Wilfred Arthur Nitz, 65, of Hillsboro and formerly of La Grande died May 16. A memorial service was held May 31 in Sherwood. Skyline Memorial Gardens in Portland was in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Nitz was born Oct. 28, 1940, to the Rev. and Mrs. Carl Nitz in Scheflin. He attended Grant High School and graduated from Concordia High School and attended Concordia Junior College. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Ill., and in June 1963, married Judy Berreth. The couple taught in Elgin and Snohomish, Wash., and he served as interim principal in 1967-68. He became a lay pastor in Republic, Wash., and worked at various jobs, including coordinator of Ferry County community services.
In 1976 he was certified as a lay minister in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. In 1980 he was ordained through the colloquy program of Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. On. Jan. 28, 1984, he became pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in La Grande where he remained for 19 years. He assisted in an outreach ministry to Joseph, Baker City and Pendleton, and served on the Ministerial Association and on the board of Youth For Christ. He was pastoral advisor for the Northwest Team of the Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ. The family cared for more than 20 foster children, and from 1995 to 2003 he and his wife owned Twin Firs Retirement Center. He retired in April 2003.
He enjoyed square dancing and cowboy action shooting, his dog and numerous family pets, and was known for his unusual vehicles, first a Checker taxi cab, then a motorcycle and an orange Saab sports car, more motorcycles and finally the old blue International pickup.
Survivors include children, Jody, Jonathan, Jennifer and Joyce; 11 grandchildren; three brothers, Carl, Ralph and Ronald; and a sister, Naomi. Another brother, Theodore, died earlier.
The Observer Online, Obituaries for the week ending June 10, 2006, Published June 8, 2006