Covenant pastor Aaron Markuson passed away February 11, 2010.
Michael Groh (Mike) was a superb student, athlete, and consultant. He was honest, reliable, open, and he met and valued everyone as a person.
A short tribute to Sandy Johnson, who died May 17.
Ethel Victoria Palmberg (Summer 1997)
Like the Dakota soil, she persisted without water or food far longer than one could expect — a tenacious life, formidable, enduring, rich, and deep.
A Tribute to Dean Albin Erickson (Winter 1999)
Dean Erickson was a special person, a man of integrity, wisdom, patience, good judgment, kindness, and understanding. He had a first-rate mind and was committed to the Christian Faith. Albin was dedicated to helping the on-coming generations find an integrated heritage of faith and learning.
A Tribute to Curtiss Johnson (Winter 1999)
Curt made many friends, and he was committed to Christian faith and ministry. He was a lover. He loved his family, he loved history, he loved his country, he loved his church, and he loved sports. We salute him and his well-lived life.
Tribute to Milton C.R. Carlson (Summer 1999)
Even Milton Carlson could not go on forever. No one saw Milt die so maybe, as son Bruce suggested, he was taken up by a chariot of fire. That is how he wanted to go.
Tribute to Paul Sebestyén (Summer 1999)
Paul Sebestyén died not long after Rev. Wesley Nelson read Peter Sandstrom’s article to him from last issue of Pietisten.
Sigurd Westberg (Fall 1999)
Sigurd Westberg was a much-loved grandfather, father, and father-in-law. Though his achievements were outstanding, his commitment to family was at the center of his life. Four daughters, their husbands, and their families remember Sig with great affection. Sandy Marks, one of the sons-in-law said that "the brothers-in-law club was one of his biggest fans."
Theodore Hedstrand (Fall 1999)
We canoed the boundary waters together. We went cross-country skiing together. We flew on the last flight into Bass Lake before the government declared it a wilderness, confiscated all the cabins there, and burned them to the ground. It is the only time I saw Ted cry.
Melba Ann Teed (Fall 1999)
Melba Teed, Sandy Johnson’s mother and my mother-in-law, never presumed to have authority outside the family, but she exercised considerable power through appreciation and positive reinforcement. She thought of ways to give and to support—twenty-five- dollar checks now and then in the mail for no particular reason and always a check in a card for a birthday or an anniversary. She looked for ways to help, tasks that her children needed done in their respective homes, and she worked hard herself to help complete the jobs.
Tribute to C. Leslie Strand (Summer 2000)
Why was it that Les Strand was widely and deeply loved? Why was he so valued by many? Memories of his kindness, gentleness, good humor, gracious manners, and personable presence come immediately to mind.
Tribute to Dr. Phil Anderson (Summer 2000)
Whenever or wherever the gathering was or whoever was there at the time, Phil was an intimate part of the occasion. He was fully present and interested. He was alive to the moment, the personalities, the issues, and the atmosphere. He was centered, attentive, concerned, humorous, genuine, and gracious. I want to reflect upon this quality of his life for just a moment.
Tribute to Evonne Stenberg (Summer 2000)
The range of her impact and influence became quickly and dramatically clear. More that 600 persons flooded Bethlehem Covenant Church in Minneapolis for the memorial service.
Remembering T.T. (Winter 2000)
Tyra Andersen (my Aunt T.T.) died on December, 21 at the age of 92. She was a member of Quincy, Massachusetts Covenant Church, a long-time reader of Pietisten, and a true pietist.
Tribute to Douglas Glenn Cedarleaf (Winter 2000)
We gathered on the first bitter cold day of the Minnesota winter to bid farewell to Doug Cedarleaf. A looming high-pressure center had driven away every hint of cloud that Saturday, leaving only the yellow sun, low slung even at its zenith, and the clarity of a blue sky found only in the chill of a northern December. The memorial service was conducted on the last day of the church year; the sanctuary, caught in the transition, was already bedecked with the golden angelic banners and evergreen boughs of Advent.
A Tribute to Ingvar Rehnberg (Winter 2000)
When I arrived as a green Intern Pastor at Salem Square Covenant Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the Fall of 1962, one of the first persons I met was Ing Rehnberg, Church Sexton. He immediately befriended me and it was always a joy to see him. He would say: "C’mon, Buddy Ruff, let’s go see the Greek for some coffee."
