The Rev. Ferdinand Herman Noske, a retired Lutheran pastor who headed a Kingsville congregation for more than two decades, died of heart disease Nov. 19 at his Forest Hill home. He was 88.
Born in Detroit, he was the son of Ferdinand Noske, a carpenter, and Adela Edling, a homemaker.
He earned a bachelor's degree at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa.
In 1955, he entered Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, where he earned a divinity degree. Family members said he helped earn his tuition by announcing sports and classical music at radio station KFUO in St. Louis.
While working there, he met his future wife, Gail Boehne, an executive secretary at the station.
"After their marriage, she supported him as a church secretary at times. She would attend conferences and go on certain pastoral visits with him," said his daughter, Barbara Gail Noske Travers of Bel Air. "She also ran an open house for him. There was always food on the table when he would come home with a wayward soul. Mom would welcome them graciously."
Mr. Noske sang bass and toured with the Lutheran Hour Chorus in the 1950s. The group performed on the radio.
As a young pastor he served Christ Lutheran Church in Washington, D.C.; Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Wis.; Resurrection Lutheran in Newport News, Va.; and St. Thomas Lutheran in Nyack, N.Y.
In 1966, he was named to St. Paul's Lutheran in Kingsville. He served there for 26 years and retired in 1992.
"He was a great friend and mentor. He had a pastoral heart. He was a caring, loving person," said the Rev. Lester Stano, a fellow Lutheran pastor and friend since 1974. "If I learned nothing else, it was his words of advice about a congregation: 'Love them dearly, and know when to get out of their way.'"
Mr. Stano reflected on his friend and said, "What he preached is what he lived, whether it was with his people or with his family. It was the same.
"He was well respected and liked by his colleagues, and he was a popular figure in the Kingsville community," he said.
Mr. Noske also served as pastoral counselor to the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. He was a board member of Baltimore Lutheran School, a chapel pastor to St. Paul's Lutheran School and a member of the board of operations for Raven Rock Lutheran Camp.
The Rev. Blaise C. Sedney, pastor of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bel Air, said Mr. Noske "served tirelessly, and he helped mentor me. He helped me when I had never done a funeral before. I asked him, 'What do I do?' He told me, 'It will come. It will all work out fine. Don't be nervous.
"He had a heart for leading people in times of their need, whether it be in times of their sorrow or in times of other needs," Mr. Sedney said.
Friends recalled that Mr. Noske enjoyed church hymns and led family singing sessions. His children also sang in his church choirs.
"He was a huge character. He loved to sing and loved to laugh. He always had a joke. He was everywhere he could help," said the Rev. Michael Wollman, who succeeded him at the Kingsville church.
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"He liked to sing so much when he was pastor, when it was time for the choir to sing, he would leave the altar area, join the choir and return later to what he had been doing," said Mr. Wollman.
After his 1992 retirement, he stepped in as interim pastor at churches that had vacancies. He served at Advent Lutheran Church in Forest Hill and Redeemer Lutheran Church in Parkton.
He continued to preach and serve congregations until about five years ago. He also came out of retirement to confirm and perform marriage ceremonies for his grandchildren.
For many years Mr. Noske was master of ceremonies for the Kingsville Fourth of July parade.. He also followed the Orioles, Baltimore Colts and Ravens, although he also was a fan of the Detriot Tigers.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 12022 Jerusalem Road in Kingsville.
In addition to his wife of 62 years and his daughter, survivors include three sons, Mark Andrew Noske of Joppa, Michael Allen Noske of Kingsville and David Matthew Noske of Forest Hill; 13 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.