-righteous Pharisee all over again. He was not staying home and working hard because he loved his father. He wanted to make a name for himself by showing the community what a good man he was. He was not a sinful wastrel like this other son of his father was. No indeed! And he would be the first one to tell you so. He was not a wastrel like his brother, but actually he was something worse. A man wrote an article on snobbishness in Life magazine a few years ago. And he said the worst kind of snob was what he called an "I'm-not-a-snob snob". The worst kind of snob is one who insists he is not a snob. Certainly also the worst kind of sinner is the one who stoutly maintains he is not a sinner. The temptation to such a sin is probably the greatest that any Christian, any church member has. Just by virtue of professing to be a Christian, we tend to consider ourselves to be better than other people. We are the preferred sons of the Father who do His bidding and so deserve much more from Him than those wastrel, prodigal brothers of ours outside the church. It is so easy for us who are in the church to be the worst type of self-righteous individuals. We're good. We obey the Ten Commandments. We attend church. We do as our Father bids us. We're the deserving sons. But we become so calloused in our self-righteous, legalistic code of religious living that we forget one thing. We forget to love our Father. The younger brother forgets to love his father because he is having such a good time being disobedient. The elder son forgets to love his father because he is so proud of his obedience. Both sons then become prodigals, having alienated themselves from their father by forgetting to love him. And no one can receive love unless he also gives it.

     Our Father God finds Himself with both these kinds of sons, probably more elder sons than the younger variety. But God comes to meet both, whether they are consciously trying to come to Him or not. The younger son in the far country met with calamity. In his riotous living, he spent all he had. His new found friends he had substituted for his father's love deserted him. He had nowhere to go, nothing to eat. Finally he becomes a servant for a swineherd, and tending hogs was the lowest thing a Jew could do. A man had really sunk down to the lowest depths of shame when this was the only thing he could find to do. And to make matters worse, he found that the pigs were better off than he was. They at least were getting enough to eat. But then he comes to himself and again remembers the father he has so lightly forgotten and he realizes that his shame and lowliness is the result of his own doing. And he begins to feel repentant for the life he has led. It is calamity that has driven him to this repentance. But that is not for us to scorn at. It is almost always only in calamity that we do repent of our sins. When things go well for us, we do not give much thought or time to any idea of repentance. But having met with calamity, he is now ashamed. He knows his sin. He has sinned against heaven and before his father. And he remembers his father who has seen him through so many things in his younger years. And he decides to go back. He considers himself unworthy to any longer be called a son, but he is going to ask his father to receive him as a servant, as one of the slaves of the household. He was now a man who had truly repented and he started now on his homeward journey. But in his absence his father had been looking for him every day. Every day he looked down the road to see if he could see his son coming in the far distance. Then one day he sees his returning son off in the far distance, and he rushes out to meet him and embrace him. This is the Christian God, a God who comes down to meet His son and to take him. The son does not have to work his way into God's favor. God accepts him as he is, asking only that he return again to his place as his father's son. And the father is glad, very glad, to have his son back again. Here was a son whose soul was dead, who had glibly tossed his father's love aside and turned to his own independent way. But now he had found himself and was alive again. And the father was very happy and he rushed out to meet his son.
But this younger son, this repentant sinner, was on his way back to his father. He had chosen to come back willingly. He had realized his sin, confessed it, and was ready to make up for what he had done. But what about those who do not recognize they have sinned and are not on their way back to their father because they do not even realize they have left home? What about those prideful, self-righteous sons who consider themselves not in need of repentance? Does God confront them too? In the parable Christ says yes, God does confront the unrepentant sinner, the elder brother who considers himself the preferred son who deserves the father's favors as a matter of course. God does confront the elder brother.

