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Gene J. Lund

Gene J. Lund died at Eventide Lutheran Home in Moorhead, MN on July 27, 2013. He was born October 3, 1921 at the home of his parents, Reuben and Meta (Ebert) Lund in Lafayette, MN. He was baptized November 3, 1921 and confirmed on March 15, 1936 at First Lutheran Church, Lafayette. Gene married Louise Ekstam in Laurens, Iowa on October 14, 1951.

Gene excelled in academics and athletics at New Ulm High School in New Ulm, MN, graduating in 1939. He finished Gustavus Adolphus College cum laude in January of 1943, and entered Augustana Lutheran Seminary, Rock Island, IL, that autumn. He and his seminary classmates were ordained together on June 16, 1946 at Duluth, MN.

The young pastor’s first call was to a three-point parish: Bethlehem in Elbow Lake, Fredhem in Barrett, and Bethel in Herman, all in Minnesota. Other calls were to St. John, Bloomington, IL; Clara Church in Comstock, MN; Salem and Faith, both in Wolverton, MN. Gene also had summer internships in Marquette, Kansas; Axtell, Nebraska; and Lancaster and East Grand Forks in Minnesota.

Hamma Divinity School in Springfield, OH asked Gene to teach Church History in 1947-48. He earned the STM degree while at Hamma. In 1948, he enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. The Augustana Centennial Scholarship enabled him to study next at the Royal University of Lund in Sweden. There he began a study of the Americanization of churches in America which had their roots in Sweden. Hamma Divinity School asked him to return there in 1952, and Barrett and Elbow Lake churches called him again in 1953. Gene received his Th.D. degree in Church History from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1954.

In 1956 he was invited to join the religion department faculty of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where he primarily taught Church History and Doctrine. Gene retired in 1988 after thirty-two good years in the classroom. Teaching and preaching were his joys. Over the years he pioneered a television program called “Religion in the News.” He enjoyed translating eight books on theology, one on child development, and a children’s story about Albert Schweitzer, all from Swedish. He wrote a textbook titled “Christian Doctrine,” as well as many book reviews and articles. In 1987 he edited “Deep Runs the River,” a history of the Red River Valley Synod of the Lutheran Church in America.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Herman and Mathilda Ebert, and Hjalmer and Selma Lund, his parents, brother Wilbur and his wife Delpha, and brothers Woodrow and James.

Gene is survived by his wife of 62 years, Louise; five sons: John (Diana), Rolf (Lisa), Victor (Jolyn), Eric (Danae), and Nathan; brother Earl (Ardis), sister Shirley (Virgil Youngblom), sisters-in-law Ethel and Mary, brother-in-law Fred Ekstam (Diane): grandchildren Matthew (Kim), Alycia (Brandon Busch), Daniel; Anders; Ethan, Anna, and Britta: great-grandchildren Destani and Karson; step-granddaughter Jaelyn, and many nieces and nephews.

The family gives thanks to God for the life of this kind and loving man, our dedicated “scholar in residence.” We remember him with love, respect, and appreciation for his wisdom.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, July 31, from 5 to 7 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m., at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN. Visitation will continue at Bethesda Lutheran Church, Moorhead, from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. Interment at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Moorhead and a reception at the church will follow after the service.

Those who wish to honor his memory could consider gifts to Bethesda Lutheran Church, Gustavus Adolphus College, Concordia College, or another good cause of their choice.

Grateful thanks is given to many for the kind care that Gene received at Eventide.