Rev. Albert Berton Wingfield, 84, was called to his eternal rest on May 16, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. Al was born June 21, 1933, to Albert Waverly and Bertha Augusta (Gottberg) Wingfield in Morrilton, Arkansas. Al was soon baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church on nearby Petit Jean Mountain. He married his high school sweetheart Marjorie Lee (Bishop) shortly after enlisting in the Navy, and went on to serve during the Korean conflict, first on the USS Collett, a destroyer, and then aboard the USS George, a destroyer escort. His remaining years of service were at the North Island Naval Air Station, near San Diego.
After some years as a business owner in Arkansas, Al chose to become a Lutheran teacher, earning his Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Concordia Teacher’s College in Nebraska. He was first called to serve at The American School in Tokyo, Japan, and then to Hong Kong International School before returning to the states to become the founding principal of Lutheran High School North in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Between his time in the Navy and becoming a principal in Michigan, Al and Marge’s marriage was blessed with six children.
After earning his master’s degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Wingfield served at Concordia Teacher’s College, River Forest, Illinois, and earned his pastoral ministry colloquy at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1983 while serving as assistant to the president, Rev. Dr. Robert Preus.
Al returned to secondary education in 1986 as an ordained minister, serving as headmaster of St. Paul Lutheran High School in Concordia, Missouri, and then moving back to Michigan in 1989 to serve as assistant superintendent of the Detroit Lutheran High School Association. Beginning in 1996, Al served as vice president of business affairs at Concordia Theological Seminary until his retirement in 2015. While at the seminary, he authored several children’s books and served area churches as pastor.
In May of 2012, Concordia University Nebraska recognized him with an honorary doctorate for his lifetime dedication to "growing the church and expanding Christian education at home and abroad."
Al's service to the church continued even after his retirement from the seminary. Most recently, he had been a pastor at Living Water Lutheran Church, Wolf Lake, Indiana. His last sermon, titled "Tell it All," was delivered April 11 and was based on readings from the Book of Acts.
Al is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marjorie; children, Robert (Jeri), Phil (Jeanne), Linda (Kevin) Krohn, Judy (Tim) Thoms, Carol (Dan) Oetting, and Rebecca (Anthony) Marquart; 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; brother Keith (Kathy); nieces and nephews.
The viewings and funeral service will be held at Ascension Lutheran Church, 8811 St. Joe Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46835 according to the schedule below: The first public viewing is Sunday, May 20th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. The second viewing will be Monday, May 21st from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. The funeral service will be held on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. Immediately following the funeral, a committal service with military honors will be held at Concordia Garden Cemetery, 5365 Lake Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46815.
Three memorials are suggested: 1) the Building Project for Living Water Lutheran Church in Wolf Lake, Ind. (1197 S US Highway 33, PO Box 297, Wolf Lake, Indiana 46796), 2) the Ascension Lutheran Church and School Endowment Fund, 8811 St. Joe Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46835 or 3) Lutheran High School North (16825 24 Mile Rd; Macomb, MI 48042).