     A calamity also fell on the elder brother. He had served his father all his life, not out of love for his father, but as a duty. He had served his father in the hope of material reward and popular respect and notice for his loyalty. He wanted everyone to contrast him with his wastrel brother that all might see how much better and much more righteous he, the elder brother was. But he found that the universe does not always honor such a coldly respectable code. He could never have believed that a wastrel would be welcomed as an honored guest. This younger brother he had despised and looked down upon all this time was actually accepted and even welcomed in his father's house. A fatted calf had been slaughtered for a banquet in his honor. What had he ever done to deserve this? He, the elder brother, had been the one who had stayed home and served his father. Why should the younger brother get anything? He cared nothing about his younger brother or his father's love for his brother. He didn't care how repentant his younger brother might be. He still didn't deserve anything. All the elder brother cared about was himself and what he was going to get. The younger brother be damned! He didn't deserve anything! So instead of sharing his father's happiness over his brother's return, he is filled with self-righteous self-pity. And he refuses to go in and join the merrymaking.

     But the father comes out to meet this brother also. And the elder brother upbraids him. "Lo these many years I have served you." Notice he uses the word, serve, not love. "And neither have I transgressed." No, he had never disobeyed his father. He had always obeyed his father's law to the letter. He had obeyed the Ten Commandments. He had never killed anyone. He had never stolen anything. He had never committed adultery as his younger brother had. But he had never loved either. And Christ has said that love is the essence of the greatest commandment. He was far too proud of his own virtues and righteousness to be capable of loving. Transgression of the law was transgression of the law, repentance or no repentance. And to the elder brother's mind, transgressors deserved nothing. How often this portrait of the elder brother resemble us members of the church. We can be so unforgiving of the unwed mother or the man who goes on a weekend binge, so calloused are we in our self-righteousness.

     But the father comes out to see the elder brother and he says to him, "All that I have is yours. You are always with me." The elder brother will still get what's coming to him. He isn't losing anything. The fatted calf is his as well as his younger brother's, if only he will come in and partake of it. God gives to all His sons, all that He has, all His out-flowing love. The sons need only to accept it. But the self-righteous find it hard to accept when those whom they consider less righteous also partake of God's love. And that is because their self-righteousness blinds them and makes them calloused and unable to love, and without love, God's gifts cannot truly be received.
But God confronts the elder son. He comes out to meet him just as he came out to meet the younger son. God always confronts us with His out-flowing love. But the younger son was a repentant sinner and could appreciate the love his father bestowed upon him. The elder son found himself in need of no such repentance. He was doing his duty and felt no more could be expected of him. He considered himself a good man having no need for His father's forgiveness so he could not experience His father's love as his younger brother had done. He believed that all he had was only what he deserved, and actually he felt he was not getting all of what he deserved.

     His father came out assuring him that all that had been given his younger brother was also his. But the elder brother would have to break out of his shell of self-righteousness to respond to his father's love and enter his father's house. This would be very difficult for the elder brother to do. It was much easier for the younger brother to respond. He had no self-righteousness to overcome. His sin had been brought all too clearly before his eyes. He returned home to his father. Perhaps the elder prodigal never returned. We don't know. The parable doesn't say. The parable ends with the elder son still standing outside his father's house.
A wandering young man once wrote home to his family, "Dear parents, I am coming home. I have come through things that I shall never tell to anyone but you. O home, home, home." The younger son could have written a letter like this. But could the elder son? The father has come out to meet the elder son, but he will not force him to come into the house. The father's love has gone out to him. It is up to the elder son himself to respond.
All of us are the sons of our Father God. Some of us are the younger son, who has wandered off into the pathways of worldly sin, seeking pleasure, fame, fortune without thought of our Father. More of us are the elder son, self-righteously pointing an accusing finger at the sins of others instead of sharing our Father's compassion for them. But most of us are a combination. We commit our worldly sins and still look down on others who do the same thing. God comes down to meet us all, no matter which of the sons we are. We have only to respond to God's outflowing love by returning that love. But that response is up to us. Our Father will not force us. It must come from our heart, and our heart can be opened only from the inside. Our Father has come out to meet us and to take us. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God grant that we might be willing to accept such love.

