LIBERTY LAKE, Wash.—John August Schlener, who served God and country, died on Nov. 29, 2009. He was 92.

Shortly after marrying his wife, Frances, in June 1942, John reported for training with the U.S. Army Air Corps as a bombardier-navigator on the Boeing B-17. First Lt. Schlener shipped overseas for duty with the 8th Air Force in Europe. Wounded in action over Germany on his 13th combat bombing mission, he returned to the U.S.A. for extensive surgery and rehabilitation to his right hand and arm.

After reuniting with wife, John’s young family along with his brother, Paul, and his wife, Jessie, moved to Southern California to prepare for service as missionaries. After graduating from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles in the late 1940s, both couples arrived in the Upper Amazon of Brazil in 1951 to begin an evangelistic, church-planting ministry in Brazil with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. John and Frances served as pioneer missionaries in the Amazon until 1969, in a location that became known as The Port of Two Brothers, their missionary efforts have been documented in his brother Paul Schlener’s book of the same name published by Regular Baptist Press, as well as in several documentary films and National Geographic articles.

Returning to the metropolis of São Paulo, Brazil, in 1974, and later serving as northwest representatives, the Schleners officially retired in 1982 only to continue as volunteers in hopes of encouraging others to pick up the baton.

John was preceded in death by his wife in 2006 after Alzheimer’s disease.

He is survived by his brother, Paul; three sons, John, David, Phillip; and a daughter, Allene; numerous grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

  • Read more about John August Schlener at ABWE.org.