Geneva Mourns Loss of the Rev. Howie Fintzen, 73, Who Died Unexpectedly in Sheboygan, WI

While a preacher, he never preached.

Howard “Howie” Fintzen, 73, of Sheboygan, WI, died unexpectedly on May 22, 2013, at home. He was born in Milwaukee on April 11, 1940 to Elsa Ruth and Howard K Fintzen. In the early '50s, his family moved to Black River, south of Sheboygan.  

He graduated from Central High School in Sheboygan in 1958, Carthage College in 1962, Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary, Minneapolis, MN, and ordained into the Lutheran Ministry at First United Lutheran Church in 1966. The Rev. Fintzen earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago in 1977.

On Dec. 22, 1962, he married Frances Budlong in Minneapolis, MN. The couple celebrated their 50th anniversary last year. During his parish ministry, he served at Atonement, Racine; Ascension, Allouez, Geneva Lutheran, Geneva, IL; Redeemer, Trenton, NJ; Lincoln Park, Milwaukee and interim ministry at Wellington Park, Milwaukee.

In 2003, he retired from active parish ministry and retuned to Sheboygan to restore the cottage in Black River. The couple resided in a home on Sheboygan’s south side. He also returned to First United Lutheran to help with ministry and sing in the choir. During his retirement he served as on call chaplain at St. Nicholas Hospital and as a shut in visitation pastor for St. Andrews Lutheran Church.

His favorite pastimes were days at the cottage with family and friends, striking up conversations and going camping. He could also be found cheering for the Green Bay Packers and anticipating more decorations for the house and cottage during the holidays. While a preacher, he never preached.  

Instead, witnessing his faith through his actions. He loved all people and lived his life in service to others, especially those ignored by society.

He is survived by his wife, Fran, three sons, Scott (Susan) of Geneva, IL, Tim of Sheboygan and David (Ginzee) of South Orange, NJ; four grandchildren, Ethan and Anna of Geneva, IL and Zoey and Emme of South Orange, NJ; one sister Carol (Carl) Jensen of Kingwood, TX. He is further survived by nieces and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2013 at First United Lutheran Church, 2401 Kohler Memorial Dr., Sheboygan, with the Rev. Todd Smith officiating. Friends may call on Saturday, at the church, from noon until the time of service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Tanzanian Scholarship Fund at First United Lutheran Church or the ELCA Fund for Leaders to establish a scholarship for urban pastors.

Please visit www.zimmerfuneralhome.com for more information or to sign his guestbook.

SOURCE: Zimmer Funeral Home

Jessica Hauser May 24, 2013 at 03:20 AM
A truly gracious man. If you enjoyed a sock hop at Geneva Lutheran - or one of his ski trips to Lake Geneva, you can thank Howie Fintzen for always being welcoming to any and all. It was a loss to Geneva when he left - and a loss now to all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him
Robert Sandri May 25, 2013 at 01:08 PM
My childhood is filled with fond memories of Pastor Fintzen and the youth programs he supported so strongly which brought so many of us together in fun activities. Whether at the best times or worst times in your life you could count on Pastor Fintzen to be there with an open heart and his always warm and welcoming smile.


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