( in 1955.)19 He was ordained on 27 June 1955 Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA.5
John Altenbernd
Ordination Day
Eudora, Kansas

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.)20
ME by John Altenbernd

In My Grandfather's Stead

     It was a great honor - just a bare few months after my Ordination - to be invited to represent my late Grandfather Stoerker at the 75th Anniversary of St. Peter's Church in New Haven, Missouri. My grandfather had been pastor there from 1905 through 1915. Part of my mother's girlhood had been spent there, and she still had friends there, such as Lomé Frei.
It was to be an all-day celebration with services and events in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I was to participate in the evening service - preaching.
As many former pastors as could make it were invited to come - or some ordained descendent if the former pastor were dead. Rev. August Bergey was pastor at St. Peter's at the time. He was still relatively new there then, but he would remain as pastor of St. Peter's until his retirement around 1975.
I no longer remember what I said that night, nor even the general theme of the sermon. But I was pleased - and somewhat awed - to be standing behind a pulpit in the place of my grandfather whom I had never known.

     In April 1956.3
     The following item appeared Washington Missourian, Washington, Franklin County, Missouri, USA, on 4 December 1958

Mr. and Mrs. David Krueger, Hermann, the Rev. and Mrs. John Alteenberend and Shiela Sue, St. Louis, adn Mr. and Mrs. William Herrell and son, New Haven, spent Thanksgiving Day with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Herrell.22

ME by John Altenbernd


     A zebra is what television's George Jefferson calls the child of a mixed marriage.
     The Rev. Myron Ross, a friend from seminary days, had served a brief pastorate at a black church in St. Louis after ordination, and then had gone to Japan as a missionary. While there, Myron met and married a fellow missionary, a white woman from Wisconsin.
     I had heard that the Ross's were due back in St. Louis on furlough, staying at the missionary apartments on the Eden seminary campus. One day, while driving, I saw Myron walking down the sidewalk. I pulled to the curb as soon as I could and got out and talked to him. He was a father, he said. He and his wife had a little girl a few months old.
     We got together on a date, and Myron and his wife came over to our house one evening. This was the first time Sue had met Myron, and the first time either of us had met Mrs. Ross. They had the baby girl with them. That was the only time we got together while Myron was on leave.
     Some time thereafter my cousin Fred Stoerker was in town with his mother, my Aunt Hilda. They stopped by to see me.
     I mentioned that I had seen the Ross's. Aunt Hilda knew Myron, having met him when he participated in my ordination service in 1954. She had heard about his marriage to a white woman, and of the baby. Aunt Hilda had mixed and uncertain feelings about that sort of thing.
     Aunt Hilda asked me if they had the baby with them. I said they did.
     "Is the baby dark?" Aunt Hilda asked.
     "I guess that depends upon which side you start from," I told her.
     Fred burst out laughing. "That's great, John," he said, "just great!" Aunt Hilda seemed a bit flustered.
     It was several years before I saw the Ross's again. By then the girl was five or six years old. She had blue-gray eyes and a kind of olive-colored skin. She was beautiful.


     Photo of John Altenbernd and Dave McGowan in March 1964 Concord Village, St Louis County, Missouri, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)5

John Altenbernd and Dave McGowan
March 1964
Concord Village, Missouri

     While living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, John spoke before the State House and Senate in favor of reformed liquor laws that would reduce the power of the distillers. The law didn't pass that year, but it did the next.5

     On Palm Sunday, John participated in the March for Martin Luther King in St. Louis. He couldn't get anyone else to join him so he went alone.5

     The following item appeared Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Madison County, Illinois, USA, on 8 November 1969
Godfrey Congregational Pastor to be Installed

     John S. Altenbernd will be installed as pastor of Community Congregational Church of Godfrey, in a special service on Sunday at 2 p.m.

     The pastor's uncle, the Rev. Theophil Stoerker, of St. Charles, Mo., has graciously consented to deliver the sermon.

     Officiating in the actual installation will be the Rev. Robert Tormohlen, conference minister of the Illinois South Conference, the Rev. Judson Souers, pasor of the First United Methodist Church, in Godfry, and the Rev. Walter Krebs, pastor of teh Evangelical United Church of Christ in Godfrey.

