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Timothy Kersten

d. March 8, 2018

Hillsboro – Timothy Kersten, 57, died March 8, 2018 near Galva, Kansas.  He was born September 4, 1960 to John and Wilma (Groeschel) Kersten in Houston, Texas.  Survivors include: wife, Michelle Kersten of Hillsboro; sons, Travis Kersten of Columbia, Missouri, Jonathan Kersten of St. Charles, Missouri; step-son, Jordan Bezdek of Manhattan, KS; daughter, Amy Kersten of Hillsboro; step-daughter, Toshia Widener of Hesston; brother, John Kersten of St Louis, Missouri; sisters, Dorothy Haws of Kennebunk, Maine, Vivian Jobst of Shakopee, Minnesota.  Funeral Service 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at Zion Lutheran Church in Hillsboro.  Interment at Zion Lutheran Cemetery.  Family will receive guests from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro.  Memorials to Zion Lutheran Church Building Fund in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, Kansas 67063.  Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com

Life Sketch taken from the Funeral Bulletin

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7


Timothy Paul Kersten, 57, entered into rest March 8, 2018 near Galva, Kansas.

He was born September 4, 1960 to John and Wilma (nee Groeschel) Kersten in Houston, Texas; baptized on October 2,1960 at St. Paul Lutheran Church; confirmed on April 7, 1974 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church; and graduated from Lutheran High School in 1978.


After enlisting and serving in the US Navy from 1978 to 1984, Timothy attended Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska graduating in December 21, 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. He met and married the bride of his youth, Cherie Rauch, on December 1987. Following graduation, he attended Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis graduating with a Masters of Divinity degree in 1995 and was ordained at St. John Lutheran Church at Charter Oak, Iowa. He served as pastor of St. Matthew Lutheran in Nortonville, Kansas from 1995-1998; and then as pastor of Faith Lutheran in Abilene, Kansas from 1998-2002 before becoming an active duty chaplain with the U.S. Army Reserve. From 2002 to 2008, Chaplain Major Timothy P. Kersten served two tours in Iraq. More recently, he lived in Hillsboro, Kansas with his daughter Amy, and wife, Michelle (Dick) Kersten where they attended Zion Lutheran Church.


Tim was preceded in death by his first wife of 20 years, Cherie Kersten (nee Rauch), in 2008, the loving mother of his three surviving children; sons, Travis Kersten and wife, Andrea, of Columbia, Missouri; Jonathan Kersten of St. Charles, Missouri; and daughter, Amy Kersten of Hillsboro. Other survivors include: stepson, Jordan Bezdek of Manhattan, Kansas; stepdaughter, Toshia Widener of Hesston, Kansas; brother, John Kersten and wife, Karen, of St Louis, Missouri; sisters, Dorothy Haws of Kennebunk, Maine; and Vivian Jobst and husband, James, of Shakopee, Minnesota.


Timothy’s Confirmation verse Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;

it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

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21 thoughts on “Timothy Kersten

  1. Tim, you will always be remembered. Our sympathies to Michelle and all the children, Our hearts are saddened and we will be praying for you daily as you go through the grieving.
    The Tim Hurner Family.

  2. It feels too soon and too sad to be reminiscing but I still want to share: I have so many fond memories of hanging out with all the cousins on Grandma Groeschel’s front porch when we were kids. Tim taught me how to crack pecans using the nuts themselves as crackers; I wonder if he taught all the younger cousins that trick. It seemed like no matter how old Tim got, Grandma kept calling him Timothy even though everyone else called him Tim. Tim was one of the older cousins but he was always so playful and kind to the little cousins. He was just so fun to be around and had such a great since of humor. I remember what a brain he was too, talking about literature to me when I was too little to understand it. One night I got so tired waiting to go home from a family dinner at grandma’s, but he and my dad were deep in some conversation about science, the universe, and maybe some philosophy thrown in. My dad just loved talking to him. He had a beautiful heart and mind and used his gifts to serve his country and help others in his career. He was visiting us in Boston when I got word that my Grandma Lehmann died and I will never forget the way he looked at me and wished me the Lord’s peace. His face showed both the confidence of a man of God and the trust of a child knowing this peace was very real and there for me. It was like cool water and sunshine on my pain, completely turning the moment around. He had that gift and so many more. My heart goes out to Travis, Jon, and Amy, and as your father wished the peace above all understanding to me in my grief, I wish you the Lord’s peace in this horrific time.

  3. Michelle, Travis, Jon & Amy,
    Our hearts go out to all of you. May GOD comfort you all during this difficult time. Praying for all of you. Don and Debbie Girard and Family

  4. I’m saddened to hear of Tim’s death. He was a chaplain in the Kansas National Guard in 2004-2005 when we were at Camp Liberty together in Baghdad, Iraq. I was an Engineer officer on active duty at the time, and I attended his Lutheran service. I was working on my application to Concordia Seminary and he was very encouraging through the whole process. We crossed paths once in about 2007 when I was in St. Louis. I’m now an LCMS pastor and chaplain in the Oregon Army National Guard. I was blessed to know him and thank God for his service. Peace to you in Christ, as we await His glorious return.

