I just learned of Prof. Middendorf's passing in the Aug. issue of the Lutheran Witness. He was indeed a gentle and caring professor and I was privileged to have him for Greek at Concordia-St.Paul from 1979-1983. May the Lord continue to comfort those who mourn his death!
The Rev. Dr. Marvin Middendorf was born on December 29, 1927 in North Dakota. He was the firstborn son of the Rev. Harry and Meta Middendorf. Marvinâ€™s childhood years were spent in Dorsey, IL and Falls City, NE where his mother was called to glory in 1947.
Marvin went to prep school and junior college at St. Paulâ€™s High School and College in Concordia, MO, graduating in 1948. He entered Concordia Seminary, St. Louis that fall and finished his Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) in 1953. His vicarage was served in Chappell, NE. Marvin then earned a Masterâ€™s in Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) at the seminary in 1954, and received an MA in Classics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1955. He completed his doctorate in theology (Th.D.) at Concordia Seminary in 1969.
Marvinâ€™s first Call into Ministry was to return to St. Paulâ€™s, Concordia, MO as a visiting professor of Greek from 1955-57. He was then Called to Concordia High School and College in St. Paul, MN where he served as a professor from 1957-1990. Marvin taught numerous New Testament and Greek courses at CSP for over 30 years with genuine humility. Through his gracious words and gentle actions, he faithfully passed on the Christian faith to numerous young people and shepherded many young men into the pastoral ministry. One student described Marvinâ€™s servant heart well by saying, â€œHe loved you into Greek.â€ After retirement, Marvin and moved to Tucson in 1992 and joined Fountain of Life. He ministered to various retirement homes until the end of 2011.
While Marvin deeply treasured all of Godâ€™s Word, he did have favorites (e.g., Psalm 23 and 103). The theme of his life is Philippians 4:4. â€œRejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.â€ In the midst of the sadness of our separation from a beloved husband, father, and brother in Christ, we know it is only temporary. Because of the joyful reunion that awaits all who believe in Jesus, we can rejoice even now. We do so together with Marvin who is already rejoicing in the presence of his Lord, for now and forever, â€¦ always.
We thank Our Lord for Prof. Middendorf's life of service to His Church, and send our condolences to the family. His first-year Greek classes at Concordia St. Paul were truly excellent; I had the blessing to experience them in 1967-1968.