Tribute to Ruth Holbrook (Spring 2001)
Ruth was not one for sentimental talk. She disdained tears she sensed were not authentic but she responded with love and generosity to those in need or in pain. She was a person with a tough mind and a tender heart. We hope this poem portrays her spirit and liveliness.
Tribute To Mel Soneson from a Student (Spring 2001)
I first encountered Melburn Soneson as a Freshman at North Park College. That was 1956, his first year at North Park, too. He was teaching Introduction to Social Science. I was intimidated as well as fascinated by both the teacher and the course. Mel stood there at the podium talking, smiling occasionally, and sometimes breaking into a hearty laugh. He was discussing things that I, a Freshman from International Falls, Minnesota had never thought about.
Carl Philip Anderson (Summer 2001)
Carl Philip Anderson was a Covenant man of letters. After a number of years of Pastoral Ministry, he became Editor in Chief of Covenant Publications (1948-1970). Subsequently, Carl Phil and his wife, Hazel, owned and managed a Christian bookstore in Fargo, North Dakota, from 1970 to 1974. Then he served as an administrator of the Covenant community, Samarkand, in Santa Barbara, California (1974-1980), and, after working in several capacities for the Board of Benevolence, he became a resident at Covenant Manor in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Pietisten published an interview with Carl Phil in the Winter 1998 issue—"Carl Philip Anderson: An Editor's Story." If you do not have a copy, you may get one upon request from Pietisten.
Tribute to Vernoy Johnson (Summer 2001)
Vernoy Johnson was a distinguished educator. He taught math brilliantly in both North Park Academy and North Park College. Stories circulated that he could calculate the formulas for the angles of the ceiling beams of North Park Covenant Church during sermons.
Tribute to Harry Opel (Winter 2001-2002)
Harry Opel, one of the greatest forces in serious (Covenant) music since the sublime A.L. Skoog himself, died at age 80 on January 2, 2002.
Tribute to Willard Berggren (Winter 2001-2002)
On Friday, December 8, 2001, family and friends gathered at Karmel Covenant Church in rural Princeton, Minnesota, to say farewell to Willard LeRoy Berggren who left this earthly home on December 2, 2001.
Tribute to C. Hobart Edgren (Summer 2002)
Dr. C. Hobart Edgren, PhD. was a Professor of English Literature and Academic Dean at North Park College. He was a vigorous supporter of Pietisten. The following is adapted from the tribute given by his son, Roger Edgren, at the Memorial Service at North Park Covenant Church, Chicago.
Tribute to David "Gubba" Sandquist (Summer 2002)
A dear friend to many, David was born and raised in Ashtabula, Ohio. He attended NP Jr. College and completed a B. A. degree at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
Morris G. Anderson (July 27, 1912 to January 6, 2003) (Winter 2002-2003)
On Monday, January 6, 2003, not long after daybreak, our father was quickly summoned home to be with God. This day was the Feast of Epiphany in the church year, when the light of Bethlehem's star guided the three Magi to the Christ-child in Bethlehem, a manifestation of his saving presence to all creation. As we have entered now this season of light, life, and hope in his redeeming love, Dad has been embraced eternally by this light in all its fullness and glory. When called, his lamp was found burning.
Leo Vetvick 1919-2003 (Winter 2003-2004)
Leo Vetvick was a pioneer. He grew up near Foley, Minnesota, northern pioneer country, and he was a Covenant Church pioneer pastor in social gospel. He was a Norwegian-American in a church filled with Swedes and married Bette Ekblad, a Swedish-American girl.
Wayne Harwood Balch, 1920-2003 (Winter 2003-2004)
Wayne Balch was Music Department Director at North Park College for many years. In 1966 Maestro Balch took the North Park Choir on a six-week European and Scandinavian tour. A concert performed at the invitation of the King of Sweden in Stockholm’s State Lutheran Church was the highlight of the trip.
Olle Engström 1920 — 2003 (Winter 2003-2004)
Olle Engström grew up in Småland and Dalecarlia, Sweden. He was a Christian humanist of the first rank, a churchman with a broad, deep, pietistic spirit.
Helen Raynette Reed Cederberg 1934 — 2003 (Winter 2003-2004)
Raynette Cederberg taught in the Chicago Public Schools, the Latin School of Chicago, and taught at-risk students in Stone Park, Illinois. She also taught in Turlock, California and Wheaton, Illinois.
Tribute to Paul Holmer (Fall 2004)
One of our most formidable Christian apologists, Paul Holmer, joined the heavenly symposium on June 29th 2004.