     There will be a reception in the Fellowship Hall, following the installation service.24

ME by John Altenbernd

Mom Comes with Us

     Things were going badly again for my mother. She had had a few good years following her mastectomy. In fact, we all thought she had come through it all with the cancer eliminated.
     Dr. Pennington, the Herrells' doctor, had checked Mom out while we lived in Collinsville, and we found out differently - or at least I did. I'm not sure what my mother knew at that point. When it came to the matter of cancer we soon learned that Mom just stopped listening. Still later, I learned that Dr. Nelson in Lawrence knew immediately following Mom's surgery that there would be a recurrence. He just didn't tell us, knowing there was nothing further to be done anyway - except for the post-operative therapy. Personally, I'm glad Dr. Nelson kept his silence. That gave Mom and me both an extra two or three years with nothing foreboding hanging over us.
     But now over the Winter of 1970-71 it was becoming increasingly difficult for Mom to live alone. The Larry Rices, a young couple, rented rooms from my mother and generally looked out for her, doing her shopping and such. They liked my mother, and she liked them.
     But Mom could barely get around anymore, using a cane, and later a walker, with considerable difficulty. There were also frequent stays in the hospital.
     Mom did not like the idea of leaving all her friends around Lawrence and Eudora, and she had no great desire to live with us. But there came a time when there no longer seemed to be any choice.
     Mom still believed - or at least kept on trying to believe - that her condition would improve, and she could live by herself again. So she kept her house in Lawrence. The Rices kept on living there even after Mom left.
     I drove to Lawrence and got my mother to bring her to Godfrey. Aunt Julie Stoerker had come to Lawrence to see my mother, and she would make the trip to Godfrey with us.
     It was a long and uncomfortable trip for my mother. She and Aunt Julie rode in the back seat. This was early April of 1971. I remember listening to the St. Louis Cardinals' opening game of the baseball season on the car radio.
     Mom was very stiff in the legs when we got to Godfrey. And with our split-level house there were steps to go up, which we negotiated with great difficulty.
     We put Mom in the bedroom on the southwest corner of the house. Mom would spend most of her time in there as she became less and less able to walk, even with the aid of a walker.
     Aunt Julie stayed a few days and then went home to St. James, Missouri.
     I talked to Al Springman about installing some sort of a buzzer system in Mom's bedroom so that we could hear her even if we were downstairs.
     I got the name of a doctor from the Frank Parkers who was willing to take on my mother as a patient. We got Mom to his office once with considerable difficulty and the use of a wheel chair. I forget his name. Mom didn't like him, and we never went back to him.
     I can't recall anymore just how long Mom lived with us at that point. It wasn't very long. Mom's worsening condition would soon dictate another trip to the hospital. And Mom would want Lawrence and Dr. Nelson for that.

( circa 1971.)25
     Floyd thought the world of his son-in-law, John.26
     John Stoerker Altenbernd performed the funeral service of Floyd Bible Herrell. John said it was the hardest funeral he ever did..5
     John worked at St Matthew Church, St Louis, Independent City, Missouri, USA, between 1979 and 1989.5
     John Stoerker Altenbernd was employed as a minister circa 1980 at Ashmore Presbyterian Church, Ashmore, Coles County, Illinois, USA.5
Ashmore Presbyterian Church, Ashmore, Illinois

     John Stoerker Altenbernd was diagnosed with Emphysema.
ME by John Altenbernd

ME by John Altenbernd
My Grandfather and Communion

According to my mother, my grandfather Stoerker went to considerable lengths in preparing the elements for Communion services.

The modern Communion wafer was not in use then -- at least not with German Evangelical congregations. Bread was used. And bread was generally home-made, not store-bought.

That bread would be hand sliced by my Grandfather and then cut into bite-sized, cross-shaped pieces. Each Communicant thus was served a tiny cross made out of bread.

