Rev. George Pohlod, graduate of Lutheran High School, Downtown, died in his sleep on April 23rd. George was amongst the first graduates of the CLHSA’s original campus downtown in 1952. In wanting to honor him, we found that his son, Marty Pohlod, Class of 1986 LHSW and Senior VP-Corporate Commercial with IORY, made an exemplary effort in writing his father’s obituary. We include it along with some photos of the Pohlod family in the following:REV. GEORGE M. POHLOD OBITUARY
George Martin Pohlod died in his sleep at age 85 in the early morning hours of April 23, 2020 and woke in heaven realizing the fullest blessings of
his baptism September 14,1934 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (then located in downtown Cleveland). He was preceded in death by his brother Daniel Andrew age 8 in October 1946, brother Peter Michael at birth in April 1948, mother Suzanna (Ondrejko) Pohlod age 40 in May 1948, father George age 87 in January 1993 and step-mother Mary (Szalay) age 96 in 2016.
He is succeeded by his wife Margaret (nee-Kociscak - one free kolach if you properly pronounce her maiden name), his brother David Pohlod and daughters Susan Pohlod, Sharon Ratvasky (husband Tom), Maggie Stacy (Bob Peter), and son Marty (wife Colleen nee Fischer). He has nine grandchildren: Faith and Jordan Miller; Emily, Sophie, and Sam Ratvasky; Daniel, Andrew and Peter Pohlod; and Lily Stacy. He has several nieces and nephews both in the United States and Canada.
He attended grade school at St. John’s Lutheran School on Cable Avenue in Cleveland, OH. At which location, he demonstrated his marksmanship with a BB gun allegedly supplied by Fritz Zehnder knocking out the lightning rod at the top of the school with a single shot. Making amends for that incident by committing to a cigar-box collection during his High School years, he entered the newly formed Cleveland Lutheran High School and was amongst the first graduating class in 1952. He made several dear, life-long friends including Danny Silk and two now part of the church triumphant, Jim Zehnder and Paul Hink.
He went into pre-Seminary training in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod at (then) junior college in Fort Wayne, IN for two years along with Jim Zehnder and Paul Hink. Thereafter, he attended seminary in St. Louis, MO including a vicar year at Holy Trinity-Streator, IL. He was ordained into the Holy Ministry in 1959 at Holy Trinity-Cleveland, OH. His first call was to Christ Lutheran Church-Timmins, ON Canada installed September 20, 1959; a town 200 miles south of the Hudson Bay.
In Timmins, he met Margaret Kociscak at Christ Lutheran who served as organist and was a life-long member of the church. Her parents (Andrej and Zuzana) immigrated from Slovakia before World War II, thankfully starting a new humble life in Canada. A budding relationship began between the two kapusta-loving Slovaks and they were married on September 9, 1961.
George accepted a call to Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Lakewood, OH on September 9, 1962 where he served for 34 years until retirement in 1999, after which he continued serving in various fill-in and assisting roles until around 2015. His time in the ministry was characterized by gentle, loving, tireless, firm, and faithful approach to Word and Sacrament ministry, teaching, counseling, and calling the flock to repentance corporately and individually out of love for them and Christ’s Church. He understood the many vocations that he and everyone was placed into and joyfully served the Lord in all of them, encouraging others along the way to do so as well, even at the end of his life at the Welsh Nursing Home which was a loving and caring place.
He energetically served on numerous boards, committees and organizations including as President of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association (CLHSA Board of Trustees Chairman 1973-74) Chair of the Ohio District Student Aid & Recruitment Committee, President of the Lakewood Ministerial Association, Committee Zone counselor to the Lutheran Woman’s Missionary League, Pastoral advisor to the Lakewood Lutheran School and School Board, Circuit Counselor for the NE-IV Circuit of the Ohio District, Director of the Cleveland area Slovak Hymn Singers, Board member of the Cleveland Lutheran Home, Board member of the Lutheran Communications Ministry, and vocalist for the Clancy McDougal Brothers (one-hit wonder in 1993, Irish folk singers from Cleveland OH). In 1985, he became a founding member of the Cleveland Lutheran Educational Endowment Fund (CLEFF), a third-source fund for the operating expenses of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association - Lutheran High School East and Lutheran High School West. In 1997, Rev. Pohlod was the recipient of the Outstanding Lutheran School Leadership Award, given to an individual who exemplifies dedication to Christ-centered Lutheran education in Northeast Ohio. He invested numerous hours serving the Lutheran High Schools in many capacities.
His avocations included a great love for flower gardening starting in his high school years raising roses at his father’s Engel Avenue home in Cleveland. He also witnessed a miraculous generation of tomato production in Euclid, OH on a Memorial Day weekend sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s. He was an avid student of history, enjoyed laughter, classical music, movies, fishing, and treasured spending many tender and humorous moments with his grandchildren lovingly known as “Dzedo”, nieces, nephews, and friends. He also had a love for travel, whether it be Sunday afternoon family car rides, daytrips to Kelleys Island (birthplace of his father) or trips across country. He organized several tours for parishioners or with friends to places like the Holy Land, Italy, the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany, Hawaii, England, France, Alaska and Independence, OH.
He enjoyed playing baseball in his younger years throwing unhittable curve balls and change-ups to his younger brother David, watching Cleveland Indians baseball (more so when Lou Boudreau and Bob Feller were on the field, but Jim Thome and Sandy Alomar rank as well), Cleveland Browns football and thoroughly appreciated the many wonderful cultural offerings of Cleveland’s fine arts districts, its library, and parks.
In his private life he touched the hearts of many neighbors, relatives, and friends. He will be dearly missed by all, and we look forward to the resurrection and reunion with The Lord in heaven (see Philippians 1:21).
A memorial service at Gethsemane Lutheran Church will be planned and announced later due to the Covid-19 virus. A private funeral service has already been conducted.
Gifts in memoriam can be made to Gethsemane Lutheran Church or Lakewood Lutheran School, 14560 Madison Ave., Lakewood OH 44107 and the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association, 3870 Linden Rd., Rocky River, OH 44116.