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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Oldest Gettysburg grad

William C. Karns

William C. Karns, a member and pastor emeritus of St. John Lutheran Church in Littlestown, Pa., died Dec. 29 at age 104. Karns, who toured the Seminary Ridge Museum before exhibit installation this past summer, was the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg’s and Gettysburg [Pa.] College’s oldest alumnus. Karns taught adult Christian education at St. John until recently. When he toured the seminary and rehabilitated Schmucker Hall, where he lived as a seminarian in the early 1930s, he identified his room and reflected with humor on dorm life, including his advocacy for rigorous physical activity, unusual in those days.


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