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The Foundation is a nonprofit corporation governed by a Board of Trustees who are members of Central. The Foundation’s purpose is to receive gifts, to hold the principal of such gifts in perpetuity and to give the income growth of these gifts to Central.

Become a legacy partner!

Central’s Legacy Partners are members and friends of Central Lutheran Church who have made a commitment to include the Central Lutheran Foundation in their estate planning or planned giving. Their purpose is to celebrate and encourage others in their “legacy giving” to Central. Legacy partners receive a unique crystal engraved with an image of Central’s historic sanctuary and are recognized at a banquet and in other ways throughout the year.

Legacy Partners Profiles

Harris and Maryon Lee

Maryon and the the Rev. Harris W. Lee, longtime members of Central Lutheran Church, have included Central Lutheran Church Foundation in their estate plans as Legacy Partners.

The Rev. Harris W. Lee, who died in December 2017, grew up on a farm near Fosston, Minnesota, one of eight children. He was a graduate of Augsburg College, received a D. Min. from Luther Seminary, and was ordained as an ELCA pastor in 1961. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Harris and Maryon served several parishes: initially at First Lutheran Church in Duluth; Lakeview Lutheran Church in Maplewood, and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Minneapolis. After 27 years in parish ministry Harris spent 20 years working with ELCA congregations on stewardship and leadership. He served as an interim pastor and interim assistant to synod bishops, and was a regent of Augsburg College and board member of Fairview Southdale. Maryon was a Sunday school teacher, taught Bible study, and participated in circles at each of the parishes.

The Lee’s son Steve, a 1985 Augsburg graduate, is an actuary at Thrivent. Their daughter Patty, a 1987 graduate of Augsburg, is a hospital chaplain with an M.A. from Luther Seminary and M.S. in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. Both are married with children and live in the Twin Cities area.

Maryon is a native of the small farming community of Newark, in central Illinois, and graduated from Northern Illinois University. She and Harris met when he taught vacation Bible school in her home church, Norway Lutheran, the summer after his first year of seminary. They married at Norway Lutheran in 1960. Harris was ordained on their first anniversary, June 11, 1961.

They moved to 7500 York while Harris was in declining health, joining many friends from Central who live there. Maryon drives downtown for church but has the option of attending a service close by her residence.

The Lees have a living trust and a fund at InFaith Community Foundation which benefits Central Lutheran Church Foundation and other charities. Since Harris worked in stewardship during his career and authored a book about the subject, titled “Effective Church Leadership” in 2001, they both saw the importance of good financial leadership and planned giving to the future of the church. For Maryon and Harris Lee, it was important to include Central Lutheran Church in their estate giving.

The Central Lutheran Church Foundation greatly appreciates their generosity!

Dean and Joyce Bliss

Dean and Joyce Bliss are dedicated friends of Central Lutheran. Although no longer living fulltime in Minnesota, they have deep and lifelong roots in the congregation.

Dean’s parents (Don and Bertha) were married at Central. Dean was baptized and confirmed at Central. He remembers as a youth attending the cornerstone laying of the Sunday school building, the parish building and, as an adult, the commons building.

Dean and Joyce were married at Central Lutheran in 1977 after meeting at a Koinonian meeting (a Central young adult group). Their two boys were baptized, confirmed and married here, and two of three grandchildren were baptized at Central.

Dean and Joyce are now Arizona residents, but come back to worship at Central Lutheran and spend the summer in Minnesota. When in Arizona, they watch the Central Sunday services online, then attend Desert Hills Lutheran in Green Valley where they are active in various groups.

At Central, Dean has been involved in the Cherub Choir, Little Singers, High School Chapel Choir, Call Committee, Parking Lot Committee, Communications Board, Fiscal and Properties Committee, Sound and Light program, Bell Tower subcommittee and Funeral Reception Committee. While a teenager, he was active in Luther League and attended the youth conventions both in Miami Beach in 1961 and in Detroit in 1964.

