Rev. Dr. Joel D. Lundak, 74 years, 10 months and 6 days, of Nebraska City, Nebraska, passed away on Oct. 9, 2016, at the Nebraska Methodist Hospital, in Omaha.
Joel David Lundak was born Dec. 3, 1941 in Fort Lewis, Washington, the son of Edward & Mary (Eagleton) Lundak.
As the son of a career military officer, he lived in numerous locations as a child but the family settled in Lincoln and Joel graduated from Lincoln High in 1959.
He attended the University of Nebraska where he was a member and later President of the Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated in 1963.
From a previous marriage, Joel had 5 children: Matt, Megan, Jocelyn, Jennifer and Joel, Jr..
He then attended General Theological Seminary in New York where he earned a Masters Degree of Divinity and later was ordained an Episcopal Priest.
As a priest, Joel had parishes in Omaha, Huron S.D., Seward and York.
He also served as a Prison Chaplain for the State of Nebraska for a number of years and Joel was given title of Honorary Admiral in the Nebraska Navy.
On Jan. 1, 1984, Joel and Nancy Jane (Miller) Rennecker were married in Seward.
Nancy had two children: Kimberly and Matthew.
Joel obtained a Masters and a Doctorate in Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In 1988 he began his 23 year teaching career at Peru State College where he touched the lives of thousands of students.
He received a teaching Excellence Award while at PSC.
After the passing of Nancy, Joel and Helen James were united in marriage on June 19, 2004 in Nebraska City.
Joel enjoyed life and was actively involved in community affairs on campus and in Nebraska City.
He served on numerous boards including WOTA (World of the Aging), Friends of Arbor Lodge Foundation and Friends of Faith.
Joel performed as an Elvis impersonator raising money for Relay for Life and for a Jamaican medical mission.
Because he loved to garden, he took courses to become a Master Gardener.
He was responsible for planting over 13,500 daffodils at Arbor Lodge State Park.
In 2011, Joel and Helen were Arbor Day Honoree’s celebrating their volunteer and charitable contributions.
He was named Volunteer of the Year by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.
In 2015, Joel and Helen were recognized by the Nebraska City Community Foundation as Philanthropists of the Year.
He shared the flowers and the fruits of his gardens with many and decorated the tables at local care centers with flowers donated by a local florist.
He won awards for his photography over the years and developed a real passion for garden trains sharing them in downtown windows throughout the year.
Joel was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter, Jennifer Lundak, and his second wife, Nancy Miller Lundak on Feb. 20, 2002.
Joel is survived by his wife Helen James Lundak, children: Matt Lundak and wife Denise of Lincoln; Megan Schueneman of Rowlett, Texas; Jocelyn Charbonneau and husband Bruce of Rockwell, Texas; Joel Lundak and wife Angela of Tacoma, Washington, Kimberly Sprague and husband Dave of Concordia, Kan., and Matthew Rennecker and wife Rachel of Omaha,; 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren; brothers: William E. Lundak, MD and wife Patricia of Lincoln, and James Lundak of Lincoln; sister, Mary Ann Maricle and husband Keith of Albion; many other family members; and friends.
Visitation was to be on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. the family will be greeting friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Peterson Mortuary Chapel.
A celebration of Life Funeral service for Rev. Dr. Joel David Lundak will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at 10 a.m., at the First Presbyterian Church in Nebraska City.
Burial will follow at Wyuka Cemetery in Nebraska City.
Memorials are suggested to the: Friends of Arbor Lodge Foundation; St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; First Presbyterian Church; or donor’s choice.
Flowers and condolences can be sent to Peterson Mortuary, 111 N 11th St, Nebraska City, NE 68410, or on our website - or emailed to
Local Services are entrusted to Peterson Mortuary at 111 North 11th Street in Nebraska City, Nebraska, 68410.