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Reverend John Westra Obituary

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The Rev. John (Giovanni) Westra passed away unexpectedly early on Sunday, June 16th, 2024. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, his three children, John Phillip [Kerri], Robert [Christina Ramirez], and Pamela [Mark] Winterroth, and several grandchildren.

John was born in December 1945 in Palermo, Sicily, during the final days of World War II, as the son of Felicia and John William Westra. He came to the United States in 1946 with his mother. Growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, John attended Loy Norrix High School and later graduated from Western Michigan University in 1967 with a degree in Theology and Military Science. He served as an officer in the US Army during the conflict in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969.

John was ordained in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in 1975 after graduating from Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois. He served his ministry at Peace Lutheran Church in Owensboro, Kentucky; Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana; St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, Illinois; and Zion Lutheran Church in Holland, Michigan. In 2012, John completed his active ministry at Messiah Lutheran Church in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. He was a member and Pastor Emeritus at Trinity Lutheran Church in West Chicago, Illinois until his death.

As a resident of Windsor Park Manor, John served many of the people there, leading Bible studies and ministering to their needs. He generously donated his time and efforts towards the Worship Anew Ministry, which provided spiritual services to aging adults who sought to live abundant lives in Christ. He and his wife, Nancy, experienced the wonders of this world through travel, movies and quiet moments enjoying life’s small pleasures.

A time for memorial visitation will begin at 11:30 at St. John Lutheran Church, 410 N. Cross St. Wheaton, IL, followed by a memorial service starting at 1:00 p.m.  John will be interred at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery with military honors in a private ceremony.

Memorials may be directed to Worship Anew, 5 Martin Luther Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.