Joyce has been involved as a Sunday school teacher, Bible school teacher, Circle of Friends, Funeral Reception Committee, Church Council, choir, hand bell choir, and quilting.

Joyce and Dean are Legacy Partners, having included Central Lutheran Church Foundation in their estate plans because “Central Lutheran has been such an important part of our lives, and we love everything about it—the music, preaching, and outreach. We are willing to drive a distance to church and also listen to the service when we are gone during the winter to stay connected.”

Central Lutheran Church Foundation is grateful to Dean and Joyce for their dedication to the mission of Central Lutheran.

Susan Stan

Susan Stan, Central Lutheran member and children’s literature scholar, entered eternal life on March 21, 2018. Born in Chicago and raised in Wyoming, Susan attended St. Olaf College, received her master’s degree in English from UW, Madison, and her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She was a renowned expert in the field of children’s literature, and served on several prestigious children’s literature award committees and international professional associations.

During her career, Susan worked in the children’s book publishing business in New York, then at Lerner Publications in Minneapolis. After 16 years of teaching at Central Michigan University in the area of children’s literature, she moved back to Minneapolis to, as Susan put it, “re-integrate with her friends and establish a community here.”

She loved Central Lutheran Church, its people, clergy and social programs. She started out attending the 5:00 p.m. Saturday service, joined the choir and was an active volunteer at the Restoration Center.

Susan divided her estate among several favorite charities rather than her many nieces and nephews, because as she said, she would “make more of an impact on the charities.” Her estate included both Central Lutheran’s building fund and the Central Lutheran Church Foundation, as well as her college.

The Central Lutheran Church Foundation is grateful for Susan’s life among us and for her legacy gifts to the church and the Foundation.

John and Joan Hagman

John and Joan Hagman met as students at St. Olaf College. John was from the Midwest, and Joan from the East Coast.

John is a native of Chicago. He has deep Lutheran roots in the Midwest, as his great grandfather was one of the founders of Bethany Lutheran Church in Ephraim, Wisconsin, north of Green Bay, a church that is celebrating a 135th anniversary this year. The church still holds services during the summer months.

John joined the Marines in 1943, and spent two years in the South Pacific, assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bunker Hill. He was on deck May 11, 1945, when the ship was bombed by two Japanese kamikaze pilots. He was later invited to join a V-12 officer training program, and chose Yale University as the place for his program. After August 1945, when Japan surrendered, John returned to Chicago.

The pastor at his church in Chicago, Ray Farness, was a St. Olaf grad, so he recommended attending St. Olaf. John majored in social studies and economics graduating in 1949. After he and Joan were married, he earned a master’s degree in administration at New York University, where they could live with Joan’s family.

Joan’s parents were born in Norway and are both buried there, although they emigrated to Brooklyn, New York, where there was a large Norwegian community. Joan’s mother Gyda Andersen was a milliner, joining a hat company soon after coming to the U.S. Joan’s father was an electrical engineer who worked in Manhattan. Her grandmother insisted that Gyda be confirmed in Norway before emigrating, and she came to America with family friends. They joined Trinity Lutheran in Brooklyn (where incidentally Mons and Shirley Teig served) where Joan was confirmed.

After Joan graduated from high school in 1947, at her pastor’s recommendation, she and her mother took the train to Northfield and St. Olaf College, where the Norwegian Lutheran population was familiar to Joan’s family. The small town of Northfield was a big change after growing up in bustling Brooklyn, but Joan grew to like it, and there she met John. Joan majored in sociology and secondary education. When John graduated in 1949, they married, and Joan completed her college degree after the children- Karl, Deborah, David and Rebecca-were grown, at Concordia University, St. Paul. They now have ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

John was a history teacher and served as principal and teacher at Northwood, Iowa, and served school districts in St. Charles, Minnesota; Menomonie, Wisconsin; Faribault, Minnesota; and Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. Finally, Hagmans moved to Mendota Heights and Henry Sibley High School, where John was principal for 19 years, retiring in 1989. John was also the first AARP Minnesota president, serving six years for two terms.

