The Rev. John R. Houck Sr., 76, Lutheran church...

July 04, 1999

The Rev. John R. Houck Sr., 76, Lutheran church official

The Rev. John R. Houck Sr., retired pastor of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Perry Hall and former Lutheran Church official, died Monday of multiple myeloma at Westfield Memorial Hospital in New York. He was 76 and lived at Oak Crest Village retirement community.

Mr. Houck, who served as pastor of St. Michael from 1950 to 1960, and was visitation pastor there from 1987 until 1992, was vacationing in Chautauqua, N.Y., at the time of his death.

From 1960 to 1961, Mr. Houck was regional director of American missions for the former Evangelical Lutheran Church. He served in the same capacity for the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in America in Washington, D.C., from 1961 to 1967.

He was assistant executive secretary for the American Missions, Division of Mission Services, Lutheran Council U.S.A., in New York City from 1967 to 1970.

In 1970, he moved to Minneapolis, where he was promoted to executive director of the Board of American Missions in the ALC, and in 1973 was named executive director of the ALC Division for Service and Mission in America.

In 1979, he returned to New York City when he became general secretary of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., a cooperative agency that served several Lutheran Church bodies in coordinating mission outreach.

"Pastor Houck served with distinction during times of great change within the life of the ALC and subsequently in the concluding years of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A.," said the Rev. Lowell G. Almen, secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and former editor of the Lutheran Standard, the magazine of the ALC.

"Under his leadership, deeper understanding emerged for the broad dimensions of mission outreach -- both through new and existing congregations' ministries as well as through social ministry agencies," he said.

He retired in the early 1990s.

Mr. Houck, a former Guilford resident who moved to the Parkville retirement community two years ago, was born and raised in South Baltimore and graduated from Southern High School.

He earned his bachelor's degree in 1947 from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and his divinity degree from the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary, also in Columbus, in 1950. He was ordained in 1950 at St. James Lutheran Church in Baltimore.

He enjoyed playing bridge and fishing and met weekly with alumni from his Southern High School class.

Services were held yesterday at St. Michael Lutheran Church.

He is survived by the former Minerva Wiessinger, whom he married in 1947; four sons, John R. Houck Jr. of Oklahoma City, Okla., James M. Houck of Sterling, Va., David W. Houck of Malpitas, Calif., and Paul H. Houck of Farmington, Minn.; two sisters, Anna Thompson of Walkersville and Lorraine Kaiss of Pasadena; and six grandchildren.

Yvonne K. Kormann, 69, school administrator

Yvonne Katherine Kormann, a retired Baltimore County school administrator, died Monday of cancer at the St. Agnes Rehabilitation Center in Ellicott City. She was 69 and lived in Ellicott City.

She retired in 1987 from the Baltimore County school system, after teaching third and fourth grade at Arbutus Elementary and Hillcrest Elementary schools. She then became assistant principal at Edmondson Heights and Featherbed Lane elementary schools.

In retirement, she taught for the Calvert School's correspondence department and helped students earn high school equivalency degrees.

Born in Southwest Baltimore, she was a graduate of Western High School and the University of Maryland, College Park.

A memorial service was held Friday at Sterling-Ashton-Schwab Funeral Home in Catonsville.

She is survived by a sister, Thelma Langeluttig of Catonsville, and a friend, Yvette Velie of Ellicott City.

Dorothy E. Schmidt, 84, Highlandtown schoolteacher

Dorothy E. Schmidt, a retired Highlandtown schoolteacher, died of heart failure Tuesday at Union Memorial Hospital. She was 84 and lived in Roland Park.

She taught the fifth grade at city public school No. 215 in Highlandtown for 39 years.

Born in Baltimore, she was a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University.

She was a longtime member of Christ Lutheran Church and was a Meals on Wheels volunteer.

Funeral services were held Friday at the Witzke Funeral Home of Catonsville.

She has no immediate survivors.

Pub Date: 7/04/99

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