For all of us at the Missouri Baptist Convention, and particularly with The Pathway staff, our Thanksgiving weekend was impacted by some unexpected sadness.
Andree Ziehmer, who so ably served as executive assistant to the editor for more than six years, died Nov. 19 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident near her hometown of California. She was 64. It happened not far from her home church of First Baptist Church, California, where she served as organist for more than 20 years, was the personal prayer partner of her pastor, Greg Morrow, and married her husband of 46 years, Carl.
The contributions Andree made to The Pathway are too numerous to list, but suffice it to say she leaves a great void in our hearts and in our operations. Andrees pleasant voice was always the first Pathway subscribers and advertisers heard when they phoned the office. Andrees beautiful smile and warm demeanor was enjoyed by so many at The Pathway exhibit at the Missouri Baptist Conventions annual meeting each year. She had considerable management skills, a talent of such quality that I entrusted her with much of the financial and administrative day-to-day operations of The Pathway, freeing me to concentrate on what God called me to do.
As I told the packed First California sanctuary at her funeral Nov. 23, Andree was a mature follower of Jesus Christ. She had a fully developed Christian worldview based on Gods Word. She was as theologically astute as any Christian lady I have ever known and she sought to live it out every day to the glory of God the Father.
Andree loved Carl, her husband and my dear friend. Carl tells the story about their first date, which went well. When he took her home (Andree was just 16 at the time), Carl got up the nerve to ask her what she would be doing the next night. She replied, I guess what ever you will be doing. Carl said his heart nearly burst with joy and love. Thus a relationship began that spanned nearly five decades, produced three wonderful children and two beautiful granddaughters.
For me personally, I have lost one of the best friends anyone could ever have. Andree was dedicated and thorough in her service to Missouri Southern Baptists. She loved serving God by serving Missouri Southern Baptists.
But God has called her home and she lives today, only now she is in the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She loved this newspaper and she believed in what we are trying to do. I am grateful to God for the time He allowed her to serve as a member of The Pathway staff.
Please join me in continuing to pray for Carl and the Ziehmer family. In addition to Carl, she is survived by three children, Carleen Ziehmer of Springfield, Robert Ziehmer and wife, Beth, of California, Edward Ziehmer of Jefferson City; two grandchildren, Emily Lorraine and Lauren Andree; and one brother, Patrick D. Murphy and wife, Dee.
DON HINKLE / editor