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Rev. John A. Kroschel, Lutheran pastor in area Dec. 10, 1963 -- May 17, 2012

The Rev. John A. Kroschel, Ph.D., a pastor and former assistant to the bishop at Upstate New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, died May 17 at his home in St. Cloud, Minn. He was 48.

A Minnesota native, he obtained a bachelor's degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and a master of divinity at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minn.

He began serving as a pastor at Nativity Lutheran in East Aurora after graduating with a doctorate in ministry from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester. He also served as a pastor for 13 years at Wales Hollow Lutheran in South Wales. He next served as assistant to the bishop in Western New York for five years.

Dr. Kroschel then returned to his home state to serve as pastor at Atonement Lutheran Church in St. Cloud. He lived in Egypt in the summers of 2005 and 2007 to teach at St. Leo Coptic Catholic Seminary.

Dr. Kroschel also volunteered with Children's Youth Ministries and Habitat for Humanity. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing guitar, downhill skiing and renovating old homes.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, the former Christine Barrett; a son, Nathan; a daughter, Sari; his parents, Milton and Donna; and two brothers, David and James.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday in Nativity Lutheran Church, 970 E. Main St., East Aurora.