Reverend Herbert Stemler

Print Obituary
Reverend Herbert Clarence Jacob Stemler, 87, of Freeburg, IL, born June 28, 1933, in rural Waterloo, IL, died Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at Freeburg Care Center, Freeburg, IL.

Following his high school graduation, Herbert attended Ranken Technical College and owned his own television repair shop before attending Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. He then attended Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO, where he received his Masters of Divinity Degree. Reverend Stemler was a caring and dedicated minister throughout his career serving in several different congregations, including his fieldwork at Church of the Open Door in Webster Groves, MO, followed by St. James UCC in St. Louis, MO where he met his wife, Miriam Boehm. His service as a pastor continued at St. Stephen’s UCC in Merrill, WI, Emmanuel UCC in Darlington, WI, St. John UCC in Smithton, IL, Eden UCC in Edwardsville, IL and finally with retirement from St. Paul’s Evangelical Church in Creve Coeur, MO.

Having been raised in a farming family, Herbert felt that he was a farmer at heart and through his life always maintained his love of gardening and farming, especially with his business, Ivy Lane Christmas Tree Farm. He loved to travel and, along with Miriam, over the years, traveled the world. Herbert was proud to be a lifetime member of the Lions Club and was a charter member of the Smithton, IL Lions Club Chapter. Reverend Stemler was very dedicated to church life, serving on countless committees both locally and at the UCC Conference level.

He was preceded in death by a son in infancy, Paul Steven; his parents, Herman and Ida, nee Gummersheimer, Stemler; and two sisters, Jean Stemler and Gladys (Marvin) Groom.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Miriam, nee Boehm, Stemler, whom he married on September 9, 1961;
his children, Ruth (Bryan) Vogel of Freeburg, IL,
Peter (Lisa) Stemler of Wildwood, MO,
and Sarah (James) Harms of Freeburg, IL;
five grandchildren, Andrew Vogel of Freeburg, IL,
Catherine (Matt) Rohlfing of Rockwood, IL,
Nicholas Stemler of Ballwin, MO,
Rachel Stemler of Wildwood, MO,
and Cameron Harms of Freeburg, IL;
and one great-grandson expected soon;
two brothers, Willis (Jan) Stemler of Waterloo, IL,
and Vernon (Angela) Stemler of Pacific, MO;
a sister, Carol (Robert) Johnson;
and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL, or to the Alzheimer’s Association. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Visitation will be held from 12 to 2 p.m. Sunday, December 27, 2020, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL. Standard CDC guidelines, including masks and a limited number of visitors at any one time will be observed.

Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 27, 2020, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL. Standard CDC guidelines, including masks and a limited number of visitors at any one time will be observed.

Burial will follow at Waterloo City Cemetery, Waterloo, IL.


15 Comments on Reverend Herbert Stemler

Ralph Schultz said : Guest Report Jan 21, 2021 at 3:51 PM

Wow!! Herb and I (along with Miriam) go back a long ways. Way back to our days at Eden Seminary in the early 60's.. Herb, then single, lived right next door and we had many, many opportunities to talk, share and yes, grieve together. When both of us were married, the four of us lived in the same 'married' dorm. More close contact. When Herb served the church at Fillmore and Boltonville WI, we had many contacts, including the area UCC clergy group. From time to time, Herb would bring little Ruth to our home, as he made a visit at the nearby West Bend, WI hospital. When Herb and Miriam moved out of the area, we would look forward to seeing each other at Eden Seminary Convocation, For a period of time, it was every year. What a great steady guy and a faithful pastor, always there for his congregation. Miriam, our love to you. Please know how important our friendship has been over the years. Peace and God's love be with you and all your family. Ralph Schultz

  • Waukesha
  • WI
Barbara Johnson said : Guest Report Jan 17, 2021 at 11:21 AM

Sympathy to the family. I first met Rev Stemler when I had attended St Paul Church and discovered he lived a few houses from me. He was always glad to help out in Graeler Park. He once came to my home and prayed with my son at a very difficult time. Thankful to have known him and the comfort snd hope he provided.

  • St Louis
  • Mo
Mosir Family said : Guest Report Dec 31, 2020 at 8:38 PM

Fondly recall his help when our son moved out of the rental on Ivy Lane. Thoughts and prayers.