It must have been a tedious task to do that. My Grandfather must have regarded it as a labor of love.
( in .)27
ME by John Altenbernd

     Photo of John Altenbernd(#102) in 1990. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd(#172.)5

John Altenbernd (#102)

ME by John Altenbernd

ME by John Altenbernd

Word came to my mother that Uncle Paul Stoerker's only daughter Wilhelmina (or Billie) had gotten married in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she lived. It would seem logical that that news would have come to us from Billie's brother Ted, but since it proved to be misinformation it must have come from elsewhere. Anyway, my mother was told that the groom was a man named Webb Miller. (I recall that my thought, upon hearing that, was that I would call him Cobweb Miller.)

Aunt Julie arrived at our farm for a visit almost immediately after that. She had heard of Billie's marriage too, only she had heard that the groom was Wilbert Greb. Aunt Julie was horrified. She had just sent a congratulations card to Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert Greb, she said. It would be terrible if that was wrong!

Aunt Julie turned out to be right. I don't know what brought on the confusion. There was actually a Webb Miller. Billie had dated both young men, but Wilbert Greb (called Wib) was the one she had married.

I was a little disappointed. I wouldn't be able to use my Cobweb Miller line.
Me By John Altenbernd

     The following item appeared St. Louis Post Dispatch, St Louis, Independent City, Missouri, USA, on 12 November 1991
Letters from the People
Limits Looming

I've come to the conclusion that limiting the careers of legislators to 12 years in order to bring forth the citizen legislator might be a good idea. It's what the country needs. It obviously would solve the problem of political corruption.

It's such a good idea, in fact, that it ought to be expanded to other fields of endeavor. I'll bet we could lick the crime problem in no time at all if we limited police service to 12 years. Citizen lawmen were the rule in the Old West, weren't they? Weren't all those posses composed of citizens who normally had other things to do? They didn't have the time or the inclination to fret over the niceties of the Bill of Rights. They just chased the rustlers, hanged them and got back to being ordinary citizens.

Medical costs are skyrocketing, so let's limit doctors to 12 years of service. Then they won't have time to set themselves up with those expensive specialties.

Limit teachers to 12 years of teaching, and we can perhaps reverse the old putdown that teachers have had to endure for generations. The old saying might become: "If you can't teach, do."

Defrock all clergy after 12 years and maybe there wouldn't be time for them to develop theology that gets in the way of people's fun, ambition, moneymaking and wars.

We wouldn't want to extend the practice to auto mechanics, however. Nobody wants part-timers or amateurs working on his or her car.

Rev. John S. Altenbernd Sappington.29

He was described as 6 feet, 3 inches, black hair, blue eyes ( at age 63.)
ME by John Altenbernd

ME by John Altenbernd
My Grandfather's Ordination

The following is taken from an address made by my cousin, C. Fred Stoerker, to a group in Claremont, California, on May 24, 1992, on the subject of our side of the merger that created the United Church of Christ.


"On October 5, 1840, six (German) immigrant pastors meeting at Gravois Settlement -- St. Louis area -- formed the Kirchenverein des Westens (the Church Union of the West). It accepted the Augsburg (Lutheran) Confession and the Heidelberg (Reformed) Catechism. It recognized diversity at its very beginning!

"Within ten years it had established a theological seminary at Marthasville, Missouri (now Eden Theological Seminary of St. Louis). There is still the "preaching rock" at Marthasville where seminarians were taken for practice preaching, the test being to be heard on the other side of the valley! ....

"And in 1866 this group had grown and renamed itself the "Deutsche Evangelische Synode von Nord America" (The German Evangelical Synod Of North America).

"It was in this same year on March 25, 1866, that my grandfather (Conrad Frederick Stoerker), for whom I was named, was confirmed.

"And on July 5, 1874, my grandfather was one of a class of seventeen seminarians who were ordained as a group. They went from the seminary to the Missouri River, which they crossed by boat, and the entire class was ordained in St. Peter's Church in Washington, Missouri. .... While the building has changed considerably, its location in 1992 is the same as at the time of Grandfather's ordination."


July 5, 1874 was on a Sunday. It was just eight days short of eighty years later that I (John Altenbernd (#102)) was ordained after graduating from Eden Seminary.


