Kuhler Funeral Home

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Rev. William Pfautz

The Rev. William M. Pfautz, age 93, of Huron, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at the Violet Tschetter Memorial Home.  A celebration of his life was held at 11:00 AM, Friday, June 3rd at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Kevin Channell officiating. A private family burial will be at a later date at Bethel Cemetery.   In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the organ fund at the First Presbyterian Church of Huron, or the Violet Tschetter Memorial Home.

 William M. Pfautz, a minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for seventy years, was born July 20, 1917, at Blair, Nebraska to William W. and Iva (Tyson) Pfautz. He graduated from high school at Beloit, Kansas and from the College of Emporia, Emporia, Kansas.  He received his Master of Divinity degree in 1941 from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity degree from the College of Emporia. 

He married Olga Hohm on November 21, 1941, at Yale, South Dakota.  For thirty-two years he served pastorates in Kansas, Iowa and Illinois, two of those years serving as a chaplain in the United States Army during World War II.  He was discharged with the rank of captain.

In 1973 he became a member of the Chaplaincy Department and division of Clinical and Community Services of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of the National Institute of Mental Health, Washington, D.C., where he was employed as Supervisory Staff Chaplin in Clinical Pastoral Education. 

He was a Fellow of the College of Chaplains of the American Protestant Hospital Association, a member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, a member of the Association of Mental Health Clergy, a member of the Memorial Society of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.

 Retiring from full-time ministerial service in 1980, he served as a part-time interim pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, Maryland until September 1984, when he and Olga moved to Huron, South Dakota.

While living in Huron, he continued his ministry by preaching in churches of various denominations in Huron and eastern South Dakota when their pastors were away on Sundays or the churches were without pastors.  He served as a part-time interim pastor for over 18 months at a time for eight congregations.  His service in his denomination continued with membership in the Permanent Judicial Commission, a Mentor in the Lay Preachers Training Program of the South Dakota Presbytery, and as a member of the Presbytery’s Committee on Administrative Review.

In his community he was a member of the Huron Lodge #26, A.F. & A.M., Huron High Twelve Club, Yankton Consistory of the Scottish Rite, Huron Rotary Club, Beadle County Master Gardeners, South Dakota State Horticultural Society, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, for many years as chaplain to the HRMC Hospice program and most recently as Chairman of the Board of the Violet Tschetter Memorial Home. 

He is survived by his daughter, Judith Hepburn of Reno, Nevada; his granddaughter, Jennifer (Sam) Bates of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; and his two great-grandchildren, Tucker and Lucy.

He was preceded in death by his wife Olga; his son, William L.; his parents; and two brothers, Addison and Malcolm.

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