F. Burton Nelson (Fall 2004)
A vast sea of acquaintances knew Burton Nelson in any of several roles: seminary professor, pastor, theologian, Bonhoeffer scholar, social critic, ecumenist, author, and editor, among others.
Harriet Wistrom (Fall 2004)
Generations of North Park students knew Harriet Wistrom. She was the kind, gracious woman who lived for many years in the apartment above the boiler room and was the wife of our great boss, Ivar, and mother of Susie and Carl.
A tribute to Ivar Wistrom 1920-2005 (Winter 2005)
On Sunday June 12, Mel Soderstrom informed me that one of the giants of my life had fallen! Ivar Wistrom a character who seemed to me as old as North Park University and Seminary itself, finally, in the words of my grandfather, “checked out.”
Tribute to Jim Whitefield, 1936 — 2005 (Winter 2005)
Jim Whitefield, 68 years of age, died on July 6th at the University of Minnesota hospital where he had received a stem cell transplant. It had been hoped that the transplant would counter a rare blood disease. We have lost a good friend and Pietisten has lost a faithful subscriber and admirer.
Tribute to Viola Wahlquist (Summer 2006)
On a cool Seattle evening, several hundred family and friends of longtime Pietisten supporter Viola Wahlquist gathered at First Covenant Church to celebrate her memory. Viola died on February 9, 2006 at the age of 92 following complications from a stroke.
Flora Sedgwick (Summer 2006)
Many of us are blessed by special friends in our lives, persons who have led and inspired us. F1ora Sedgwick comes readily to mind. My husband John and I met her in 1989 when she and Grant moved to Covenant Manor (now Covenant Village). From the start we shared a love of literature, laughter, and faith.
Tribute to June Ecklund (Summer 2006)
The death of June Ecklund brings to an end the third generation of families instrumental in starting and supporting Covenant Churches in eastern Nebraska.
Although I had been informed of Bruce Carlson’s athletic prowess when he was a scholar-athlete at Minnehaha Academy, until two summers ago when this Journal sponsored the First Ivar Wistrom Memorial Golf Championship at Bay Lake, Minnesota, I had never had the opportunity to witness it personally. The two competing threesomes in this event had a distinctive Pietisten flavor. Editor Phil Johnson and frequent contributors Ralph Sturdy and Willie Pearson were matched against then Navigator and Poetry Editor, Bruce Carlson, Poet Laureate Arthur Mampel, and myself, recently appointed Philosophy Editor.
Tribute to Bruce Carlson (Christmas 2006)
The following is the homily preached by David Hawkinson at the Memorial Funeral Service for Bruce Carlson at Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, August 6.
Tribute to Dorothy Frances Swenson Lindquist (Christmas 2006)
Dorothy, a long time friend and supporter of Pietisten passed away on Thursday, October 26, 2006 at the age of 99. She was the mother of three, grandmother of six, and great-grandmother of seven. She was preceded in death by her husband Frank and her brothers Gilbert and Wallace Swenson.
Tribute to Barbara Hawkinson (Christmas 2006)
Excepts from the Memorial Service homily at North Park Covenant Church, Chicago, Saturday, October 7, by Pastor Douglas Johnson
Tribute to Adele Oberg Cole (Spring 2007)
This is drawn from the tribute Adele’s son, Tim, gave at Adele’s memorial service.
Tribute to Arthur Peterson (Spring 2007)
Arthur (his given name rarely passed my lips) picked up the nickname “Squeaky” at North Park Junior College in Chicago. “Squeaky Pete” is a little poem on its own. To understand the origin of the name, one only needed to hear Pete speak a few words.
Kermit Holmgren, 1906 — 2006 (Christmas 2007)
Not long ago I took my re-assignment as the top (or maybe the bottom) slice in the generational sandwich of our family. My father, Kermit Holmgren, died nearly four months past 100 years. My memories of the years of his life are more of the encyclopedic than the “sound bite” variety, such that I hardly know where to begin!
Betty A. Nelson, 1936 — 2007 (Christmas 2007)
Betty Nelson was a gracious woman who warmly touched the lives of many people. Among those who experienced her unceasing cheerfulness, gift-giving, and laughter were, first and foremost, her family.
