Sathers, Pontslers enter retirement


After 42 years of service, Colonels Donald and Esther Sather have entered the ranks of the honorably retired. Canadian territorial leaders Commissioners Bill and Gwen Luttrell conducted the retirement ceremony, held at territorial headquarters.

Don and Esther both had officer parents; when they married following Esther’s high school graduation in 1956, Esther’s parents, Major and Mrs. Howard Sloan, were corps officers at Long Beach Citadel Corps and Don’s parents, Brigadier and Mrs. Gilbert Sather, were Whittier corps officers.

In 1959, they answered God’s call to ministry, entering the College for Officers’ Training in San Francisco. Commissioned in 1960, their first appointment was to Caldwell, Idaho.

Following appointments were to Santa Cruz and Fresno in Calif., and to Phoenix Citadel. Next came appointments as divisional youth secretaries, first in the Southwest Division, and then the So. Calif. Division.

Divisional and territorial appointments included: territorial youth secretaries, So. California Division general secretary and Divisional Home League secretary, territorial Evangelism secretary, and Southwest divisional leaders. After serving as territorial program secretary and current issues secretary, respectively, they were transferred to the Central Territory.

On returning to the West, they served as Sierra Del Mar Divisional leaders. A final return to territorial headquarters saw them complete their service as Secretary for Personnel and League of Mercy Secretary.

Their son Mark, daughter-in-law Debbie, and grandsons Steven and Michael joined them at the ceremonies. Their son Brian and daughter Debbie have been promoted to Glory.

In retirement, they will be living at: 15371 W. Memory Lane, Surprise, AZ 85374.


Nearly 40 years after being commissioned as ‘Soldiers of Christ,’ Majors Robert and Carol Pontsler have joined the ranks of the honorably retired.

Their retirement service was held at territorial headquarters with Commissioner David Edwards presenting their retirement certificates.

Robert and Carol entered the School for Officers Training in January 1961 from the Inglewood, Calif., corps and were commissioned in June 1962. Nine years of corps appointments, all in the Northwest Division, followed: Everett, Seattle White Center, Yakima, Walla Walla and Spokane, Wash.

Most of their service has been at divisional and territorial headquarters, where Robert held appointments including divisional finance secretary (Intermountain and No. Calif.; No. Calif. divisional secretary; general secretary for So. Calif. Division and then Men’s Social Services Department); assistant secretary and then secretary for the supplies and purchasing department and, finally, audit secretary.

Carol has served in DHQ appointments including League of Mercy secretary, Nurses’ Fellowship secretary (Intermountain and No. Calif.); Silver Star representative (No. Calif.); and administrative assistant (Men’s Social Services Department). In 1987, while still serving with the MSS, she also assumed responsibility as Services to the Aging. This later became a full-time appointment, which she retained (with various titles), to the present. In 1996 she was given additional responsibility as assistant territorial social services secretary.

Throughout their years of service as officers, Bob and Carol have faithfully participated in local corps–especially in music sections–as soldiers.

Their children–Kelly, Kevin, Erik and Priscilla, and Charity and Premek Kramerius–came from The Czech Republic, Hawaii, Belgium and Arizona to attend the ceremony.

The Pontsler’s address in retirement is: 9349 N.E. 30th Circle, Vancouver, WA 98662-7818.

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