Lowell B. Gilje, age 68, of Exeter, Mo., passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, July 20, 2013, at his home.
A son of Lawrence and Delores (Houim) Gilje, he was born May 14, 1945, in Rolette. Lowell was married to Darlene Thompson on May 29, 1964. They had three daughters: Carrie, Carla and Cathy.
Very early in their marriage, Lowell and Darlene began a ministry in missions. In 1966, they entered Oak Hills Bible School in Minnesota, moving the growing family from Bemidji to Pennsylvania to Wisconsin to Missouri and eventually to Papua, New Guinea. In Papua, New Guinea, Lowell and Darlene were dorm parents at Numonohi. Next, they lived in Ambunti where Lowell served as government liason, supply man and builder of homes for missionaries. Later, Lowell built a small aircraft airstrip, which is still in service, on the May River, deep in the unroaded Sepik Region of Papua, New Guinea. Returning to the United States, Lowell and Darlene served on staff at New Tribes Language School in Camdenton, Mo. From 1985 to 1995, they lived in North Dakota, where Lowell worked in custom carpentry, and then moved back to Missouri, eventually to Exeter, where he and Darlene have resided for the past six years.
Lowell is survived by: his wife of 49 years, Darlene Gilje, and their three daughters, Carrie Stamper, of Linn Creek, Mo., Carla Adams, of Cassville, Mo., and Cathy Bauer, of Minneapolis. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Caleb Stamper, Cameron Stamper, Taylor Adams, Jordan Adams and Drew Bauer; one sister, Sharon Strand; and his stepfather, Harry Johnson.
Lowell was preceded in death by: his father, Lawrence Gilje; his mother, Delores Johnson; his brother, Larry Gilje; a grandson, Conner Stamper; and some dear friends and colleagues.
Memorial services will be held Wednesday, July 24, at 1 p.m., at White Funeral Home, in Cassville, with Pastor Leland May officiating. Family will receive friends one hour prior to service time.
A service will be held in North Dakota later this year.
Cards can be sent to Darlene Gilje, in care of the White Funeral Home, P.O. Box 890, Cassville, MO 65625.