Amos Otieno Odenyo, 1935 — 2007 (Christmas 2007)
With much sorrow we announce the passing of Amos Otieno Odenyo. Amos was born to Zablon Sangoro Odenyo and Grace Dina Adero (Obuong) Odenyo on April 18, 1935 in Regea village, Gem, Kenya. Amos attended Kisii High School from 1955 to 1958. During these years life-long friendships were established and a pioneering spirit was formed. From 1959 to 1961, Amos was stationed in Mombasa as an Assistant Inspector of Police, a remarkable achievement in Kenya’s pre-independence era. In 1961, Amos was among the first in his generation to travel outside of East Africa, attending Augustana College in South Dakota, U.S.A., where he received a B.A. in Political Science in 1965. Amos continued his university studies at the University of Wyoming, and received a M.A. in Sociology in 1967. In 1970, Amos earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota.
Roy Bengtson (Spring 2008)
At North Park College, my Uncle Roy had a nickname because he was hit by a car on Foster Avenue. For some friends and family this nickname did not stick. But on my side of the family he has been known as “Uncle Bong.”
Nels George Akerlund (Spring 2008)
It must have been an extraordinary and strange sight seeing a wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, plus a few in-laws encircling a hospital bed whose rails were decorated with twinkling lights and brightly colored balloons. It must have been an extraordinary and strange sound hearing boisterous musical renditions of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” “When the saints go Marching In,” and, finally, “Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara” resounding in the bedroom where the person being serenaded appeared to be totally oblivious to the celebration.
Bill Frykman (Spring 2008)
I want to share just a few thoughts about Dad, who remained a beloved mystery to me all his life. The first time I knew I loved him was when I was very little, at bedtime. He would pick me up and set me on the edge of the bathroom sink, and tell me to hold on to him, while he gently washed and tickled my dirty toes. He was a tender and compassionate man. Even when he disagreed with my choices, he always respected my independence, and taught me to persist in all my efforts.
Ruth Wold (Spring 2008)
Ruth was there to serve the Lord and to be the best helpmate she could be to her husband George, the Pastor. In that spirit, Ruth was always young and true. She lived simple, pure graciousness.
Henry Gustafson (Christmas 2008)
Henry Gustafson, outstanding Professor of New Testament and theologian, died September 1, after several weeks of treasured hospice time with family.
Michael Groh (Christmas 2008)
Michael Groh, as his daughter, Alicia, said, “…was all about making a positive difference in the world. He had a very strong sense of social justice. He was a ’60s activist who continued to be an activist his whole life.” By consulting with non-profit organizations whose goals he shared, he carved an independent way vocationally.
Carol Jackson (Christmas 2008)
Carol Ruth (Lindahl) Jackson, 78, died on December 7, 2008, at Chandler Regional Hospital. She lived in Beechwood, Michigan during the summers and in Sun Lakes, Arizona in the winters.
Jean Rowe McFarland (Summer 2009)
he sun set unexpectedly early on Jean’s life, who passed away on Sunday March 29, 2009 at the age of 64. Jean was diagnosed with a rare cancer on March 6, 2009, and declined rapidly. Prior to diagnosis, she led a vibrant life in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband Jim, her church, and her professional work.
Paul (PJ) Larson (Summer 2009)
Paul Larson, PJ as he was called by many, lived a long and full life. He was born on a farm, Illinois near Paxton, Illinois, on November 10, 1913. He graduated from Paxton High School in 1931. Paul’s father, Philip, a student at North Park in 1899, encouraged Paul to attend North Park. After graduating in 1933, he continued at the University of Illinois where he earned both a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Journalism.
John Cole (Summer 2009)
John was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on December 3, 1918 to Lovell and Mabel Cole. He lived with his parents and younger sister, Shirley, in a modest, loving home in this working class New England town. He was active in the Boy Scouts and his church youth group, and early developed a passionate love of learning.
Norbert E. Johnson (Summer 2009)
Out of the whirlwind of things that have been swirling around in me, there are two images that seem to have a distilled fit. Dad’s hands and his heart.
Don Berg (Summer 2009)
Donald H. Berg, 82 years young, formerly of Worcester, died on Thursday morning, April 30th. His wife of 55 years, Louise May (Rollins) Berg, predeceased him in June of 2008. He leaves his daughter, Jennie Lucretia and her husband John Pagano; a granddaughter, Nina Lucretia Pagano; a grandson, Michael Angelo Pagano, all of Paxton; his brother, John Berg of Maine; his sister, Natalie McNerney of Lincoln; and many nephews, nieces, cousins, and dear friends. His beloved daughter, Nancy Ann Berg, died in 1969. Most proud to be a Worcester native born and bred with Swedish heritage, he never tired of sharing stories of events from the past.
