The Blue Springs community, particularly the Timothy Lutheran Church congregation, has lost a humanitarian.
Pastor Ted Schubkegel, 65, of Timothy Lutheran Ministries in Blue Springs, a man “who had time for everybody” and an “infectious smile,” passed away on March 16 after battling cancer. He served the church as an associate pastor for 26 years, and according to Timothy Lutheran senior pastor Richard Steensma Jr., his greatest gift was to help those in a time of need.
“He knew everyone’s name and had an amazing memory for those types of things,” recalled Steensma. “Whoever was talking to him was the most important person of that time. He was always interested in what people had to say.”
Both pastor Francis Lieb of Timothy Lutheran and Steensma say that Schubkegel would make phone calls to those alone on holidays.
“We have heard story after story over the last few days on how he touched people with his phone calls,” said Steensma.
“He also spent a great deal of time with his daughter in the Special Olympics or coaching sports programs dealing with special needs,” Lieb added.
Also, the two pastors say Schubkegel was instrumental in the creation of “Serve Day,” a day held each year since 2010 when the church performs hands-on projects, such as cleaning parks, repairing homes, or cooking food for charity organizations like The Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity and The Rainbow Center.
The reason Schubkegel was such a people person is that he believed he was doing what God wanted him to do, says Steensma.
“Everything he did and said was done to share the love of Christ."
In fact, the humble man would not have wanted the big celebration of his life at the church’s North Campus held Friday, according to the two pastors.
“It was all about Jesus for him,” Steensma said.
In Schubkegel’s final months, when he was physically unable to attend worship, he would still minister through email.
Weeks before his passing, Lieb distinctly remembers what Schubkegel said to him. The man with a “hearty laugh” and pleasant disposition fully entrusted God with his life.
“He said, 'I do not know what to expect, but I know I can take the Lord’s hand and He will take me home.'”
Although the two say they are still struggling with the loss, they haven’t asked God why such a positive individual was taken away.
“I really thought about the trust he (Schubkegel) had (with God),” Lieb said. “We can question, but ultimately we have to trust God’s plan. I place my life with His purpose.”
Pastor Ted made his last sermon to the church in November 2013. He said, "The Bible tells us God is working everything together for the good of those who follow Him. His kingdom has a plan. So we don't have the all picture of what's going on in the kingdom ourselves."
Coincidently, or perhaps by fate, Timothy Lutheran Church’s 2014 Serve Day is scheduled today, the day after his life celebration service.
In lieu of flowers, the Schubkegel family requests donations to be made to the Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City, Mo., or the Timothy Lutheran Church School Scholarship Fund. Memories of Pastor Ted, condolences for the family, and pictures, may be left at the Facebook page of Pastor Ted Schubkegel.