Richard Nelson ’45 M.Div. celebrated his 100th birthday on December 22. He worked for the Lutheran World Federation from 1958 to 1962 in Geneva, retired after 64 years in ministry, and supports a Luther Seminary scholarship for students from Africa.
Richard Rodding ’47 M.Div. died March 2. He served parishes in California, Idaho, Montana, and Washington.
Quentin Goodrich ’56 M.Div. died December 16. Goodrich served on the board of United Good Neighbors, was the first president of the Wooden Boat Foundation, and chaired the Community Counseling Board in Washington.
Herman “Ham” Muus ’56 M.Div. died December 18. Muus led youth programs including the Wilderness Canoe Base in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota.
Dick Beckmen ’58 Th.M. died November 15. He was regional youth director for the American Lutheran Church in Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana and served on the national youth ministry staff for the American Lutheran Church.
Manuel Johnson ’58 M.Div. died January 27. He served as service and mission director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as well as interim pastor at several churches in Honolulu; Kauai, Hawaii; and Sedona, Arizona.
Owen Gaasedelen ’59 M.Div. died November 1. Gaasedelen served as a pastor in Minnesota and North Dakota churches and was trained in a Bible study method for educating the laity, which he taught for the remainder of his time in ministry.
William Redman Jr. ’59 M.Div. died December 18. He served as pastor in several Wisconsin churches.
George Johnson ’60 B.Div., ’68 Th.M., former director of the ELCA’s World Hunger Program, died October 9.
James McBride Jr. ’60 M.Div. died January 23. He served in the U.S. Navy and pastored several churches in Minnesota, Nebraska, and North Dakota. He was also inducted into the North Dakota Goose Hunters Hall of Fame in 1999 and was honored with the Archery Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
Charles Romstad ’62 M.Div. died December 30. He served in the U.S. Army, enjoyed studying languages, and published a book, “Notes in My Shirt Pocket: A Collection of Poems.”
Alexander Stoffel ’63 M.Div. died November 17. He served as a minister for 20 years, authored several books, and earned academic degrees in music and computer science.
Richard Hane ’66 M.Div. died November 11, 2019.
Gary Lee ’66 M.Div. died December 17. In 2005, Luther Seminary recognized Lee with the Faithfulness in Ministry award for his 32 years of service to First Lutheran Church in Cresco, Iowa.
Lawrence “Larry” Vinson ’70 M.Div. died January 13. He served as pastor for several congregations in Montana and Wyoming until his retirement in 2009.
Ralph Larson ’79 M.Div. died March 5. He served six churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin during 35 years of ministry.
In August, Kevin Ruffcorn ’79 M.Div. released a book, “Nowhere to Go But Up: The Power of Living in God’s Love, Rather Than Fearing God’s Wrath.”
Mark Fry ’84 M.Div. died January 20. He played professional basketball in Germany and Australia, and most recently served as a pastor in Montana.
Rusty Edwards ’85 M.Div. released a new hymn in the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren Hymnal. The first hymnal Edwards contributed to, the United Methodist Hymnal, recently surpassed six million copies published.
Russell Myers ’85 M.Div., ’03 D.Min. released a book, “Because We Care: A Handbook for Chaplaincy in Emergency Medical Services,” in March.
In the fall, John Voelker ’88 M.Div. began a full-time teaching position with the faculty of humanities at the University of Pécs in Hungary.
Linda (Bodacj) Thomson ’91 M.Div. died September 24. With her husband and committed friends, she founded WoodWind Retreat Society, a safe haven for those with chemical sensitivities. Thomson served as president of the ministry for 10 years.
Anne Hokenstad ’93 M.Div., ’14 D.Min. accepted a call to serve at American Lutheran Church in Worthington, Minnesota.
In September, Ruth E. Hetland ’99 M.Div. launched ConseCrate, a subscription box for ordained women and professional women in ministry.
Alicia Lee ’01 Ph.D. retired from her role as adjunct professor of pastoral care and counseling at Taiwan Theological Seminary in August. She now accepts part-time teaching and preaching opportunities and cares for her mother.
Nathan Hoff ’02 M.Div. pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in San Pedro, California, founded the Theta Young Adult Community for high school seniors through young adults to devote themselves to daily prayer, discipleship, and service in the congregation and community.
In January, Ellie Roscher ’05 M.A. and Heidi Barr ’06 M.A. released their book, “12 Tiny Things: Simple Ways to Live a More Intentional Life.”
Erin Bovendam ’06 M.Div. accepted a call in October to serve at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham, Minnesota.
Stew Carlson ’07 M.Div. died March 23. He served as pastor at churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
William “Bill” Nelsen, who attended Luther Seminary 2006–07 as a graduate special student, was named one of 50 Minnesotans over the age of 50 recognized in December by the Minnesota chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons and Pollen for his lifetime commitment to fostering positive change.
Meta Herrick Carlson ’08 M.Div. released a book, “Speak it Plain: Word for Worship and Life Together,” in December.
Francis O. M. Tabla Sr. ’08 D.Min. released a book, “Scrap Racism!!!: The Church’s Response to Racism,” in August.
On November 5, Denis Rakotozafy ’11 M.A. was elected president of the Malagasy Lutheran Church, which has four million members. The church celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2018.
In November, Betsy Narr ’13 M.A. started a new job as the inclusive events manager at Claim Our Space, an event planning firm for community- and social justice- centered convenings.
In April, Carol Reed ’13 D.Min. began serving as pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In November, Katherine Museus Dabay ’14 M.A. began serving as campus pastor of Valparaiso University in Indiana.
In December, John Telyea ’14 M.Div. began serving two congregations in eastern Washington.
In February, Christy Hallenbeck Ask ’15 M.Div. began her role of director of mission integration and senior pastor at Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously, she was the associate pastor at Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls.
In January, Peter Clark ’16 M.Div. opened a business, Grateful Tread Bicycle Repairs, in Madison, Wisconsin.
In November, Beth Pottratz ’16 M.Div. accepted a new call to serve at First Lutheran Church in Little Falls, Minnesota. She previously worked in a home hospice chaplaincy in the Brainerd Lakes area.
In October, Nicole M. Garcia ’18 M.Div. appeared in the documentary, “Love Wins Over Hate,” which explores stories of prejudice, hatred, and transformation in the United States.
Dawn Bennett ’19 M.A. was ordained by Southeastern Synod Bishop Kevin Strickland and accepted a call to serve as pastor developer at The Table in Nashville, Tennessee.
Luke Lekander ’19 M.Div. was called to serve Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Outing, Minnesota, in January.