Surely God’s word includes the creation of the lives of us human people. Marlys Johanson was one of God’s best words ever and we can see the fulfillment in the life and legacy of Marlys. In her, God’s creation did not return without giving all that is meant by watering the earth and making it yield seed for the sower and bread for eating. Marlys has returned to the love out of which she, and all of us have come. She returns after delivering about all one could expect of actual human life and human love. It is this, her victorious life, that we have the opportunity to praise and bless this day as we celebrate Marlys Johanson.
Tribute: Deborah Swanson Webster (Epiphany 2010)
Deep sadness and unbelief overwhelmed the husband and family of Deborah Webster at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota when Deb, the new mother, wife, daughter, and beloved relative died 12 hours after giving birth to Kelsey Marie Webster.
Sheryl Franklin Swanson (Epiphany 2010)
Sheryl Franklin distinguished herself each step of the way from Minneapolis to Willmar, Minnesota, back to Minneapolis and on to North Park College in Chicago, graduating in 1964. In 1965 she married Curtis Swanson. After graduate school at the University of Illinois, they moved to Michigan. Sheryl served as principle of an elementary school in Utica, Michigan, for more than 20 years.
Carol McNaughton (Spring/Summer 2010)
On Saturday, March 20, friends gathered at the Cromwell Covenant Church to celebrate the life of Carol (Conklin) McNaughton, prophet of grace, straight-talking friend to many.
Richard J. Swanson (Spring/Summer 2010)
Covenant minister Richard J. Swanson died February 27, a day after his ninetieth birthday. He was born in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, to Swedish immigrants Victor and Lena Swanson, the youngest of five surviving children. When he was only four, his father was killed in a construction accident, and his oldest brother left high school to support his mother and siblings. At the center of the Swanson family’s life was the Ridgway Covenant Church, and it was there that Dick’s call to ministry was first sensed and affirmed. It was also there that he met Helen Brumberg, who would become his wife of sixty-five years and partner in ministry.
Aaron Markuson (Spring/Summer 2010)
Aaron Burdette Markuson passed away February 11, 2010. He is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Margaret Markuson. Friends and family gathered to remember and celebrate Aaron’s life on February 15th at First Covenant Church of Seattle. As Aaron’s son John remarked it was “a good crowd.” The evening service was full of memories, sweet and a little irreverent, too. From tales of a loving, if somewhat teasing father and grandfather, to the steadfastness of a devoted husband, friend and pastor.
Tribute to Don Frisk (Fall/Winter 2010)
While a number of Pietisten readers may have known Don Frisk as a pastor, teacher, and theologian, I knew him as Grandpa: the one who helped me make stuff in his wood shop, treated me to root beer at “Berghoffs,” and spent a spring break with me at Hagerman Lake, Mich. He delighted me with stories about his dad’s trips between Minneapolis and Seattle as a conductor for the Great Northern Railroad, about oversleeping for the “Julotta” Christmas morning service when he was pastor of his first church, and about falling in love with the organist there, my grandma Evie.
Gordon Nelson (Fall/Winter 2010)
Dr. Gordon Nelson, an elected member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation for the city of Minneapolis for 32 years, joined the staff of Martin Sabo, Minnesota Fifth District Representative, in 1978 and served for 28 years. Gordy knew virtually everything, especially about politics and theology. Congressman Sabo said: “He was a quiet person with an incredible knowledge of the history of Minneapolis. He had a deep interest in city government and wanting to make it work.”
Paul Victor Bjorklund (Spring/Summer 2011)
A churchman’s churchman, entrepreneur, loving husband and father, and faithful life-long servant of Christ, our prayers are ones of gratitude at the celebrating of this his final homecoming. Peace to his memory.
Charles Shelton Frasier (Spring/Summer 2011)
Charles Frasier is lovingly remembered as a husband to Jane, dad to Joel (fiancée Jamie), and Nathan (wife Lindsey), and grandpa to Trajan and Tareq. His new life in Jesus Christ and desire to serve the Kingdom of God guided him to the ministry of Covenant Point Bible Camp in 1985 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There he led a steady, loving, faithful life for 26 years as executive director.
Margaret M. Markuson (Spring/Summer 2011)
Born on April 30, 1916, Margaret died on April 1, 2011 after having led a very long and productive life.
James R. G. Hawkinson (Fall/Winter 2011)
Having been blessed by the friendship of a man who was forty-five years old when I was born – closer in age to my grandparents than my parents – teaches me all I need to know about the importance of belonging to a multi-generational church.