Story Magazine - Second Quarter, 2008

Former Colleagues Remember John Victor Halvorson

John Victor Halvorson

On Oct. 2, Halvorson, professor emeritus of Old Testament, died at age 86. He was buried next to his wife, Hazel, in Clifton, Texas.

Professor emeritus Jim Limburg wrote in a memorial that Halvorson was "one of the best teachers I've had" and "introduced a generation... to the world of contemporary Old Testament studies." Limburg credits Halvorson's teaching with leading him to teach Old Testament.

Fellow professor emeritus Roy Harrisville remembers Halvorson for his political activism. Harrisville says that Halvorson was a close friend of Hubert H. Humphrey, who once visited Halvorson's class. Additionally, Halvorson was friends with Eugene McCarthy, who visited the Halvorsons' home each year to discuss politics and religion.

"No one on this faculty has ever enjoyed such contact with political thinkers as did John Victor Halvorson," Harrisville says.

Halvorson is remembered for his pride in his Norwegian- American Heritage. In 1946, he married Hazel Louise Iverson, whom he met at Luther College. He was the father of four daughters and two sons, grandfather of 16 and great-grandfather of four.

He was a graduate of Luther College, University of Minnesota, The Johns Hopkins University, Luther Seminary and Union Seminary. In addition to teaching at Luther, he served congregations in Washington, Minnesota, South Dakota, Texas and Iowa.

In honor of his teaching and ministry at Luther Seminary, a memorial book has been established online. To share memories of Halvorson, click
here.