Thomas C. “Tom” Barthelmeh of Miles City died Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was surrounded by his family and his loyal Standard Poodle Pokey at the time of his death.
Pastor Barthelmeh was born on Feb. 12, 1932, to Robert and Thelma Mead Barthelmeh in Moorecroft, Wyo. His childhood was spent in Wyoming and rural Colorado. His father was a county agent and also managed several large ranches in Colorado. Pastor Barthelmeh grew up loving the outdoors and animals.
Following high school he attended the University of Northern Colorado in Fort Collins, earning a bachelor’s degree in history education and a minor in mechanical engineering.
At the beginning of the Korean War he enlisted in the Air Force with the dream of becoming a pilot. The Air Force was more interested in his skills in electronics and engineering. He trained as a Special Weapons Technician in Albuquerque, N.M. and spent most of his military service at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, La. Following his discharge, he worked for Martin Marrietta in Denver. He said he “taught the Titan Rocket to fly.”
It was while at Martin that he received and answered the call to the ministry. He moved his little family to St. Paul, Minn., to attend Luther Seminary, graduating Oct. 31, 1967. Most of his ministry was to small Lutheran Parishes in Montana. He served at Richy and Lambert, Hingam and Kremlin, Helena, and Plentywood as a full time pastor.
After his wife, Loveda Ann, died in 1992, Pastor Barthelmeh retired from the full time ministry. During this time he served as interim pastor at several rural churches in Minnesota. His last interim assignment was at Malta.
His survivors include his wife, Mary Ann of Miles City; his daughter, Loveda (Chuck) Sawyer of Miles City; his son, Thomas (Wendy) Barthelmeh of Great Falls; foster daughter, Geri (John) Bjork of St. Paul, Minn.; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his wife of 35 years, Loveda Ann.
Visitation will be Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home with family receiving friends from 5 to 6 p.m. Funeral Services will be Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Miles City. Interment will follow in the Eastern Montana State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.stevensonandsons.com.