David L. Koenig, 81, of Amarillo, TX passed away on March 9, 2021.
David L. Koenig was born on March 11th, 1939 in Wichita Falls, Texas during a West Texas dust storm. His parents were Norman Koenig and Allene Bevers Koenig. He was baptized as a child of God at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wichita Falls. At the age of 8, his family moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He graduated from Capitol Hill High School in 1957. After graduation he attended St. John’s College in Winfield, Kansas earning an Associates of Arts degree in 1959. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska in 1961. His senior year at Concordia, he did his student teaching at Our Savior Lutheran School in Kansas City, Kansas. While there he met his forever princess, Rhoda Gorthy, and they were married in 1962.
Following his graduation from Concordia, he began his teaching ministry at First Lutheran School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he taught in the intermediate grades and served as Director of Athletics and Youth for two years.
In 1963, he accepted a call as a sixth-grade teacher and Director of Athletics and Youth for Holy Cross Lutheran School in Wichita, Kansas, and he remained in that position until 1966 when he was appointed acting Principal of the school. In 1968, he became Director of Christian Education at Holy Cross and served in that capacity for five years. He earned a Master of Education Degree in Education Administration at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. He was a member of the Lutheran Education Association and worked on a number of District committees and boards while teaching in Kansas. He was blessed with three children during his tenure in Wichita, Janet, Christopher, and Jonathan.
In 1973, he accepted the Principal position at Holy Cross Lutheran School in St. Louis, Missouri. During the 1977-78 school year, he served as Chairman of the St. Louis Area Principals Conference for Lutheran elementary schools. He also served a three-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees Association and held the offices of Vice President and Chairman of the Education Committee. In 1978, he became Administrative Assistant to Superintendent of the Lutheran High School Association.
In 1980, he accepted a position as Director of Christian Education at St. Paul Lutheran School in McAllen, Texas. During this period of time, he lost his youngest son, Jonathan, to leukemia in 1983. In 1987, he moved to Austin, Texas and became Principal at St. Paul Lutheran School. He chaired the Texas Lutheran Schools Accreditation Commission. He chaired the Administrators Conference in Texas. He was also on the Board of Trustees, Lutheran Association for Higher Education, Texas District Board of Mission Administration.
He retired from the professional teaching ministry in 1995, but continued his role as educator working as an interim principal for several Lutheran schools when requested. He and Rhoda moved to Amarillo, Texas in 2007 to enjoy being closer to family. He was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Amarillo.
Married 58 years to Rhoda, the two build a life centered around faith, education, hard work and family. These values were taught to their own children and now their grandchildren who carry those life lessons throughout their everyday lives.
In the past 81 years Dave’s greatest title aside from husband and father was “Papa” to his 6 grandchildren. Oh how he loved to share his favorite snack of donuts while enjoying a warm cup of coffee listening to their life’s adventures and daily exploits. A man of many talents, one having the ability to take a quick nap just about anywhere, the other was woodworking. More than a hobby, his time and talents with a saw and wood will be forever enjoyed by family members, friends, and church congregations alike. Dave lived his life like this saying “From the earth beneath our feet there grows a tree. We can take it, shape it, to what it’s meant to be. The stronger the fiber, the better for the good, and so we believe that life is just like wood.”
David left this earthly life on March 9th, 2021 after his lengthy battle with leukemia. He is survived by his wife, Rhoda, his daughter Janet Schwartzenberg, MD (Jeffrey) of Amarillo, his son Christopher Koenig, MD (Angela) of Overland Park, Kansas, and his six grandchildren Jonathan, Annika, Jakob, Mikaela, Aubrey, and Clarice. He is also survived by his brother Robert Koenig (Diann) of Moore, Oklahoma. He is preceded in death by his son Jonathan.
A memorial service will be held to celebrate Dave’s life on Saturday, March 13th, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church – 5005 W IH-40 Frontage Rd.
Trinity Lutheran Christian School – Amarillo, Texas
BSA Harrington Cancer Center – Amarillo, Texas