The Rev. Dr. Stephen Christian Stohlmann was born on November 30, 1942 in Norfolk, NE to Pearl Stohlmann nee Holtz and Paul F. Stohlmann, a Lutheran school teacher. Stephen was baptized into the Christian faith on December 10, 1942 at Christ Lutheran Church in Norfolk, NE and confirmed in 1956 at St. Trinity Lutheran Church in Pontiac, MI. Stephen was the third of four sons born to Pearl and Paul. All four sons became LCMS ministers. Their father also was ordained in the ministry after completing 40-year career in Lutheran education.
Stephen was involved with Lutheran education his entire life. He attended St. Peter's Lutheran School, Richmond, MI (K-6th grade), St. Trinity Lutheran School, Pontiac, MI (7th-8th grade) and graduated 1960 from Lutheran High School West, Detroit, MI. He began college at Concordia College, St. Paul, and Concordia Sr. College, Fort Wayne, IN, earning the B.A. degree magna cum laude 1964. In 1966 he traveled with a University of WI student group to study Hebrew in Israel. He received the Masters of Divinity Degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO in 1968. His vicarage was at St. James Lutheran Church, Lafayette, IN and a summer vicarage in 1965 at Grace Lutheran, Oshawa, Ontario, CA.
Stephen spent the summer of 1968 doing mission canvassing for four mission congregations in New York and New Jersey. He received a grant to attend Brandeis University, Waltham, MA and earned his MA (1970) and Ph.D. (1972) in Mediterranean Studies.
Dr. Stohlmann then accepted a call to serve as pastor of a rural dual parish, Zion Lutheran Church, Hampton, and Immanuel Lutheran Church, Polk, NE (1971-1976). In June 1976 he accepted a call to teach Old Testament at Concordia College, St. Paul, MN. In addition to Old Testament, he taught Christian doctrine, Hebrew, Greek, and Ancient Near Eastern history. In 1980 he received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study at Yale University for a summer. He also taught various summer courses at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.
At Concordia, St. Paul, Dr. Stohlmann was blessed to serve in various administrative capacities. He was the founding director of the Oswald Hoffman School of Christian Outreach. He served as chair of the Religion Division, Acting Dean of Chapel, Director of Pre-Seminary Studies, Colloquy Director, CSP Coordinator for Iowa District West LLI (Lay Leadership Institute) and was often a guest preacher and Bible Study leader in many area congregations.
On his first sabbatical leave (1988-1989) he taught at Concordia College, Edmonton, Alberta, CA, and on his next sabbatical, he coordinated the development of the DELTO program (Distance Education Leading to Ordination) for pastors for seven LCMS upper Midwest districts. Dr. Stohlmann officially retired from Concordia University in May 2012, after faithfully serving for 36 years.
After a long-distance courtship, courtesy of the Australian and U.S. Post Offices, Stephen married Jeanette Zabel, a CSP graduate, teaching in Australia. They were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Plainview, MN, on February 2, 1974. Their 47 wonderful years of marriage were blessed with five children, Naomi, Seth (Kristy), Mary, Micah, and Philip James. Stephen is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Paul. He is survived by his wife and their 5 children, 3 grandchildren--Sara, Ethan, and Angelica, and 2 brothers, Robert and David. Stephen received the promised inheritance in heaven on February 15, 2021, at the age of 78 years, 2 months, and 15 days.
A funeral service will be held at 1:30 PM, Friday, Feb. 19th at South Shore Trinity Lutheran Church, 2480 So. Shore Blvd., White Bear Lake with visitation and a hymn sing beginning at 1:00 PM until time of service. Livestream available at sstwbl.org/watch. Family interment at Lakeview Cemetery, Mahtomedi. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch or Pre-Seminary Scholarships at Concordia University, St. Paul.