Gunnar Alksnis passed away May 15, 2011 in Woodland, CA. He was born July 1, 1931 to John Edward and Elza Alksnis in Riga, Latvia. The family came to the United States in 1949. Gunnar is survived by his wife of 54 years, Pauline (Krug) Alksnis, daughter and son-in-law, Maria and Michael Grimes and grandson, Nicholas Grimes who reside in Davis, CA and brother, Tally Alksnis who resides in Wausau, WI. He was preceded in death by his parents and son, John Albert Alksnis.
Gunnar received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia South Carolina in 1955. He was ordained at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russell County, Ks in 1956. He received a Master of Sacred Theology from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1965, and received a Doctorate of Philosophy from Kansas State University in 1970.
It was during his service at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russell, Ks that he met his wife, Pauline. In 1959 they moved to Allentown, PA where he served the Saint Andrews Lutheran Church congregation for four years. They then moved to Lynn, KS and served at St. Paulís Lutheran Church and Trinity church in Greenleaf for six years.
In 1968 Gunnar began a career of over 30 years teaching history and theology at Washburn University, Topeka, KS. He was a very well respected and beloved professor at the university and in the community.
In 2000 Gunnar and his wife Pauline moved to Woodland, CA to be closer to their daughter Maria, son-in-law Michael Grimes and their grand-son Nicholas Grimes.
Gunnar will be remembered by many whose lives he touched and influenced throughout his life.
While here in California he enjoyed passing on to others his immense knowledge of Martin Luther and the Reformation through bible study, sermons, and guest speaking in Lutheran churches in Davis and Woodland, CA.
Gunnar was known throughout his life as an historian, minister, college professor and author, but most of all as a beloved husband, father and grand-father.
A memorial service to celebrate Gunnarís life will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, June 17, 2011 at the St. John Lutheran Church in Russell, Kansas with Pastor Roger Dennis officiating. A private inurnment of the cremains will take place prior to the memorial service. Family will greet guest after the memorial service in the St. John Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. The family requests that memorials be given to the Washburn University Foundation and sent in care of Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary * 610 N. Maple * Russell, KS 67665. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the memorial service.