Pastor George Hoyer Dies

The Rev. George Hoyer, PLTS professor emeritus, died on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at the age of 91 in Holden, Massachusetts.

Pastor Hoyer was born on October 23, 1919 in Denver, Colorado, to the Rev. Dr. Theodore and Pauline (Aufdemberge) Hoyer. He graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1943 and was ordained on September 5 of that year. He also studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York and Washington University in St. Louis.

He served as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and Calvary Lutheran Church, Silver Spring, Maryland, before becoming a Professor of Preaching at Concordia Seminary, where he later became the Dean of the Chapel. Following that, he was Professor of Preaching and Dean of the Chapel at Christ Seminary-Seminex in St. Louis. Pastor Hoyer joined the faculty at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1983 as one of four Seminex professors deployed to PLTS. He served there as Professor of Preaching until he retired in 1989.

In recent years, Pastor Hoyer lived with PLTS alumna the Rev. Susan Nachtigal, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Worchester, Massachusetts, and her husband, James.

Rev. Hoyer was an author and editor in the fields of worship and preaching. His books included What Happened Next? and Child of God -- The Lord be With You.

Pastor Hoyer was recently the recipient of the Christus Rex Award from the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University for a lifetime of significant contributions in those fields of study (more).

He is survived by his sons, the Rev. Peter Stang Hoyer of Bradley Beach, New Jersey, and his spouse, Margaret (Franks); the Rev. Christopher George Hoyer of Marlborough, Massachusetts, and his spouse, Doris (Swanborg); six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. His wife, Dorothy (Ressmeyer), and his daughter, Barbara Faye, predeceased him.

The funeral liturgy will be celebrated at 10 am on Thursday, May 5 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 73 Lancaster St, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Emeritus Professor of New Testament Dr. Everett Kalin, who taught with George at Concordia Seminary, at Seminex, and at PLTS says of George: “He was a warm and gracious friend, and the liturgies he led and the sermons he preached were gifts of grace. He was already in hospice care when my wife, Clara, reminded him a month or so ago that he had agreed to preach at her funeral. His reply: ‘You’d better hurry up!’”

Blessed be the memory of this servant of God!