Friend of LTSP Mercia Brenne Bachmann has died

Mercia Brenne Bachmann, who along with her late husband seminary alumnus E. Theodore Bachmann was a long time supporter of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), died peacefully on February 2, 2009, in Townshend, Vermont. She was 96. Mercia and Dr. Bachmann, known as Ted, who died in 1995, were known in Lutheran circles as partners in international ministry.

Mercia, a long time resident of Princeton Junction, New Jersey, and a founding member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Princeton Junction, donated their extensive library to Princeton Seminary and LTSP when she sold the Princeton Junction house in the late 1990s, and remained in the Princeton area until she moved to Vermont to live with her daughter in 2007.

Born on a wheat farm in Saskatchewan on January 2, 1913, Mercia was the second of five daughters of a circuit riding Lutheran pastor. She grew up in the Midwest in a variety of parsonages, attended St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota, and became a social worker since her father counseled her that the time was not ripe for female ministers.

In 1941 she married E. Theodore Bachmann, then a budding young church historian from distant Philadelphia, and was his life’s companion, soulmate, critic and editor for 54 event-filled years in Wilmington, Chicago, post-war West Germany, St. Paul, Berkeley, Brazil, Switzerland and Princeton as he served in a wide variety of positions within the Lutheran church.  They marched in Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ardent travelers, they visited some 50 countries and together wrote Lutheran Churches in the World.  When Dr. Bachmann died in 1995, Mercia spent the next two years finishing his final book, The United Lutheran Church in America, 1918-1962.

Mercia is survived by her son, F. Brenne, of Vimmerby, Sweden, and daughter, Mary, of Putney, Vermont, plus their spouses, Catharina and Christopher, and two granddaughters, Eva and Anna.  She is also survived by two sisters, Carola Boe of Amery, Wisconsin, and Audrey Peterson of Mesa, Arizona.

A memorial service will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Princeton Junction,  New Jersey  on Sunday, February 22 at 4:00 pm, where Mercia was a founding member when in her prime.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

from information provided by Roberta Schott of the New Jersey Synod, ELCA. See for more on Ted and Mercia Bachmann’s contributions to the Lutheran Church.