Uncle Theophil Stoerker in his book about his parents refers to the rock at Marthasville as "pulpit rock".
( in Claremont, California, USA, on 24 May 1992.)30
Me by John Altenbernd

     John died on 1 November 1992 at home, St Louis, St Louis County, Missouri, USA, at age 63.5 His funeral was on 3 November 1992 at St Matthew Church, St Louis, Independent City, Missouri, USA.5 He was buried on 3 November 1992 in the St Matthew Cemetery at 4360 Bates Street, located in St Louis, Independent City, Missouri, USA.5
     The following item appeared St Louis Post Dispatch, St Louis, Independent City, Missouri, USA, on 5 November 1992
The Rev. J.S. Altenbernd; Retired Minister

The Rev. John Stoerker Altenbernd, a retired minister, died Sunday (Nov. 1, 1992) at his home after a long bout with emphysema. He was 63.

The Rev. Mr. Altenbernd, of Concord Village, was pastor for 10 years at St. Matthew United Church of Christ in St. Louis before he retired in 1989. The next year, he was named pastor emeritus of the church.

He previously served as pastor and as an interim pastor at churches in central Missouri, Illinois and New Mexico. He was the founding pastor in 1958 of St. Philip's United Church of Christ in Concord Village. He served there for about six years.

The Rev. Mr. Altenbernd was born in Eudora, Kan. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Kansas in Lawrence and a degree in theology from Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves.

A funeral service was held Tuesday at St. Matthew United Church of Christ. Burial was in St. Matthew Cemetery in St. Louis.

Among the survivors are his wife, Sue Altenbernd; three daughters, Sheila Buchanan of St. Louis, Debbie Bloxom of Ashmore, IL, and Lyn Midden of St. Ann; and five grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to to the Pulmonary Research Fund at St. Louis University Hospital or to St. Matthew United Church of Christ.31

     John Stoerker Altenbernd was mentioned in a lettter sent by Adolph Stoerker and Flora Altenbernd residing at 4715 Main Avenue, Norwood, Ohio, USA, on 10 May 2929.

May 1O, 1929

Dear Flora:-

     That was mighty fine news to hear that you were the proud mother of a fine boy. I know that you have always been attached to children and I rejoice with you because I know that your heart is glad to now have one of your own. I sort a like the name you choose - John Stoerker. You have our congratulations and good wishes --- that he may grow strong and bring into your home much joy and happiness which you could never experience without him. May God bless you and him and make him a real man among men.

     Now I would not for the world write you without saying a word for --- Bill. ---I believe that you deserve most of the credit but from now on his Daddy is going to have something to say. No doubt he is already making plans to raise a son sound in mind and body that would be a joy and credit to any father. I know that Bill will play more than a little part in making a man of him. ---     So congratulations to you - Bill! You have reasons to be proud with a Million Dollar Baby - I felt the same way some few years ago.

     To both of you - May your boy fulfill your fondest dreams and become a leader of men - living a life of usefulness and service to his fellows. May God add all the necessary blessings.
With kindest wishes and love

Last Edited=7 June 2022


  1. [S7] SSDI, unknown file number, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), unknown series (n.p.: Ancestry) . Hereinafter cited as SSDI.
  2. [S78] William Herrell (#128), "Bill Herrell's Genealogy Records (copy)" (New Haven, Missouri). Supplied by Mike Herrell - 1991 . Hereinafter cited as "Bill Herrell Records."
  3. [S1587] John Altenbernd (#102), social security application 66295516151, April 1956, (Document Source Number: 00102-1956-04-00-01).
  4. [S25] John Stoerker Altenbernd unknown date.
  5. [S157] Sheila Sue Altenbernd unknown date.
  6. [S1134] Reaka Hoelzel (#51) Flora Altenbernd (#63). July 1, 1931 Sheila Altenbernd, 12230 W Washington Street, Avondale, Arizona. (2010).
  7. [S1421] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Trip to Colorado" in ME; Page(s) 61-63; Published:.
  8. [S1356] John Stoerker Altenbernd,""Jonh's Lion"" in ME; Page(s) 83.2; Published:.
  9. [S1360] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Unique Road Map" in ME; Page(s) 106.2; Published:.
  10. [S1640] Adolph Stoerker (#65) Flora Altenbernd (#63). February 10, 1935 Gary, Indiana. (1935). (Document Source Number: 00065-1935-02-10-01).
  11. [S1361] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Typewriter Fever" in ME; Page(s) 124.5; Published:.
  12. [S1357] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"What Will They Think Of Next?" in ME; Page(s) 118.3; Published:.
  13. [S779] John Altenbernd (#102), Me.
  14. [S508] William Altenbernd (#55) 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, family 185, National Archives micropublication . Viewed at . Hereinafter cited as 1940 Census.
  15. [S1638] Adolph Stoerker (#65) Flora Altenbernd (#63). November 23, 1948 301 Fifth Street, Aurora, Illinois. (1948). (Document Source Number: 00065-1948-11-23-01).
  16. [S1565] University of Kansas, Jayhawker Yearbook (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas, 1951).
    Source Citation

