February 27, 1959 - February 28, 2017
Joel David Sauerwein passed away on February 28, 2017, 7:31 pm at Legacy Hopewell House Hospice in Portland, Oregon. He had been a resident at Prestige Oregon City Care Center. Joel died from a bacterial infection after a long battle with diabetes and end stage renal failure. He was 58 years old. Joel was born February 27, 1959 in Tacoma, Washington to Daniel Ernest Sauerwein and Lois Margaret Hopkins. His father was a pastor and his mother was the daughter of a minister. He was raised to know the Bible and made public confession of his faith in Jesus Christ on December 5, 1971, when he became a member of Helvetia Community Church near his childhood home in Hillsboro, Oregon. He was baptized on May 19, 1974 by his father, who was also his pastor. The family owned a couple of acres outside Hillsboro, and Joel enjoyed raising and showing sheep in 4H. He played the clarinet and marched in four Portland Rose Parades with the Hillsboro High School Spartan Marching Band. He was very interested in Science, becoming a member of the Order of the Blue Beaker for Scholastic Excellence in Science. He enjoyed science clubs at Tectronix with his older brother Tim. Joel completed five years of German in the Hillsboro school district, earning the privilege to travel to Germany as an exchange student for the summer of 1977. Upon graduation in 1977 from Hillsboro High School, Joel enrolled in a four year Bible and Theology program at Multnomah Bible School. He completed the course in 1980 and later upgraded his diploma to a Bachelor's degree in the mid 1990's. While he was a student at Multnomah, he attended Clackamas Bible Church with some of his classmates. In the college and career Sunday School class he met Mary Jane Cameron. They were married November 1, 1980 at Clackamas Bible Church and made their hoe in the Greater Portland area, including residences in Milwaukie, Oregon City, and Hillsboro. In July 1981 Joel enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program of the United States Navy. He began active duty March 11, 1982. Upon completion of his Boot Camp, Mary Jane and Betsy (their first daughter) joined him in the San Diego area. They moved soon after to Vallejo, California for his training as a Data Systems Technician before he was assigned to the Paul F. Foster, a destroyer class ship in Long Beach, California. During his time on board the ship he went on two WestPactours with ports in Hawaii, Philippines, and Australia. When not on the ship, he joined his family in Hawaiian Gardens, California, where Charity and Heidi (2nd and 3rd daughters) were born, as well as in Long Beach Naval housing. In 1986 Joel had a compound fracture of his right ankle and was transferred off the ship. The family lived in Signal Hill for a few months and then went to Seaside, California, living on the Fort Ord Army Base while Joel worked at the Fleet Numerical Oceanographic Center in Monterey repairing computers. He finished his military career with an honorable discharge on September 23, 1988. The family returned to Oregon City, Oregon for transition to civilian life, then moved to Beaverton, Oregon when Joel became employed with Epson, working in computer research and development. In 1991, Joel and Mary Jane bought a home in St. Helens, Oregon, where they lived until 1999. Their fourth daughter, Kathryn, was born soon after moving to St. Helens in 1991. During those years, Epson closed its computer division and Joel returned to Multnomah University to get his Bachelor's degree. He started working for Warner Pacific College in Computer Support. During their time in St. Helens the family participated in community theatre with the Shoestring Players. Joel's most memorable role was King Pellinore in Camelot. Also in St. Helens, Joel and Mary Jane became members of the First Lutheran Church. Soon after, Joel expressed his desire to serve God more completely and applied for Seminary training. In July, 1999, Joel began his journey to become a Lutheran minister at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He completed a Pastoral internship in Alliance, Nebraska and graduated with a Master of Divinity in May of 2003. He began his ministry at St. John's Lutheran Church in Nezperce, Idaho in August of 2003 and was ordained January 18, 2004 at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in St. Helens, Oregon. He served in Idaho until June 2008 when he moved to Killdeer, North Dakota, having accepted a call to serve the Dunn County Parish. He was pastor of four churches in Dunn County from June 2008 to December 2011. Joel and Mary Jane then found a home in Emerado, North Dakota, and work in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Joel became ill and was diagnosed with kidney failure. By fall of 2013 he could no longer work and was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. Joel and Mary Jane then returned to Oregon City, where Joel received treatment through the VA Hospital in Portland and Dialysis at the Davita Center in Oregon City. Joel enjoyed spending time with family at home, on outings, at extended family events and just watching movies or playing games together. He loved music – singing in choir and playing his clarinet as well as listening. His favorites were hymns, classical, Celtic, Mannheim Steamroller, ABBA and Pink Floyd; but Christmas music topped them all. He would play it year round until the kids said he must wait until July to start Christmas songs. Joel liked to bake and cook. His specialty was an authentic lasagna recipe acquired from a missionary friend who worked in Italy. Writing was a passion of his as he spent many hours on his computer expressing his thoughts and feelings. He wrote a weekly column for the local papers where he was a pastor. He also self-published several books and e-books. Animals loved Joel and he had a special bond with the family dog Puppo, a Welsh Corgi/Toy Shepard mix, when he was growing up. Later, he was adopted by three cats: Patches, Toupee, and Pfeffer(Pepper). When Joel became disabled, he began oil painting and found art to be a source of joy for himself. When he was no longer able to paint, he passed time with adult coloring books. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Mary Jane (Cameron) Sauerwein of Portland, Oregon; his children Betsy Marie Brandvik (husband Layne Brandvik) of Dickinson, North Dakota, Charity Anne Huggett (husband Jared Huggett) of Beaverton, Oregon, Heidi Rose Sauerwein of Portland, Oregon, and Kathryn Joelle Booth (husband Joseph Booth) of Little Rock, Arkansas; eight grandchildren Cameron Sauerwein, Conner Devero, Catelyn Devero, Stephen Huggett, Austin Huggett, William Cagle, Rose Cagle, and Charlie Brandvik; two brothers Timothy E. Sauerwein (wife Shirley) of Portland, Oregon and Andrew M. Sauerwein (wife Quita) of Jacksonville, Mississippi; sister Jane Gibson; nephew Christopher Sauerwein; nieces Ria Sauerwein, Lisa Holscher and Hannah Sauerwein. He was preceded in death by his parents Daniel E. Sauerwein and Lois M. Sauerwein (Hopkins).
Joel David Sauerwein passed away on February 28, 2017, 7:31 pm at Legacy Hopewell House Hospice in Portland, Oregon. He had been a resident at Prestige Oregon City Care Center. Joel died from a bacterial infection after a long battle with diabetes... View Obituary & Service Information
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Joel David Sauerwein passed away on February 28, 2017, 7:31 pm...View More
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