Cover photo for Walter Rudolph Rehwaldt's Obituary
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1938 Walter 2018

Walter Rudolph Rehwaldt

June 17, 1938 — March 6, 2018

CARBONDALE - Walter Rudolph Rehwaldt, 79, died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

Walter was born in York, Nebraska, on June 17, 1938, to Henry and Helga (Meyer) Rehwaldt, the oldest son of their six children. At that time, his father, a Lutheran pastor, was serving a congregation in Hampton, Nebraska, and his mother was the organist. Walter spend his childhood in Hampton; Booneville, Missouri; and East St. Louis, Illinois, before the family moved to St. Louis in 1956.

He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1962 with a Bachelor in Education and taught for six years for the St. Louis Public School System. In 1967, he received his Master of Science in Education from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with President Delyte Morris presenting his degree at the school’s first commencement.

On June 30, 1962, Walter married Susan Eleanor Schneider at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in St. Louis. Their marriage was blessed with three children, Peter, Gretchen, and Eric.

After teaching in the elementary school system in St. Louis and working in the area of finance for the St. Louis Community College, the family relocated to Carbondale, Illinois, in 1968. Walter held a number of administrative and financial positions over the next 25 years at Southern Illinois University. He retired in 2000.

Music, especially choral singing, was always important to Walter. He sang in his mother’s church choirs, beginning at age eight. Walter joined SIU’s Choral Union in 1968 where he sang bass for the next 49 years.

Walter devoted much of his leisure time to the Lutheran church. He held a variety of elected positions at the Lutheran Church of All Saints and Epiphany Lutheran Church, including being designated “head chef” for pancake breakfasts. He was a proud member of the construction crew that built the sanctuary for All Saints. Walter also served on the council of the Central/Southern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, chairing its constitution committee for many years.

Walter is survived by Susan, his wife of 56 years, and their children and spouses: Peter (Linda Flebbe-Rehwaldt) of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Gretchen Pletan (Ray) of Whitesboro, Texas; and Eric (Heidi) of Tewksbury, Massachusetts. He leaves ten grandchildren – Joshua Rehwaldt, Zachary Pletan, Christa Pletan Barnet (Corban), Dustin Pletan, Cecelia Pletan, Julia Pletan, Gabriel Pletan, Ezekiel Pletan, Jeremiah Pletan, and Jacob Pletan – and three great-grandchildren, Bennett, Oliver, and Donovan Barnet. Grandchild number eleven is due to arrive in Tewksbury, MA, in July.

He is likewise survived by all five of his siblings: Hildegarde Rehwaldt Schmidt, Esther Rehwaldt Pfabe, Ruth Rehwaldt, Carl Rehwaldt, and Donald Rehwaldt.

Pastor Paul Waterman will preside at Walter’s funeral service at 2pm on Sunday, March 11, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1501 W. Chautauqua Street in Carbondale. Visitation will be at the church from 5-7pm on Saturday, March 10, and from 1-1:45pm on Sunday.

In keeping with Walter’s passions for his church, memorial contributions may be made to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, or Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) on whose Cornerstone Board Walter served for many years. Detailed information and envelopes will be available at Epiphany Lutheran Church.

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

First Day Public Visitation

Saturday, March 10, 2018

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Second Day Public Visitation

Sunday, March 11, 2018

1:00 - 1:45 pm (Eastern time)

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Concordia Cemetery

St. Louis, MO

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