Pastor Daniel R. Wilch
March 19, 1957 ‒ March 09, 2020
Formerly of Arlington, Ohio
Pastor Daniel R. Wilch, age 62, of Marion, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday afternoon, March 9, 2020, at The Ohio State University Medical Center surrounded by his loving family. He had been diagnosed just days prior to his passing with an aggressive form of untreatable cancer.
On March 19, 1957, Dan was born in Bluffton, Ohio, one of four sons of the late Harry R. and Lida E. (Traucht) Wilch. He was raised in Arlington, Ohio, and graduated from Arlington High School in the class of 1975, where he excelled in track and as a fullback on the football field. He also was an Eagle Scout with Arlington Troop 318, and grew up in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Jenera, where his mentor and dear friend Pastor Paul W. Frey took Dan under his wing.
Furthering his education and football career, Dan attended Ohio Northern University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1979. Feeling the nudge of God to go into the ministry, he next attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree and spent his summers working as a counselor at Lutheran Memorial Camp.
Throughout the process of becoming ordained, Dan had some memorable internship experiences in North Dakota and Cincinnati before interning at Faith Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon. It was here the pastor asked him to visit Nancy Kaelber, a recent visitor to the church. Following this visit Dan and Nancy began dating and quickly knew they were meant for one another. They were married on August 3, 1985, and have shared thirty four years of marriage, lovingly raising three children: Amanda, Abigail, and Matthew.
After his internship at Faith Lutheran Church, Dan was called to his first and lifelong call as pastor at Timothy Lutheran Church in Marion. He was ordained at his home church in Jenera on March 3, 1985, and was installed as minister at Timothy Lutheran on March 10, 1985. For just one day shy of thirty-five years, Dan gave his whole heart and soul to his church and community. He helped develop many programs at the church, implementing a community Vacation Bible School with Nancy in 1986, a Good Friday Day Camp program the following decade, and where he ran their Pumpkin Patch for over twenty years to help raise funds for others. When his oldest daughter met and married Marc Dave Bien Aime of Haiti, he became even more committed to raising funds in order to help his son-in-law’s impoverished family in Haiti. He also opened the church to and helped mentor Boy Scout Troop 46 with Josh Nagel.
A completely selfless, humble, and loving man, Dan cared for his mother for several years while she was in failing health. Through this process, he learned to be a caretaker, which then led him to volunteer with Joyce’s Angels for over five years, specializing in helping men suffering from Dementia.
Dan truly lived a life of devotion to his family, his faith, and his church. Every day, he “talked the talk and walked the walk” of his Christian values. His heart bled for those less fortunate, and he always tried to help those in need however he could. He also had a passion for youth, and would drive his van all over Marion to pick up kids who otherwise would have been unable to attend church services and activities.
Giving his all to his family, Dan overflowed with love for his wife and children. He tried to never miss anything his children were involved in, and especially loved watching his baby boy play baseball.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Nancy Wilch of Marion; three children: Amanda (Marc Dave) Bien Aime, Abigail (Aaron) Weisberg, and Matthew (Leah DeVore) Wilch; three brothers: Jesse (Judy) Davis, David (Donna) Wilch, and Ron (Karen) Wilch; four nephews and two nieces; mother-in-law, Esther Kaelber; and sister-in-law, Margie (Tom) Black.
His family will greet friends from 4 – 8 pm on Friday, March 13, 2020, at his church, Timothy Lutheran Church, 3004 Marion Mt. Gilead Rd., Marion. Services honoring his life and celebrating his faith will also be held there at 11 am on Saturday, with Pastor Sarah Schaaf and Bishop Daniel Beaudoin co-officiating. Burial will follow in Waldo Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Timothy Lutheran Church with a note in the memo line for funds to be used for either the church or for the Bien Aime family in Haiti.
Snyder Funeral Homes, Denzer Chapel, are honored to serve Pastor Dan’s family and church, and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.