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Arlyn Fuerst - December 26, 2011


Arlyn F. Fuerst, age 69, died Monday, Dec. 26, 2011, at Agrace HospiceCare facility due to his condition resulting from CLL, which he lived with since 2000. He was surrounded by his loving family and friends.
Arlyn was born on May 25, 1942, in Holdrege.
He graduated from Hildreth High School in 1959.
He married Carolyn Wulff on June, 13, 1965, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Canova, S.D.
Both were raised in Midwestern, German-Lutheran farming communities, which greatly shaped their outlook on life, filled with warm-heartedness, openness, and values of family, a strong work ethic, and church piety. His passion for family life and communication led to the introduction of American Sign Language to his two deaf sons and the entire family as well.
He received his bachelor of music degree in church music at Wartburg College in 1963, and his master of music degree in church music and organ from the University of Michigan in 1964. In 1971, he received a Lutheran World Federation Scholarship and was granted a leave of absence from his position at Trinity Lutheran Church for further studies at the Musikhochschule in Luebeck, Germany and the University of Iowa. He taught as a presenter from 1974 until 1988 for the University of Wisconsin Music Extension Series.
He is best known to the Madison community for his 43-year tenure as minister of music at Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA), a position he enthusiastically filled from 1964 until 2006; he loved working with the dedicated volunteers of the music program. He organized and directed an annual Renaissance Festival for Advent and Christmas on the first Sunday of Advent for 25 years from 1977 until 2001.
The Trinity Choir toured Europe under his leadership in 1979, 1986 and 1996. He was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal as “Know your Madisonian” in 1999, and represented the city together with musicians from Trinity at the Madison Fair in Freiburg, Germany in 1994.
He was grateful for the care he received from the doctors and nurses at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and from the caregivers of Agrace HospiceCare. He was thankful in particular for a fantastic summer that culminated in a family reunion in August of all the descendants of his parents, Fred and Martha Fuerst. Family and service of God in the Lutheran tradition were of utmost importance to him.
He has touched many people with his life and work, and was moved to be reminded of this through the many cards, letters, and well-wishes he received during the last weeks of his life.
Survivors include his wife, Carolyn Fuerst nee Wulff; sons, Michael and wife, Anna-Miria, Paul and wife, Tamara, and Steven and wife, Suzette; nine grandchildren; brother, Dick Fuerst and wife, Veronica; sister, Patricia Thomas and husband, Mark; and their families.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Fred Fuerst and Martha Fuerst nee DeJonge.
Funeral services were Jan. 7 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison, Wis.
Burial was at Roselawn Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Agrace HospiceCare, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. More information may be read at www.gundersonfh.com.
Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Care in Madison, Wis., was in charge of arrangements.