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Reverend James Frederick Haenftling, 80, a resident of North Wilkes-Barre, passed into the arms of his Lord and Savior Tuesday morning in the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital following a recent illness.
Born August 25, 1937 in Accident, Garrett County, Maryland, he was a son to the late Urban and Blanche Haenftling. Educated in the Lutheran schools, he was a graduate of Concordia High School, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana and earned his Master’s Degree in Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
Pastor's tenure in the ministry spanned some fifty-three years, being ordained in 1964 and brought him to several congregations in Canada, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan. While in Ohio, he served as Circuit Counselor. Following his formal retirement in 1999, Pastor remained quite active in his ministry, serving as a supply pastor throughout the Missouri Synod, "imparting his wisdom for those who would lend an ear".
Fraternally, he held membership in the Rotary Club while in Michigan, and the Toastmasters Club in West Virginia. In his spare time, Pastor wrote various articles. A true servant of God, and shepherd to his own congregations, he relished Sunday morning as his favorite day of the week.
He and his wife, the former Phyllis Jean Nerber celebrated fifty-five years of married life together last August 25th.
He was preceded in death by an infant son, Patrick Andrew.
Left to cherish his memory and give Glory to God for his life; in addition to his beloved wife Phyllis Jean at home are the couple's sons, Reverend Peter J. Haenftling and his wife Marie with whom they resided at Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church parsonage, North Wilkes-Barre; Paul A. and Timothy J. Haenftling, both of Redford, Michigan; Brother, Edward Haenftling and his wife Lou of Salisbury, Maryland; Sister, Margaret Markel III of Delta, PA; Grandchildren, including Shane Michael, Andrew Ryan, Ashley Jean and her husband Joshua, Elizabeth Nicole and Joshua Nickolas; Great-Grandchildren; Dane Eugene, Dominic Michael, Kaiden Ryan and Keirra Brittany; Several nieces, nephews, brother clergy, congregation members and dear friends.
Funeral services for Reverend Haenftling will be conducted on Saturday, March 3rd at 10:30 a.m. in Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, 663 North Main Street with his son the Reverend Peter J. Haenftfling, pastor and the Reverend Kristian Bjornstad serving as concelebrants.
Interment with rite of committal will follow in Saint Matthew lawn section of Fern Knoll Burial Park, Midland Avenue, Dallas.
Relatives and friends may join the Haenftling Family for visitation and shared remembrances Friday evening at the North Wilkes-Barre location of the John V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., 625 North Main Street from 6:00 until vigil prayer at 7:45 p.m. with Pastor Peter J. Haenftling officiating. Visitation will also take place Saturday morning directly at church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.
In lieu of floral tributes, Pastor's family would be humbled if those contemplating a monetary donation in his memory, kindly consider a contribution to Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, 663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18705.
Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church
663 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre PA 18705