  5. We send our love & prayers to your family. We have fond memories of going to lunch with Pastor Tim & your Mother, Cherie when you were in Abilene. I know my parents, Pastor Floyd & Lillian Bosch, were grateful for their friendship and ministry to them and to all the others your parents served. May God bless & comfort you. Sincerely, Dr. Kathy Bosch

  6. Tim – Heaven has indeed gained an angel. What a wonderful pastor you were and will hold fond memories of you in my heart. Hugs to you Michelle and your family.

  7. I was an Elder at St. Matthew, Nortonville, when Tim was called to be our Pastor in 1995. Though it has been 20 years since Tim left St. Matthew, I will always remember Tim for his kindness, sincerity and love for his heavenly Father.

    Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

  8. I was a member of St. Matthew Lutheran in Nortonville, when Pastor Tim was our minister. Your mother, Cheri, use to help out with babysitting for our children Kayla and Ty. I am so sorry to hear about the news of your father. We have many fond memories of the Kersten family. We will be praying for you during this difficult time.

    With deepest sympathies,

  9. What a blessing, that God called your father to be our pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Abilene. His preaching and teaching of God’s Word has had a great influence on so many of us. As a pastors family you brought much joy into our lives. Sharing your loss, you are remembered in a special way in sympathy and prayer.God bless you with His comfort and love. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies,and the God of all Comfort” 11 Corinthians 1:3

  10. I was deeply saddened to hear of Timothy’s tragic passing. Although I have not seen him in over 15 years, it seems like yesterday that we were together at grandma and grandpa Kersten’s house. My sympathies and prayers to Travis, Jonathan and Amy. Also to John, Dorothy and Vivian. Timothy’s faith was strong and the Lord has welcomed a man turned angel.


  11. My sympathy to Tim’s family. I was deeply saddened to hear of Tim’s sudden death. Tim and I were Chaplain Assistants together serving in the 89th ARCOM in Lincoln, Nebraska (Army Reserves); when we both were attending Concordia, Seward. Enjoyed many fond memories with Tim, Sherri and their family. Tim stood up for me as a groomsman in my wedding. Tim now rejoices in the presence of Jesus, all the holy angels, and all the saints! God comfort all who mourn his death with the peace that only He can give!

  12. With heartfelt sympathy to all of the family. May God watch over you during this difficult time.

    Elaine Fritsche and John Forbes

  13. Our Hearts and Prayers and deepest sympathy to all the family. We had no seen Timothy in over 20 years. May the Lord’s word comfort the family in this time of need.

  14. Timothy was my student at St. Matthews Lutheran School in downtown Houston in the the early 70’s. He was a special young man full of life, athletic and academically strong. He and his parents were such a nice
    family. My prayers are for his family during this very sad time.

  15. Praying for all of you. I was Cherie’s college roommate freshman year. Thanking God for heaven! May His peace be with you because of Jesus.

  16. Tim and family…. our hearts and prayers are with you in Houston from your fellow classmates at Lutheran High School. I remember the first day I met you and you always made us laugh and were full of joy! To the family we are sorry for your loss for he had a big heart!

  17. I’m heartbroken at the loss. Growing up at St. Matthew in Houston, Timothy always had a sweet smile and a great spirit. I can rejoice in his gaining his eternal home. Prayers for the family

  18. Tim, you will be missed… You always were a “one of a kind”, happy and smiling. Thank you for all of the good times and laughs at Lutheran High School. Family and friends are in my prayers…

  19. I’m saddened to hear of Tim’s passing. He was a friendly and very funny classmate at Lutheran High in Houston. May he rest in peace and rise in Glory.

  20. God Bless your family old friend! I will miss you. I was honestly trying to find you a few months back and found you in the LCMS directory. It was my pleasure to serve as your Chaplains assistant during our 2002/2003 Operation Noble Eagle II deployment at Ft Riley/Ft. Leavenworth KS. You will forever remain in my heart Tim as a dear friend. Put in a word to Our Lord for me when you get there man! I need all the help I can get. Thank You for your service to our great nation. And Thank You for your service to the Church. May god have his hands on your shoulders welcoming you into his kingdom with the words ringing out “Job well done, my faithful and loyal servant!”. Peace of the Lord be with your family and friends. I’ll see you when it’s over brother!

  21. Dear family… It’s still so hard to believe that Tim is gone 😢. Yes it has been awhile since seeing Tim and other members but family always stays so close in our hearts and souls ♥️. I will love you all forever‼️

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