112 Bayview Blvd.
Oldsmar, Florida 34677
(Serving All of Florida)
Rev. Alfred A. Schlorholtz, 1923 – 2019
A life of service to others
Alfred A. Schlorholtz passed away March 31 at Mease Continuing Care in Dunedin, FL, following an exemplary life of service to others. He and his wife Peggy served for a total of 35 years in the mission field in Pakistan and Nepal, where they worked in education, economic and rural development, and pastoral care. They touched the lives of thousands, many of them among the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the world.
Schlorholtz was born on December 15, 1923, on a farm near Breda, Iowa, the middle child of five born to Abel and Emma Schlorholtz. As he noted in his 2011 memoir, Something to Share, his position in the family helped to explain “why I have such a gentle and compromising nature.”
He attended Wall Lake High School, where he met his life partner, Peggy Hoft. According to a family story, she first attracted his attention by throwing an orange at him in study hall. In 1946, after Peggy graduated from Iowa State University, they married in Wall Lake. Al attended Buena Vista College, and then Princeton Seminary, where he felt called to work in the mission field. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1953 in Wall Lake.
The couple, with three small children in tow, traveled by ship to Pakistan and began mission work in the fall of 1954. Their fourth child was born in Pakistan. Their first assignment was in Kasur, a city south of Lahore near the newly created border with India. One of their first tasks was to organize relief efforts after a devastating flood that hit the area.
The Schlorholtzes spent most of their time in Pakistan in Lahore, where Al first served as pastor at Naulakha Church, and then as chaplain and professor of English and sociology for over 20 years at Forman Christian College. His many students remember him fondly, especially for his book, English Made Easier, Written for Students in Pakistan.
In his English classes, Al was known for using humor to make learning more fun and interesting. To encourage a deeper engagement with the language, he came up with novel assignments that required thought and true mastery. In one assignment — to describe riding the bus to college — he stressed that the lead sentence should get his attention. Highest marks went to the student who started his essay, “Entering a Lahore bus is like entering into the gates of hell.”
The Schlorholtzes were known for bringing people of different religious, social and national backgrounds together, and they frequently hosted elaborate tea parties on their lawn on the FC College campus.
In 1978, after 24 years in Pakistan, they moved to Kathmandu to work with the United Mission to Nepal. Al administered economic/rural development projects, overseeing some 400 people and working with thousands of Nepalis on clean water access, reforestation, clean energy, roads, dams and other efforts that brought jobs and food to many. The Schlorholtzes retired in 1989, settling in Palm Harbor, FL, before moving to Mease Manor, in nearby Dunedin, in 2005. Peggy passed away in 2007.
Known both inside and outside the family for his humorous, loving and gracious manner, Schlorholtz was often called on to make his “International Humor” presentation. He maintained an extensive mailing list of contacts, with whom he corresponded right up until his death.
“One remembers Al as a person with a joyous laugh, always pleasant to be around, and a faithful servant of the Lord,” wrote family friend Don Joshua on hearing of his passing. “He touched many people and may not even have known it because he was basically quite humble. There will be many people in three countries and two continents who will bemoan his loss . . . .”
In his memoir, Schlorholtz wrote, “Peggy and I are indebted to literally thousands of people from many lands. They have enriched our lives. We are a community of the heart, of the soul and joy of life amidst the trials and vicissitudes of our human journey.”
Schlorholtz is survived by his children Hope, Esther and John. Son Stan passed away in 2017. He is also survived by daughter-in-law Jo Ann Schlorholtz and John’s partner, Joanne Rowley; sons-in-law Joseph Hunter and Stephen Phillips; grandchildren Tanya Dunn, Erik Schlorholtz and Arin Hunter-Schlorholtz; Erik’s wife Kristin Schlorholtz, and great-grandchildren Lilly, Julie and Will Schlorholtz.
A celebration of life will be held at 10 am on May 18, 2019, at Mease Manor Auditorium, 700 Mease Plaza, Dunedin, FL. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Professor Alfred A. Schlorholtz Scholarship Fund, which benefits deserving and disadvantaged students in Pakistan, c/o the Texas Presbyterian Foundation, 6100 Colwell Blvd, Suite 250, Irving TX 75039.
Professor Alfred A. Schlorholtz Scholarship Fund c/o the Texas Presbyterian Foundation
6100 Colwell Blvd, Suite 250, Irving TX 75039