Edward Joseph Kushubar, 75, left legal profession to become minister

May 08, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

The Rev. Edward Joseph Kushubar, a former lawyer turned minister who pastored St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Highlandtown for more than two decades, died of cancer May 1 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Perry Hall resident was 75.

Mr. Kushubar was born and raised in Stamford, Conn., and earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Harvard University in 1950.

After graduating from Harvard, he was drafted into the Army and served with an artillery unit in Korea, where he attained the rank of lieutenant. After being discharged, he enrolled at the Boston University School of Law, where he earned his law degree in 1957.

Mr. Kushubar moved to New York City, where he practiced civil law for six years until being called to the ministry.

"When we were living in New York, he was particularly fond of our pastor's preaching, and I think that's when he felt the Lord called to him," said his wife of 47 years, the former Marian Carlson, a registered nurse who retired as vice president of nursing at Franklin Square Hospital Center.

After completing his theological training in 1966 at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., he was ordained by the American Lutheran Church at Commack, Long Island, N.Y.

He was pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church in New Dorp, N.Y., on Staten Island, from 1967 to 1972, when he was named the 10th pastor of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Highlandtown.

At the time Mr. Kushubar was named pastor of the church at Pratt and Clinton streets that was founded in 1900, he was facing a spirited church with an aging congregation.

"People were moving out of Highlandtown at that time, and our congregation was dwindling. It was a difficult time for us, and he really kept the church afloat," said Naomi Gieser of Essex, a former church secretary and longtime member.

"It was during his pastorate that the congregation began to grow. And it was through our prayer life, at his direction, that we became very concerned for each other," she said.

Mrs. Gieser described him as a "very quiet and studious man" whose sermons were thought-provoking and thoughtful.

"They were excellent, and they always had good content. They were something that you could make a part of your life. They were practical and understandable," she said.

Mr. Kushubar retired in 1994.

"Everyone liked him and were upset when he decided to retire, but they couldn't fight his decision," Mrs. Gieser said.

In retirement, Mr. Kushubar joined St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Hillendale, where he was an active volunteer and a prayer meeting leader.

"He was a very humble man who never wanted anyone to say anything about him. His love was the Lord, and that's how he spent his time," Mrs. Kushubar said.

He was an avid reader of religion-related books, family members said.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 1201 Taylor Ave.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Kushubar is survived by two sons, Steven E. Kushubar of Ashburn, Va., and Peter J. Kushubar of Baltimore; three daughters, Elaine Kushubar of San Diego, Mary Ann Kushubar of Perry Hall and Nancy K. Cappelletti of Abingdon; and eight grandchildren.

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