Pastor David C. Cloeter, age 87, a resident of Ottertail, died on April 5, 2023 at Perham Health in Perham. Funeral Services were held on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ottertail, with Rev. Dr. Karl Weber, Pastor, officiating. Congregational Hymns were accompanied by Mary Weber. Special Music was provided by John Cloeter and Nathan Cloeter. Military Honors were provided by Charles D. Center V.F.W. Post #3289 of New York Mills. Pallbearers were Andrew Cloeter, John Cloeter, Nathan Cloeter, Caleb Stumpfl, Conley Stumpfl, and Samuel Therrien. Pastor Cloeter was laid to rest at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Ottertail. 

Pastor Cloeter was born on December 1, 1935 in Annadale, Minn., the son of Pastor Arnold and Lola Cloeter. He was baptized into the Christian faith, taught in the articles of faith, and confirmed his baptismal vows on April 10, 1949. He attended Concordia Academy in St. Paul, Minn. Following his high school years, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He served four years becoming a Radioman 2nd Class. Following his enlistment, he attended Mankato State University and then Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Ill., graduating in May of 1963. He was ordained into the Holy Ministry by his father in July of that year. 

Upon his graduation in 1963 he received a Call to begin missions in Greenwood, Grenada, and Winona, Mississippi. Following a summer of Clinical Pastor Education at St. John’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., he began his ministry in Greenwood, Miss. In 1967 Pastor Cloeter accepted a Call to a dual parish in Muscatine and Wapello, Iowa. During the four short years he served there, he took some additional Clinical Pastor Education at the Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institute in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. 

Feeling drawn toward the chaplaincy, in 1972 Pastor Cloeter accepted the Call from the Nebraska District to serve as an institutional chaplain with the Nebraska State Department of Correctional Services at the Youth Development Center in Kearney, Neb. He served in that position for six and a half years. During those years he completed a Master of Science Degree in Guidance and Counseling through the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He then transferred to the adult side, serving for eight years as Chaplain at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. 

In 1985 Pastor Cloeter accepted the Call to First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, Minn. He served as Senior Pastor for 13 years until his retirement in 1998. 

Pastor Cloeter had also served the Lord by serving on various district and synodical committees and task forces. He served as Chairman of the Minnesota North District Ministerial Health Commission, was a member of the InterLutheran Coordinating Committee on Ministerial Health and Wellness, served as Minnesota North District Chairman of the Stepping Out In Faith capital campaign, and for ten years served as the Congregational Care Counselor for the Minnesota North District, working primarily with congregations in conflict. 

In 1961 Pastor Cloeter was joined in marriage to Doris “Dori” Grimm. The Lord blessed them with three children, Dr. Michael (Rachel) Cloeter of Lake Jackson, Texas; Mrs. Julie (Scott) Stumpfl of Hanover, Minn.; and Mrs. Joni (John) Therrien of Livermore, Calif. They were blessed with 10 grandchildren; siblings: Pauline (Rich) Riemer of Perham and Carol (Herb) Hoefer of Portland, Ore.; many other relatives and a host of friends. 

Preceding Pastor Cloeter in death were his parents; his wife, Doris; siblings: Rhoda, Herbert, Margaret and Richard.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lutheran World Relief. 

Please visit to leave memorials and condolences on Pastor Cloeter’s Tribute Wall. 

Arrangements provided by Karvonen Funeral & Cremation Service of New York Mills.