Rev. Thomas William Strieter, 80, of Forest Park, died on April 17, 2014 with his family at his side. Born on July 19, 1933, in Evansville, Ind., he was eighth child of Rev. Theophilus and Martha (Henn) Strieter.
After graduating from Concordia Theological Seminary in Saint Louis, he studied musical composition at Valparaiso University, where he met and married Doris Bruch in 1959. He completed his Ph.D. at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, and divided his ministry between parish and academia, serving parishes in Portage, Ind. and in Glen Ellyn, Chicago, and Tinley Park. He taught theology at Concordia College (now Concordia University Chicago) in River Forest from 1965 to 1971 and served as adjunct professor at Mundelein College, Loyola University, St. Xavier University, and the Lutheran School of Theology, all in Chicago. When he retired in 2002, he served on three occasions as a volunteer pastor in Bali, Indonesia.
Throughout his life, Rev. Strieter had a passionate commitment to social justice and human rights. He was a co-founder of the Chicago Peace Museum; served as a village trustee in Maywood at a time of racial discord; was instrumental in the settlement of Chilean refugees in the Chicago area; and co-authored a book on social issues in the U.S.
For the past several years, he and his wife volunteered at the Harmony Community Food Pantry in Chicago, and at the time of his death, they were editing several volumes of homilies by Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Rev. Thomas Strieter is survived by his wife, Doris; his daughters, Kristin (Sallie Castillo) Strieter and Rebecca (John) Irvine; his granddaughter, Maya Irvine; and his sisters, Edith Quevedo and Gertrude Sorsdahl.
Services will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest on Saturday, May 3, at 3 p.m., with visitation at 2 p.m. in the atrium and interment in the Grace Memorial Garden.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Grace Lutheran Church Bach Cantata Series, 7300 Division St., River Forest, IL 60305; Harmony Community Church Food Pantry, 1908 S. Millard, Chicago, IL 60623; Bright Stars of Bethlehem at P.O. Box 185 in Mount Morris, IL 61054 and/or to www.brightstarsbethlehem.org.