Liselotte Elfriede Doerstling
Liselotte Elfriede Doerstling

April 29, 1929 - September 14, 2016
Born in Germany
Resided in Westminster, CO
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Obituary

Liselotte Elfriede Doerstling was born on April 29, 1929 in Erfurt Germany, the first of two daughters of Ernst and Elfriede Mische. Her early years were marked by the seizure of power by the Nazis and subsequent turmoil of World War II. Schooling became difficult as frequent bombings of the city started in 1942 and continued through the end of the war. The worst attack occurred on Good Friday in 1945 when a large bomb exploded in her family's backyard and left a huge crater.

Early on, Liselotte developed a deep love for music. In spite of the war, her parents allowed her to participate in the youth choir which met in the city center. The location they practiced in was the monastery where Martin Luther served as a monk and eventually came to know Christ. The ongoing war and fear of bombs could not hold these young members of the choir back, although they had to run home whenever an alarm sounded.

After the war ended, Liselotte was able to complete her high school education, but not without difficulty. Because of the challenging post-war conditions and Soviet occupation, food and energy were scarce. She worked on homework under a large featherbed, but still contracted frostbite on her hands. The other difficulty was the uncertainty about the fate of her father who had been drafted into non-army service in the fall of 1939. Thankfully he was eventually freed from Soviet captivity and returned home safely.

Liselotte applied to several universities, but was passed over in favor of returning war veterans who had missed out on their college years. Also, her cause was hindered by the fact that her family was considered to be capitalist since her father owned a business, while the new communist regime sought to promote workers and farmers. When it became clear that there was no opportunity for an education or a career in East Germany, she decided to flee to the West. At this time, border crossing became increasingly difficult, and she required the help of contacts in the border region who could hide her and time her escape across the border during the change of the guards. Soon after, the Berlin wall was built.

Liselotte's first job was to work in the office of a sawmill where she lived under very modest circumstances as a refugee to the West. After the mill went bankrupt, she worked as a secretary for the head of a personnel office of the US Air Force at Bitburg, Germany. In October of 1954, she began working at the newly rebuilding Lufthansa German Airlines in Cologne. It was there she met Lothar Ernst Doerstling, and they were soon married in the fall of 1955.

Lothar was transferred to Munich, and the pregnant Liselotte soon left the work force to live with his parents in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a small town in the Alps south of Munich. Daughter Anette was born there in April, 1956. When the opportunity arose to be transferred with Lufthansa to the USA, the young family moved to Chicago in February of 1957. A second child, Ralf, was born to them in April, 1963.

Through a series of challenges including great struggles with depressions, Lothar found faith in Jesus Christ in 1965. Liselotte also turned her life over to Christ a few years later, and the family became active in a local Baptist church. During this time, their third child, Brendan, was born in March, 1967. In 1975, Lothar's job change moved them to Southeastern Pennsylvania, where they again served faithfully in the local church. Another change in employment status for Lothar led them to realize that God was calling them back to Germany to plant churches. Lothar and Liselotte left for Germany with their two sons in the summer of 1978.

Lothar and Liselotte began planting a church in Murnau, Germany in 1979. Liselotte took the leadership in the areas of music ministry, church finance, hospitality and ladies ministry. In the eighties, they took several trips to various cities in then-communist East Germany. The efforts to support believers there culminated in helping to direct the construction of a new church building in Kirchberg in 1990 with financial support from churches in the US. Since the wall had come down in the meantime and Germany was reunited, Lothar and Liselotte felt the call of God to relocate to Dresden to plant a second church. Both churches continue to this day.

In 2000, Liselotte's health needs necessitated a return to the US. Even after returning, Lothar and Liselotte made regular trips to Germany to support believers and churches there.

In December, 2014, the Lord called Lothar home to himself. Liselotte stayed involved with her family and singing in the church choir. After a long battle with illness, Liselotte also went home to heaven on September 14, 2016.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 1:00 PM at Covenant Village of Colorado, 9153 Yarrow Street, Westminster, Colorado.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Liselotte's honor to:

Denver Hospice
501 South Cherry Street
Suite 700
Denver, Colorado 80246
www.thedenverhospice.org

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Services

Celebration of Life
Covenant Village of Colorado
3250 East 6th Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
Saturday, September 17, 2016
1:00 PM
Cemetery
Private

Charities

Denver Hopsice
501 South Cherry Street Suite 700
Denver, CO US 80246