  • Waterloo
  • Illinois
Pastor Mark Friz said : Guest Report Dec 27, 2020 at 5:23 PM

Dear Miriam, Ruth, Peter and Sarah, I offer my condolences and the sympathy of the entire St. Paul's family on the death of Pastor Stemler. Herb was excellent at Pastoral Care and provided great comfort to many of our members and friends during their most difficult moments. We are thankful for the hope we have in Jesus, not only for heaven, but also for the resurrection of the body! Grace and peace!

  • Saint Louis
  • Missouri
Gene Gummersheimer said : Guest Report Dec 27, 2020 at 3:25 PM

From Gene and Wanda, Columbia. Herb and I are first cousins, His mother and my father were sister and brother, and my father, Clarence was Herbs sponsor, I attended his his college graduation in Carbondale, our family members were all close and I will miss him. We would meet at the Lehr dixieland concert in Columbia. Our thoughts and prayers will go to the family. Wanda and Gene

  • Columbia
  • Illinois
Frank and Lynn May said : Guest Report Dec 27, 2020 at 3:08 PM

Frank and I worked very closely with Pastor Stemler at St. Paul’s Evangelical church in St Louis. Pastor was always willing to help us in the Roast Beef dinner and Sausage dinners. He loved them. I was on the Search committee to bring Pastor Stemler to St. Paul’s. I also worked as wedding coordinator very closely with Pastor as he officiated many weddings. Our condolences to the family and prayers for peace and comfort for Miriam

  • St Louis
  • MO
Mark Stahlhut said : Guest Report Dec 27, 2020 at 10:21 AM

My sympathy to you all. What a good life Herb led. Our paths crossed first when he was student pastor (1960-61) at St. James UCC. Herb was thrust into a difficult situation when the pastor of St. James UCC (Herbert Stahlhut) died 2 weeks before Christmas in 1960! Later our paths crossed when Herb faithfully visited my godfather's wife (Elsie Nolte) and father's cousin and wife (Ed & Till Stahlhut) as visitation pastor at Eden UCC in Edwardsville IL. Later, in his retirement, Herb was pastor to my brother Ralph's family at St. Paul's Church in Creve Coeur Missouri. And finally our paths crossed again as Herb and Miriam supported Urban Born, the re-incarnation of St. James Church, on the north-side of St. Louis. It's difficult to imagine how many lives he touched. What a wonderful and faithful person Herb was.

  • La Crosse
  • Wisconsin
Tona Rowett said : Guest Report Dec 26, 2020 at 2:16 PM

Pastor Stemler played a pivotal role in my Christian theological formation, serving as my Confirmation Leader at Eden UCC. Prayers of comfort to Miriam, Ruth, Peter, Sarah and their families, and prayers of Thanksgiving for the memories we all have and share of Pastor Stemler.

  • Springfield
  • MO
Ivan & Viv Horn said : Guest Report Dec 26, 2020 at 1:32 PM

Ruth, Sarah and Peter, Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you with Herb's death. Many years of clergy connections and Waterloo connections. Ivan & Viv

  • Waterloo
  • IL
Gary and Karen Voelker said : Guest Report Dec 26, 2020 at 10:33 AM

Ruth and Sarah, our sincere sympathy on the loss of your dad.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Gary and Karen Voelker said : Guest Report Dec 26, 2020 at 10:33 AM

Ruth and Sarah, our sincere sympathy on the loss of your dad.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Sherry Favre Salvatore said : Guest Report Dec 24, 2020 at 7:52 AM

I send my sympathy to your family and happily remember youth group days with Rev. Stemler. Sending love and prayers. May your memories be filled with love and laughter.

  • Freeburg
  • IL
David & Linda Stookey said : Guest Report Dec 24, 2020 at 7:38 AM

Our deepest condolences go out to the Family. Please know that you are all in our prayers..

  • St. Louis,
  • Missouri
Michelle and Jim Feurer said : Guest Report Dec 23, 2020 at 9:21 PM

Our thoughts and prayers to Sarah and Ruth and families. Treasure your memories.

  • Freeburg
  • Il
Janet M Thrasher said : Guest Report Dec 23, 2020 at 4:07 PM

Please except my deepest sympathy Ruth and Sarah. It is so hard to lose our parents. There is no love like the love of our parents. God Bless all of you. Jan

  • Freeburg
  • IL

Add Public Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.