March 31, 1932 – From the Lutheran Witness

This article was written by Rev. G. Birkmann in German for the Giddings Deutsches Volksblatt on 31 Mar 1932. It is here translated by Ray Martens, Birkmann’s grandson. The original notices announcing and informing about Rev. Pallmer’s death, those written by Proft and Kilian and those that appeared in Der Lutheraner can be viewed in the Wendish Research Exchange Forum, Texas Wends: Letter and Documents, 124.730, 124.800, and 124.850.

[An Obituary for Johann Pallmer]

[The article is titled “Aus dem ‘Lutheraner’”and begins by quoting a notice submitted by the pastors in Serbin and Fedor (Kilian and Proft) for publication in the October 15, 1873 issue of Der Lutheraner.]

            “In accord with God’s inscrutable plan, the Rev. Johann Pallmer, pastor of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Serbin left this mortal life at the age of forty-two. His wife died on July 4 of this year, and her death affected him so strongly that he became ill, but he soon recovered and apparently was well again. But on August 2, he suffered a relapse of his fever, and his illness grew so much worse that he could not be saved with medical help. Certainly we mourn our prematurely departed friend and, yet, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labor.”

                                                                        Johann Kilian, pastor

                                                                       Johann Proft, pastor

            We draw upon a private letter from Teacher Leubner about the departure of our dear brother as follows: “Before his end, he handed over his only little son, Gerhard, to my wife and me, a child that we have adopted. The night before his death, he prayed loudly several verses of the hymn, “O That I Had a Thousand Voices.” In spite of his high fever, he was fully conscious for the most part and very coherent at times in his last days. About an hour before his death, my wife chose to bring in little Gerhard so that he could see his father one more time. As he saw him, he cried out as loud as he could, ‘Papa, Papa!’ Then the pastor turned himself over and said, ‘How appropriate that my little boy is visiting me again.’ These were his last words, for after this he wanted to be lifted from his bed, and when this happened and he was sitting near the bed in a rocking chair prepared for him, the end came quickly.”

            “A council member and my wife held him; the latter called out to him [several lines illegible] still were called quickly [several lines illegible] up still several times and expired gently and quietly in the Lord, as I prayed the litany for the dying. We lost a faithful beloved pastor in him. He was loved and esteemed by all who knew him. Ever since he became sick, the men of the congregation took turns in coming to care for him, with the result that some were there to serve him always, day and night. Great was and is the grief and sorrow of the whole congregation.”

            The Rev. Johann Pallmer, a Wend, was the pastor at St. Peter in Serbin from 1870 to 1873. Before he came to America, he had worked in the large Rote Haus [Red House] (an educational institution) in Hamburg, Germany. From there he came to St. Louis, where he was educated in the practical seminary of the Missouri Synod. After his training, he received a pastorate in the St. Louis area. Because he knew Wendish, in the same year he received a call to St. Peter in Serbin, which as a result he accepted and became the first pastor of the congregation, which he served with full diligence and faithfulness for three years. In 1870 and 19871, he also served the congregation in Fedor.

            He was survived by his young son, Gerhard, whom Teacher Leubner and his wife adopted and whom they sent to Addison, Illinois, to prepare to be a teacher in the Missouri Synod. Gerhard Pallmer served the synod as a teacher for about thirty years. His last position was in St. Louis, where eight years ago [1924] he was called away into the rest for the people of God.

                                                                        Rev. G. Birkmann, emeritus