Meet Our Church Council for 2019

Debbie Sunken, Council President

I grew up in Southeast Denver and attended Cross of Glory Lutheran church and was active in Youth Choir, Handbells, Vacation Bible School, and a variety of plays and skits. College took me to Southern California where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. I met and married my husband Richard in a lovely ceremony officiated by my childhood pastor. After working for 10 years in a corporate setting, I returned to college, relocated with my husband to Colorado and ultimately earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from CSU.  These days I have my own mobile veterinary practice serving the mountain and rural communities of Larimer County. I have been a member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church for 11 years and enjoy being part of the Handbell Choir and serving as one of

Ryan Freese, Council Vice-President

Kristi Johnson-Smith, Secretary

John Bockhaus, Financial Secretary

My wife Lynn and I both grew up in Illinois and met at the University of Illinois. I moved to Fort Collins in 1992 to work for Hewlett-Packard, and Lynn moved out in early 1993 after we were married. We’ve been members of SOTH since 1993. We have two sons: Mark and Eric. They are both in college: CSU and CU-Boulder, respectively. I design computer chips for work, and I am still employed by the same group that I started with in 1992, although with a company split, my company is now called Hewlett Packard Enterprise. I enjoy being in the outdoors: biking on the trails in Fort Collins, hiking in the mountains, and skiing (blue runs, not black). I also enjoy traveling and playing strategy board games.

Margaret Blaho, Treasurer

I grew up in a very rural area near Mt. Gilead, Ohio and attended St John’s Lutheran Church in North Woodbury.  My husband Bruce and I met and were married while we were both students at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.  We moved to Fort Collins right after college in 1985 so Bruce could start his career with Hewlett Packard.  We have three children:  Kelsey who lives in Denver and identical twins Alex and Austin who are both students at Colorado State.  We also have a brown Pomeranian named Kodiak.  I enjoy walking, crocheting, knitting, Sudoku puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and spending as much time as possible with my husband and our amazing kids.

Randy Beard, Buildings & Grounds

My name is Randy Beard and I’ve had extensive experience in the Golf Course management field with an education from CSU in Landscape Horticulture. I am a hands on builder re-modeler with all phases of construction. I enjoy CSU Football, Eagles Hockey and bow hunting in the fall with friends. My family is my pride and joy, I enjoy being a part of SOTH church community and enjoy seeing our children grow with and become part of the church congregation.

Pauline Eisenberg, Congregational Care Team

I was raised on a farm in Nebraska (big Husker fan) and attended a very large Lutheran church.  My employment has sent me full circle.  After high school graduation I moved to Fort Collins, moved back to Nebraska and worked in the Athletic Department at the University of Nebraska which paved the way for me to move back to Colorado to work for the Denver Nuggets.  Later, I spent a few years in retail which brought about my transfer  to Los Angeles where I met Gary.  I  spent 24 years at an aerospace company and retired as an HR Specialist in 2006 when we moved to Fort Collins where we joined Shepherd of the Hills.  Church activities keep me busy, but I do find time to tend to flowers, watch football, and RV around the country to visit family and friends which includes five children, 11 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

Jane Homann, Faith Formation

Janice Hill, Generosity Team (Stewardship)

I grew up, out in the country, in the small town of Rolla, Missouri.  Loving my parents, but so ready to leave home, I headed for University of Texas at Austin and got a degree in geology and geophysics.  I worked in Denver for Conoco 9 months then on to graduate geophysics school at Stanford where I tripped over my future husband, John, who was sprawled out on the sidewalk. After graduation, we both got jobs in the oil industry in Denver, CO and were married in 1983. My employment didn’t survive the Oil Crash of 1986. Luckily, it was a good time to start a family and Caitlin was born in 1987 and Russell in 1989.  I was blessed to work as a “professional volunteer” in my churches and communities over the years and raise the kids.  John’s job with Amoco and later BP took us from Denver, to Tulsa, to Houston, to Cairo, Egypt to Anchorage where I finally went back to work as the admin assistant at my church.  People often ask me, “Which was your favorite place to live?”  I always say, “Wherever we are!” When it was time for John to retire, we chose Fort Collins and it feels like we have returned home. We spend time hiking, birding and fishing and exploring the western states.  SOTH is very welcoming and I’ve enjoyed getting involved with choir, Greek, Living Word, adult Sunday school, and LAMming. 

Denise Nervik, Social Concerns

Deanne Rider, Communications 

Dan Wendland, Worship and Music

My wife Kathy and I grew up in Wisconsin and met in Madison at the University of Wisconsin where I got my PhD in mechanical engineering.   Over the years I’ve sung in different groups in several states, sang for lots of weddings and funerals, and was the High Holy Days cantor at a Jewish synagogue for seven years (never told them I was a Lutheran).    After retiring from GM Research in 1998 we moved to Fort Collins and became members of Shepherd of the Hills.  We’ve both served SOTH in various capacities over our two decades here; we both enjoy singing in the choir and I’ve taught the Sunday Bible study for a long time.   We both love the people of Shepherd of the Hills and appreciate the many ways they express their faith in our Lord.

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