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12 June 2023 | Aged Care

A thanks to pioneering Zion Aged Care supporter – Audrey Larsen

Lutheran Services Director of Chaplaincy & Ministry Development Rev Dr Russell Briese has written a tribute to Audrey Larsen, a unflagging fundraiser and early supporter of Zion Aged Care.

Zion Aged Care resident and founding committee member Audrey Larsen passed away peacefully on Tuesday 30 May, aged 88. Wife of the late Pastor David Larsen, Audrey was a tireless fundraiser and supporter of Zion and her church. Pastor David passed away in 2018. Audrey had lived at Zion since that time.

Audrey was one of Zion’s early pioneers and leading supporters. Her name is proudly displayed on the Zion Honour Board. But perhaps most proudly displayed of all is a 1980s photo of Audrey shaking hands with Prime Minister Bob Hawke. As the head of the Zion fundraising committee, Audrey had lobbied both State and Commonwealth Governments to develop what would become the Zion hostel and nursing home. The Prime Minister attended a ceremony to announce the funding at the site of the future Zion in Union Street Nundah.

Audrey was born in Toowoomba. Her family – the Wuerschings – were prominent members of the Trinity Toowoomba congregation. Audrey and David lived and worked in Queensland (including Brisbane) for many years before retiring to Toowoomba. Audrey was an active member of the St Paul’s Women’s Guild of Toowoomba. David served the LCAQD as Vice-President/Assistant Bishop and was a leader in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). I had the pleasure of meeting Audrey and David on several occasions, including undertaking a semester of CPE under David’s leadership. As it happens, CPE is a base training that most of our chaplains would have undertaken. We all benefited from the wisdom and leadership of Audrey and David.

Pastor Ed Szabo, our newly appointed Chaplain at Trinder Park, had known Audrey since the 1980s, when he served as Vicar (pastor in training) under Pastor David at St Paul’s Nundah. Ed remembers Audrey as the archetypal pastor’s wife – humble and unassuming yet a tower of strength and support, devotion and dedication. Not to mention a sensational cook!

Gillian Reid, current Zion Chaplain, remembers Audrey in her latter days at Zion fondly – a kind and gentle lady who was loved by Zion staff and residents alike. Above all, Gillian remembers Audrey as a woman devoted to her Lord, who worked hard to fundraise and build Zion to serve the Nundah community. Gillian says Audrey will be dearly missed by all at Zion.

May she rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday 17 June, St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Nundah, 10:30am.
A morning tea will follow the memorial service in the St Paul’s Lutheran Church Hall.

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