    "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: University of Kansas; Year: 1951
    Source Information U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

    Original data: Various school yearbooks from across the United States.

    This database is a collection of middle school, junior high, high school, and college yearbooks from across the United States. While yearbooks may not provide information about the vital events that are usually associated with genealogical research, they do provide other information about individuals' lives. This information helps place people in historical context as well as provides detail that helps turn individuals, sometimes only known by names and dates, into actual people.
  17. [S1564] Unknown household, March 1, 1953 State Census, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, unknown record info, unknown repository unknown repository address. (Document Source Number: 00063-1953-03-01-01).
  18. [S1358] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Installation" in ME; Page(s) 629; Published:.
  19. [S1409] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Preaching for Uncle Fred" in ME; Page(s) 608-608.4; Published:.
  20. [S1410] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Ordination Day" in ME; Page(s) 609-611; Published:.
  21. [S1419] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"In My Father's Stead" in ME; Page(s) 635?; Published:.
  22. [S1336] Page 13, Column 3, Washington Missourian, Washington, Missouri (December 4, 1958), (Document Source Number: 00070-1958-12-04-01).
  23. [S1362] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Zebra" in ME; Page(s) 807; Published: (Document Source Number: 00114-c1960-00-00-01).
  24. [S1402] John S Altenbernd (#102) Godfrey Congregational Pastor to Be Installed, Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois, November 8, 1969, page 7, on July 2, 2017 (Document Source Number: 00102-1969-11-08-01) . Hereinafter cited as Alton Evening Telegraph.
  25. [S1427] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Mom Comes with Us" in ME; Page(s) 1039-1040; Published:.
  26. [S724] Personal knowledge of Thelma Wood (#602) (St Louis, Missouri, USA) , on July 10, 1995.
  27. [S1332] John Altenbernd, ME (n.p.:, unknown publish date) (Document Source Number: 00102-1990c-00-00-21.2). Hereinafter cited as ME.
  28. [S1333] John Altenbernd, ME (n.p.:, unknown publish date) (Document Source Number: 00102-1990c-00-00-163.4). Hereinafter cited as ME.
  29. [S1601] John Altenbernd (#102) Letters to the Editor, St Louis Post Dispatch, St Louis, Missouri, November 12, 1991 (Document Source Number: 00102-1991-11-12-01) . Hereinafter cited as Post Dispatch.
  30. [S1331] John Altenbernd, ME (n.p.:, unknown publish date) (Document Source Number: 00102-1990c-00-00-21.11). Hereinafter cited as ME.
  31. [S1506] John Altenbernd (#102) The Rev JS Altenbernd: Retired Minister, St Louis Post Dispatch, St Louis, Missouri, November 5, 1992, page 30 on November 5, 1992 (Document Source Number: 00102-1992-11-05-01) . Hereinafter cited as St Louis Post Dispatch.
  32. [S1639] Adolph Stoerker (#65) Flora Altenbernd (#63). May 10, 1929 Norwood, Ohio. (1929). (Document Source Number: 00065-1929-05-10-01).

Compiler: Sheila Altenbernd
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