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Students sitting outside Bockman

Professor Emeritus Daniel Simundson Memory Book

Luther Seminary gives thanks to God for the life and witness of Dr. Dan Simundson, professor emeritus of Old Testament.

Rev. Dr. Daniel J. Simundson, 79, of Roseville, Minnesota, died on January 28, 2013.

Dan was preceded in death by Sally (Mueller), his wife of 38 years. Also preceding him were his brothers Leonard and Jonas "K" Simundson and sisters Marjory Wesen and Dorothy Miller. Dan is survived by his daughters, Susan Simundson and Ann-Marie Pucillo; sons-in-law Bruce Cryan and Fred Pucillo; grandchildren Daniel and Audrey Cryan and Joseph Pucillo; brother Luther Simundson (Jeanne), and dear friend Patricia Kane.

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, he was the son of Kolbeinn and Groa (Thorsteinson) Simundsson. He earned a B.A. degree in 1955 from Stanford University and a B.D. degree from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1959. Ordained as a minister in 1959, he was pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Mendon, Illinois, until 1961, when he became hospital chaplain at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis (1961-67). In 1971 he received a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Dan became a member of the Luther Seminary faculty in St. Paul in 1972 and was named professor of Old Testament in 1981. He taught for thirty-one years and during that time also held various deanships.

In 2000 Dan was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Theology from the University of Iceland. The author of more than six books on the Old Testament and its messages of faith in times of suffering, Dan was a beloved teacher who touched many lives. In his retirement Dan continued to teach and preach, was active at his church, and was involved with the Golden K Kiwanis Club and the Icelandic American Association of Minnesota.

Daniel was a wise person, caring and a gentle person. I will always be grateful to have known him and been able to be his student. He was not only a brilliant scholar but he was also a pastor. I am deeply grateful to have known him. He was truly a humble servant.
Vigf�s B. Albertsson
Professor Simundson spoke at a couple of adult forums at our congregation, and now 25 years later, I still remember two of his lectures.

The first was about gender issues based on the creation stories. The traditional interpretation, he said, was that man was created first, a woman came from the rib of Adam. Thus men are predominant.

The other interpretation is that creation is progressive, from the least complex to the most sophisticated.  So in this view it could be that men are just rough drafts. The audience was completely engaged in this discussion.

The second insight regarded the difficulty of preaching. He said when you look at the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, you see them careening back and forth between judgment and hope.  

Thus the challenge of preaching. A significant segment of the congregation needs to hear a word of judgment, while another large group need to hear a word of hope. Or maybe everyone needs to hear both.  But how do you get both of these themes into one sermon?  

Professor Simundson was an amazing teacher and such a gracious human being.
Mervin Thompson
St. Paul, Minnesota
Alumni, Supporter
I first got to know Prof. Simundson during 8 a.m. Hebrew. He was intelligent, funny, and loving towards all of his students - even at that early hour. He will be greatly missed by me and by my husband who also came to know, love and have deep respect for this great man of God. May he be remembered well. And may God's grace fill his family with peace at this time of loss.

Liz Eide
Liz Eide
Student & friend
During my seminary years I was very interested in clinical ministry. Many profs openly disdained the "touchy feely" introspective world of CPE and the like. Dr. Simundson held academic rigor and integrity in one hand and clinical competence and a pastoral heart in the  other. That was, and remains, a great gift to me. Blessed be his memory.
Mark Hendrickson
I am deeply saddened to hear of Dan's passing. When Sheila and I came to Luther from Nova Scotia, Dan and Sally graciously offered their home while they were on sabbatical. Their love was deeply integrated: Love for each other; love for their calling; love for their children; love for students; love for generosity and compassion. Thank you for being a mentor of how to integrate grace, academia, and service. Your influence has touched and will continue to touch others for a long time.

Jeffrey Hosick
Kentville, Nova Scotia
Dr. Simundson led Air Force chaplains on a week-long retreat, using the Old Testament as the focus. His brilliant mind and humble heart provided refreshment and nourishment to us all that week. He was "the real deal."
Patrick ryan
Groveland, MA
From the land and church of his ancestors I pray to God to bless the memory of a wonderful person, a fine scholar, caring teacher, good friend. May he rest in peace and God's grace and peace be with all his loved ones
Karl Sigurbjörnsson
Reykjaví­k, Iceland
former bishop of Iceland
I treasure Dan's friendship and his caring and gentle teaching and nurturing. He taught me the gentle way of dealing with suffering in the world. Thank you and may you rest in the bosom of Abraham.
Cheryl Corneliussen
Orange, CA
Dan's gentle pastoral heart, his love of the OT and his students will be missed. From 2002-2009 when I had my office at Region 3 ELCA office, I often had lunch with Dan. I will cherish his books and always be thankful for all he taught me.
Daniel B. Carlson
ELCA Mission Investment Fund
His student and friend
Dr. Simonson was one of the most caring professors I ever knew. My husband and I experienced a family crisis that was earth shattering to us. Dr. Simonson was the only one of my professors willing to talk to me about our situation and allow us to process it delicately. His mannerisms in the classroom were also beyond kind and challenging at the same time. I will always remember him with a deep fondness for learning and helping students and others achieve their greatest potential.

May his memory remain in our hearts.
Emily Gilbertson
Kiel, WI

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