The Rev. Arthur Senn

The Rev. Arthur C. Senn, who was pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Fredonia for years, was devoted not just to the church but also to the community.

“People outside the church knew him and respected him and liked him,” his son Mick said. “He believed in being part of the community.”

The Rev. Senn joined the Lion’s Club to give back to the community and, spurred by a longtime interest in business, started an investment club with other people in the village.

“He got to know a lot of people in and out of the church,” his son said. “He was very generous with his time. Between family, church and community, he was loved.”

Part of the Rev. Senn’s appeal was the fact he genuinely liked people, his son said.

“He loved people and interacting with them,” he said. “When you go into the ministry, you meet people at their hour of need whether it’s an unwed mother feeling a lot of pressure to give the baby up or abort or a family who lost someone they loved. He was always there for them. He went the extra mile.”

The Rev. Senn died Monday, Oct. 7, at Bella Vista Assisted Living Facility in Oshkosh. He was 92.

The Rev. Senn was born in Memphis, Tenn., on Jan. 1, 1927, the son of Otto and Marguerite Sippel Senn.

After graduating from high school, he attended St. John’s Lutheran College in Winfield, Kan., studying business.

But, his son said, he changed his major after feeling “the tugging of God on his heart.”

The Rev. Senn graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., in 1952 and was ordained in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod at his home congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church in Memphis, on July 6, 1952.

While in the seminary, he met Olga Ripke, who was attending a nearby teacher’s college. The couple married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio, on June 15, 1952.

The Rev. Senn was a congregational minister for more than 48 years, serving parishes in Arlington, Texas, Wauseon/Liberty Center, Ohio, and Ottawa, Canada as well as Wisconsin congregations including St. John’s in Fredonia and others in Manitowoc, Neshkoro and Hancock.

He retired but a few years later returned to active ministry to establish Calvary Lutheran Church, a mission congregation in Princeton.

The Rev. Senn retired from active ministry in 2000 but continued to serve his faith by holding camp and devotional services at Lake Puckaway, Harbor Club in Port Washington and Bella Vista in Oshkosh.

“Ministers never really do retire,” his son noted.

In addition to his parish ministry, the Rev. Senn was active in the Lutheran Laymen’s League and was a pastoral advisor and board member for the Lutheran Children Friends Society.

He was also a member of the Lion’s Clubs in Manitowoc and Neshkoro.

The Rev. Senn is survived by his children Katherine (Robert) Stuyck of Rockford, Ill., Ruth (Richard) Pappas of Battle Ground, Wash., Michael “Mick” (Mary) of Fond du Lac, Vivian (Craig) Mittelstaedt of Oshkosh and Judith (John) Behlke of Oak Creek; 14 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

In addition to his wife Olga, who died in 2018, he was preceded in death by his brother Otto Jr. and sister Dorothy McDowell.

A funeral service for the Rev. Senn was held Saturday, Oct. 12, at St. John Lutheran Church in Fredonia. The Rev. Marshal Frisque officiated.

Burial was in the parish cemetery in Fredonia.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Dakota Boys Ranch or the Lutheran Heritage Foundation are suggested.

Funeral arrangements were handled through Eernisse Funeral Home, Port Washington.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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