Rev. Arthur Frederick Roepke was born on November 25, 1923 in Oelwein, Iowa, the son of Wilhelm and Caroline (Haak) Roepke. He grew up in the Oelwein area. He was confirmed in 1938 at Zion Lutheran Church, where he was very active in Luther League. Art had eleven years of perfect attendance at Sunday School and then taught Sunday School. Art graduated from Oelwein High School in 1941. He attended Capital City Commercial College in the forties and worked in the office of Chicago Great Western Rail Road for eight years. He graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly in 1953 and Wartburg Theological Seminary School in Dubuque in 1957. He was ordained in 1957 and served his internship in Menominee, Wisconsin. How did Art get to New Guinea? One of his Sunday School lessons was on New Guinea and it gave a list of names of missionaries who have been to New Guinea along with their flier saying “Come over and help us.”In October of 1957 he headed to New Guinea and didn’t make it back home for seven years, but after that he came home every three years for a visit. One of his many assignments at Kristin Press in New Guinea was to help translate the Bible into the Pigeon language. In 1989, after thirty-two years in New Guinea he came back to Oelwein to the same house he was born and raised in.
Art is survived by a sister, Ruth Sperry of Turlock, California; a sister-in-law, Frances Roepke of Traer, Iowa; four nephews, David Anderson of Nevada, Iowa, Doug Wetlaufer of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Steve Wetlaufer of Winterset, Iowa and Tom Sperry of Turlock, California; and a niece Susan Sperry of Stockton, California. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilhelm and Caroline; four sisters, Elizabeth Anderson, Margaret Roepke, Esther Roepke and Freda Wetlaufer; and four brothers, Bill Roepke, Alvin Roepke, Paul Roepke and George Roepke.
A memorial fund has been established in his name to go to Zion Lutheran Church in Oelwein.
SERVICES: 11:00 am, Tuesday, July 13 a Zion Lutheran Church in Oelwein, with the Rev. Leo Combs-Lay officiating.
VISITATION: 9:00 to 11:00 am, on Tuesday, also at Zion Lutheran Church.