A native of Cheyenne, WY, Monte was baptized into Christ on Easter Sunday, 1942. He was nurtured by a Christian family and the parochial school system of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. At Trinity Lutheran School in Cheyenne, he was profoundly impressed by the manner in which his teachers, Linton and Dorothy Ellwein embodied Christian servant-hood. He was in the 1960 class of Concordia High School in Seward, NE, where he was a 3 sport athlete, played on 3 state champion teams, and was recognized as one of Nebraska’s outstanding pitchers. Under his photo in the school yearbook are the words, “Underclassman’s Idol”. He stepped out of his comfort zone at Concordia Junior College when he played a leading role on a number of dramas. At Concordia Senior College, he was chosen as a dormitory proctor and was selected as an all-conference pitcher, playing on two champion baseball teams. And as member of the class of 1968 at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO, he was the class representative on the seminary’s Committee on Academic Affairs.
A constant in each of these Concordia schools was that he sang in the a capella choir, played baseball, and wrote for or edited the student newspaper.
As part of his seminary education, he was assigned to a year of vicarage / internship at Ascension Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC under the supervision of the Rev. Dr. Leslie Frerking. It was customary that the vicar dined at the Frerking table on Friday evenings, and that is where he met Susan. In the course of dinner on evening, Susan looked up at him and said, “I’ll tell you one thing, I’ll never marry a minister.” Although Monte was stunned, he had the presence of mind to reply, “So who’s asking?” The rest of the story is that they were, indeed, married on June 25 – just 10 months into his vicarage.
He and Susan returned to the seminary for Monte’s fourth year, after which he received the call to a new mission, Our Savior Lutheran Church in Mobile, AL where he served from 1968-1970.
In 1970, he accepted the call to All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC where he and Susan spent seven happy years during which they were nurtured by a loving congregation and, in turn, led congregational growth that enabled the church to move from receiving subsidy from the Southeastern District to self-support.
In 1977, he accepted the call to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Reston, VA where they served for 30 years until his retirement in 2007.
It was his great joy to have a hand in the relocation of the church from Moorings Drive to Old Reston Avenue. The current building expresses his belief that Church architecture ought to present the glorious biblical story with such clarity that even a young child might grasp the reality of what God is up to in this world and that God has revealed himself most profoundly in the cross of Christ.
As a Lutheran, Monte understood the power of the spoken word, and his sermons were not the reading of a document, but an event.
Monte influenced hundreds of people. It is not without significance that twelve men who were in some way connected with the congregations he served have entered the pastoral ministry or are currently in the seminary.
He played a small but important role as a parish pastor, in a small scene, being the Lutheran church – Missouri Synod, of the grand drama of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. And the glory of his life is that he was, and remains, one with God through Jesus Christ.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Susan; three children, David (and Megan) of Purcellville, VA, Jonathan (and Shannon) of South Riding, VA, and Jessica Cullen (and Les) of Cumming, GA; eight grandchildren, Hannah Susan, James Leslie, and Mary Margaret Cullen, Katherine Marie and Mark Emanuel Frohm, Zachary Edward, Luke Emanuel, and Madeline Elizabeth Frohm; and two sisters, Rosalyn Wintermeyer of Georgetown, TX, and Bonnie Wartman of Emigrant, MO.
Monte’s Confirmation Verse: “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” Rev. 3:11b
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Pl., St. Louis, MO 63105; or Lutheran Hospice Upstate Office, 429 N. Main St. Ste 3, Greenville, SC 29601.
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