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Missionary in Vietnam / Nick Ehrhardt

Missionary in Vietnam

Walter Routh Jr. (Orlando Sentinel)He “knew from the age of 14 that he would be a missionary, a calling that took him into war-ravaged Vietnam during the height of conflict,” reporter Erica Rodriguez wrote in the obituary for Walter Routh Jr. published in the Orlando Sentinel.

Routh, who died Sept. 20 at age 77, “worked to help start an orphanage and help pastors to start Baptist churches” in Vietnam before fleeing Saigon at the end of the war.

He returned as a social worker “after Americans were allowed back into Vietnam in 1986,” Rodriguez wrote. “In that role, he worked with local governments to fund kindergartens for rural children.”

Routh, who was a missionary for more than 40 years, never lost his concern for people in Vietnam.

“Last year, he returned to Vietnam to reunite with other missionaries and orphans who lived in the facility he helped start,” the obit said.

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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.