Charles D. Ager – Strawberry Point

Charles Daniel Ager, 81, died peacefully Sunday, August 11, at his home near Strawberry Point, Iowa. Memorial services will be held 11:00 am, Saturday, August 31 at Emanuel Lutheran Church, Strawberry Point. Visitation will be in Emanuel Parish Hall Friday, August 30, 4:00-7:00 pm and for one hour preceding the Saturday service, 10:00 am.

Chuck was born September 25, 1937, the fourth of eight children of Charles M. Ager and Elizabeth (Coy) Ager. He was baptized October 15, 1937, at home on the family farm near Rickardsville, Iowa by his uncle Pr. Herman A. Diers, and confirmed on Palm Sunday, 1952 at First Lutheran Church in Manchester, Iowa by Pr. W. A. Adix.

Chuck attended “Flanagan” country school, a one-room school house in Rickardsville, and then Manchester public schools, graduating from Manchester High School in 1955. He began farming with his father that year, and continued while attending Iowa State University in Ames and then Wartburg College in Waverly, from which he graduated in 1965 with a degree in Biology. He graduated from Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque in 1969, and was ordained later that year at St. John’s in Dundee by Dr. Bruno Schlachtenhaufen, President of the Iowa District of the American Lutheran Church.

From 1969 to 1994, Chuck served as pastor of the following Lutheran parishes in Iowa: Trinity (New Hampton) and St. John’s (Boyd), St. John (Dundee) and St. Peter (Lamont), and First Lutheran (McGregor)—while simultaneously acting as Clayton County Lutheran Area Minister.

On August 19, 1961, Chuck married Jean Beaver of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Two children, Teri and Tim, were born to this union. In 1978, the family moved to Central Texas, where Chuck worked as a carpenter while serving as pastor at St. Paul at Cave Creek in rural Fredericksburg. He went on to serve at Martin Luther in Giddings and Bethlehem in Quihi. Jean Ager passed away on June 28, 1992.

On December 26, 1993, Chuck married Beverly Ohnstad of Winona, Minnesota. Her children are Arik and Kjerstin Ohnstad. The couple moved back to Iowa in 1995, where Chuck served as pastor of St. Paul’s in Wellsburg until retiring in September, 1999. (He later served as Interim Pastor at St. Paul in Maynard.) Chuck and Bev moved to Strawberry Point, Iowa, where they joined Emanuel Lutheran, and built a home on rural land that Chuck had owned. For the last twenty years, Chuck enjoyed spending time in the woods, and working to supply their outdoor wood furnace.

Chuck is survived by his wife, Beverly Ager of Strawberry Point, IA; his children, Teri Ager of Oakland, CA and Tim (Lydia Neuman) Ager of Austin, TX; Arik (Jenni) Ohnstad of Nashville, TN; Kjerstin (Mandy Stokes) Ohnstad of Red Wing, MN; grandchildren, Elijah Ager Luckett, and Laurel and Siena Ohnstad; siblings, Pr. Ted Ager, Dorthy Lucas, Janet Westendorf, Anne (Derril) Boerschel, Alma Long, Beatrice (Rick) Koontz; sisters-in-law Krista (Dennis) Meyer, Coral Joan Mahler, Mary Beaver, and many nieces and nephews.

Chuck was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean Ager; his parents, Charles and Elizabeth Ager; a brother, David Ager; brothers-in-law, Carl Lucas, Stan Westendorf, Jerry Long, Pr. Keith Beaver, and Myron “Whitey” Mahler; and a sister-in-law, May Ager.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be directed to one of these Strawberry Point organizations: Emanuel Lutheran, Ewalu Bible Camp, or Seeds For Hope—a local ecumenical growing project of Growing Hope Globally, which works with small farmers in developing countries.