Members of the Highlandville Literary Society present at a recent meeting are, from left (seated): Bill Stoen, Harold Lee, Verna Lee, Nick Folstad, Linda Wedmann, Euny Stoen, Wilbur Stoen, Pastor Dave, Bob Wedmann; (standing): Lyle Bjerke, Emma Thompson, Joyce Bjerke, Gary Stortz, Bev Stortz. (Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond)
Members of the Highlandville Literary Society present at a recent meeting are, from left (seated): Bill Stoen, Harold Lee, Verna Lee, Nick Folstad, Linda Wedmann, Euny Stoen, Wilbur Stoen, Pastor Dave, Bob Wedmann; (standing): Lyle Bjerke, Emma Thompson, Joyce Bjerke, Gary Stortz, Bev Stortz. (Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond)
The rutabaga team at Big Canoe Lutheran Church may have to find a replacement this year, and the Highlandville Literary Society might occasionally be a member short at meetings; but even though Rev. David Andreae -- longtime pastor to two country churches in Winneshiek county -- retired last month, he won't be going far.

Pastor Dave is moving from his digs of 22 years at the Big Canoe parsonage to rural Waukon -- just a short tractor/snowmobile/motorcycle drive from town.

Folks who've come to know the soft-spoken, sharp-witted pastor through the years will smile at that fact, familiar as they are with his passion for motorized vehicles of all kinds.

That passion was born on the farm where he was raised, between Strawberry Point and Volga -- where he discovered he "pretty much bleeds (John Deere) green and yellow."

Pastor Dave graduated high school in 1961, one of 12 students in the school's last class before Volga consolidated with Elkader ("Not only was I in the top 10 percent," he recalls, "I was the top 10 percent").

He studied Greek and history at Wartburg College, graduated in 1965, and attended Wartburg Theological Seminary for three years.

After a one-year internship (from 1967-'68) at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Walla-Walla, Wash., Pastor Dave would spend the rest of his career - 44 years - at only two parishes, serving 22 years at each one.

For complete story and more photos, see Thursday's Decorah Journal.