Pastor John Robert “Bob” Paulson was born on May 19, 1939, in Atascadero, California, the first of four children born to John and Margaret Paulson. He was baptized on July 2, 1939, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Paso Robles, California and confirmed his faith on May 24, 1953 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Tracy, California. As a youth Bob was involved in Walther League and 4-H. He was a delegate to the National 4-H Club Congress and held the record sugar content for sugar beets in San Joaquin County. After graduation from Tracy Joint Union High School in 1957, he attended Concordia College in Oakland, California, as a Pre-Seminary student for one year. His boyhood dream of becoming an agricultural missionary to Africa (a mission position unheard of in the Synod at the time) went on hold when he transferred to the University of California Davis in 1958, receiving his B.S. Degree in Agricultural Production in 1962. He was honored to be chosen to attend President Dwight Eisenhower’s White House Conference on Children & Youth. He also served as Student Body President at U.C. Davis, meeting President John F. Kennedy at U.C. Charter Day. It was at U.C. Davis that Bob met Kathy Ann Barr. On July 7, 1962, he and Kathy were married at Faith Lutheran Church in Sonoma, California (Kathy’s hometown). The Lord blessed Bob and Kathy with two children, Eilene Marie and Brent Eric. Bob received his commission in the U.S. Army (after 4 years in the ROTC Program at U.C. Davis) and served two years of active duty at Fort Lee, Virginia and Fort Ord, California followed by 6 years of Army Reserve duty. Bob and Kathy returned to Tracy in 1964, where Bob farmed with his parents until his enrollment at Concordia Seminary in 1982 at the age of 42. It was his participation in California’s Agricultural Leadership Training Program (1978-1980), and the 35-day international trip it provided (Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana), that the Lord used to “rekindle” Bob’s desire for full-time church work. Bob entered Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri in 1982 and served his vicarage at Calvary Lutheran Church in Rosemont, Nebraska. He graduated from Concordia Seminary in May of 1986, at the age of 46, with a Master of Divinity Degree. He was ordained into the Holy Ministry at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Tracy, California on June 22, 1986. He received his call into the Holy Ministry through the saints at Christ Lutheran Church in Yuma, Arizona. He has served God’s people at Our Faith Lutheran Church in Davis, California, St. Peter Lutheran Church in North Bend, Nebraska, Christ Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Nebraska and Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, Colorado. Following his “semi-retirement” in 2004, he served briefly as Visitation Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Utica, Nebraska and on July 1, 2005 he began his service as Pastor for Visitation and Pastoral Care at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward, Nebraska. Bob passed away on April 14, 2022 in Lincoln, Nebraska at the age of 82 years, 10 months and 26 days. Mourning yet rejoicing in Bob’s new life in Christ are his wife, Kathy Paulson of Seward, Nebraska; children, Eilene (Rob) Burden of Chula Vista, California, Brent (Dee) Paulson of Lakewood, Colorado; grandchildren, Robby (Shelby) Burden, Matthew Burden, Amanda Burden; soon-to-be great grandson, Drew Ryan Burden; sisters, Elaine (Rev. Ted) Zimmerman of Napa, California, Ruth (John) Lane of Santa Barbara, California; brother, Richard (Sandy) Paulson of Lodi, California; nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, John and Margaret Paulson; parents-in-law, LeRoy “Doc” and Marie Barr.
To God be the glory!
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