8 January 1951 Tonawanda News
Salem Church Worker Dies
William F. Thuersam, 68, who devoted much of his life to the work of Salem Evangelical and Reformed Church, died this morning in DeGraff Memorial Hospital.
Mr. Thuersam, manager of the Hamp Furniture Company for 40 years, had been ill for several months. His home was at 61 Highland Ave.
A lifelong resident of Tonawanda, Mr. Theursam was baptized, confirmed and married in Salem Church. He became teacher of a Sunday School class when he was 13 years old and at 21 was promoted to assistant superintendent of the Sunday School. In 1914, he became superintendent of the school, a position he held until his death.
Because of his devotion to his church, in December 1945, Mr. Thuersam was ordained a lifetime elder in Salem Church. Pastors of local and neighboring city churches were present at the ceremonies. This honor rarely is conferred on a layman, the Rev. Walter F. Hetzel, Salem pastor, said today.
Mr. Thuersam sang in the church choir for 35 years. He was a charter member of the brotherhood of the church and served as secretary for 15 years. He served on the Church Council for 15 years and was chairman of the Building Committee in charge of building the church house and remodeling the interior of the church.
As recording secretary of the Synod District Federation of Brotherhoods, he served 18 years and was a member of the Western New York Synod's National Missions Committee of the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
He was president of the Tonawandas Council of Churches for three years and a member of the Board of Directors of the Erie County Council of Churches. He was also a past vice president and treasurer of the Union Daily Vacation Bible School of Tonawanda. Mr. Thuersam was a member of Tonawandas' Rotary Club.
Mr. Thuersam's wife, Amelia, died in January 1948 and his daughter, Eunice, died July 31, 1950. He is survived by a brother, Herman of Niagara Falls; three sisters, Mrs. Fred Herman and Mrs. George Edwards of Tonawanda and Mrs. William Crowell of Fairlawn, L.I.
Friends may call at the Hamp Funeral Home until 11 a.m. Wednesday. The body will lie in state in Salem Church from 11:30 to 2 p.m. Wednesday when services will be conducted by Mr. Hetzel. Burial will be in Elmlawn Cemetery.