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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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WIEDERAENDERS, Robert. (Clinton, IA, June 23, 1922--Dubuque, IA, Oct. 22, 2012) The son of Martin and Olivia (Mix) Wiederaenders, Robert graduated from Waverly High School in 1939 and from Wartburg College in 1943.

Wiederaenders served in the United States Army during WORLD WAR II in the Horse Cavalry. In 1945 he was sent to India where he served in a finance office and was part of a jungle recovery unit in Burma and Thailand.

After the war Robert received his B.D at WARTBURG THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY and his S.T.M. at the University of Chicago Theological Seminary. He started working at Hope Lutheran Church in Midlothian, Illinois and there met his future wife, Wauneta (Nita) Gorrell. They were married June 15, 1951 at Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago.

Robert was ordained at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Waverly Iowa. For twelve years he served as pastor at churches in Illinois. In 1964 Nita and Robert moved with their four children to Dubuque. They joined HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH, where they remained active members for the past 48 years.

From 1964 to 2008 Rev. Robert was Archivist for Region 5 ELCA and Archivist for Wartburg Seminary. Church history was Robert's hobby before it became his profession. He helped organize the Lutheran Historical Conference and served as its president from 1972 to 1974.

He was active in the DUBUQUE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY and the society's archives, the Dubuque Area Congregations United and the Dubuque Rescue Mission where he served on the board and as president several times. He was honored to officiate at the reburial of Chief PEOSTA assisting representatives of the Meskwaki Tribe. After his retirement, Wiederaenders joined French Colonial Studies. He edited The People of the American Midwest; to 1803 A Bibliographical Database and wrote a definitive biography of Julien DUBUQUE included in the book titled Plumbing the Depths published in 2006.