Rev. Albert F. Girtz, age 81, of North Mankato, MN passed away unexpectedly Friday, February 11, 2022, with his wife, Barbara, at his side. He was deeply loved and cherished by his family, friends, and many others.
Al was born on March 22, 1940, in Minneapolis, MN to Joseph and Mabel Girtz. He was the youngest of three children, grew up in Albert Lea, then moved to California and graduated high school in 1958. He went to Dana College and graduated in 1961 where he met his first wife. He then attended school at Luther Theological Seminary and graduated in 1965, ministered at various churches, had three children, and moved to Wichita.
Al worked for Lutheran Social Service in Wichita in the 1970s before moving to Salina and founding the Counseling and Growth Center with his second wife. While in Salina during the 1980s, he was a pastor at a Lutheran church in Tescott, KS and provided ministering services at the Regional Medical Center Hospital for terminal patients.
Al married Barbara Camp in 2003 and they moved to Mankato, MN where he continued his pastoral services with Bethlehem Lutheran Church from 2004 to 2009. After that, he worked as a hospice chaplain for the Mayo Clinic in Mankato from 2009 until his retirement in 2015.
Al had a passion for helping others and dedicating his life to his ministry. His service to others came from his father who was a Lutheran minister and missionary. Al also had a hidden talent and passion for wood-working and making furniture, gifts, and teaching his sons how to wood-work. He especially loved reading, telling jokes, and visiting / supporting all of his family and friends, and traveling.
Al and Barbara loved the outdoors, being in nature, watching the birds and sunsets, and listening for God every day. They both served on many church boards, including Community and Global Missions, over the years as members of Bethlehem. Al was known by many of his parishioners for his smiles, empathy, and encouragement. Al believed Christianity = Relationships and loved people with all his heart.
Al is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Jon (Angie) from Valley Center, KS and David from Newton, KS; daughter, Karin from McKinney, TX; step-son, Aaron (Lisa) from Leawood, KS; and six grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Lois Haley; his brother, Joey Girtz; and loving dog, Oscar.
Memorial service will be at 1pm on Friday, March 18, 2022, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Mankato, MN, with visitation one hour before. A virtual service will be livestreamed at 1pm on the YouTube and Facebook channels at https://www.blcmankato.org/ and also online at www.mankatomortuary.com. Northview ~ North Mankato Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements. The family request that masks be worn at the service.
Memorials are preferred to ELCA World Hunger, Hospice of Mankato, ECHO Food Shelf or Bethlehem Lutheran Church.