History with Central Lutheran
John and Joan have been at Central Lutheran since February, 1990, joining at the urging of Rev. Paul and Dolores Hanson. They previously attended Salem Lutheran in West St. Paul. John has been president of the church council at Central Lutheran, an usher for 11 years, served on a call committee and chaired the nominating committee. Joan taught Sunday School, volunteered at the Clothes Closet, chaired the Floral Guild, ushered, and was a member of the investment club.

Legacy Partners Story
John and Joan are Central Lutheran Church Foundation Legacy Partners, with Central Lutheran Church Foundation included in their estate plan. They said, “We love Central, very simply, and the Foundation has been good to Central-it is as good a place for our money as the bank.”


Audrey Grote and Mary Oelke

Travel and faith are two important themes in the lives of Audrey Grote and Mary Oelke, longtime friends who met as young teachers in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

They both taught Sunday School and were members and officers of Altar Guild, Floral Guild and Central Lutheran Church Women. After retirement they helped run the Skyway Connection Ministry, an outreach for downtown skyway people during the 1990s. Today they are members of Shalom Circle and Floral Guild.

Audrey and Mary started their traveling adventures when Audrey drove her 1953 Chevy to California. That was followed by a Grand Circle tour of Europe which lasted all summer and took in almost every country in Europe.

Many trips followed, but the most meaningful were those taken with Central Lutheran parishioners and clergy. The first was a trip to Israel where they visited biblical sites and imagined life in the time of Jesus. Next was a trip to Madagascar where they stayed with missionaries who took them to many places. More recently was a trip to France to watch the casting of one of the large bells in Central’s bell tower. That was followed by a trip to Madison, Wisconsin to see the carving of the stone for the top of the tower.

Audrey and Mary are grateful for the many opportunities Central Lutheran Church has provided them through the years. The trips, Bible studies, inspiring sermons, beautiful music, small groups and many opportunities to interact with people who share their Christian faith are important parts of their faith journey. They feel their lives have been greatly blessed and they hope that their gifts to the Central Lutheran Foundation will help Central provide faith enriching opportunities for others.


Bob Boldt: Jack of All Trades

“1928 was a big year—Central dedicated its sanctuary on April 1 and Bob was born in Faribault on November 2.” So begins Bob Boldt’s obituary, which, like everything Bob does, is unique, artistic and witty.

An only child, he was christened Robert Edward, after his mother vetoed “Herman.” On Easter Sunday of 1943, he was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Faribault.

Art and music pervade every phase of Bob’s life. From his studies at the Minneapolis School of Art, now MCAD, to 38 years as an art director/graphic designer for Dayton’s and Target. His attendance at Minnesota Orchestra concerts, and musically oriented trips with Ovation Opera Tours to destinations such as Sarasota, Santa Fe, and Tanglewood, are among others.

While attending MCAD, he often visited Central to hear long time Central organist Marion Hutchinson, after hearing her on WCAL, the St. Olaf radio station. He later took private lessons with Marion.

His church music career started as a pianist for his home church Grace Lutheran, in Rochester, Minn., where he and his parents were a founding members. At Central, he played the piano for worship services conducted for the neighborhood by Pastor Cherian Puthiyottil.

Bob progressed from playing the piano in Rochester to a pump organ, then a one manual, two manual and finally a pipe organ at Grace. In fact, he had an organ in his Minneapolis apartment to get ready for Sundays in Rochester.

Bob retired from The Target Corporation in the 1980s, just when computers were coming in, and he does not own or use a computer today.

Bob has been very generous in designing logos and covers for Central, as well as the logo for Central Lutheran Church Foundation.

His Central committees include Fine Art, Funeral Reception, C3 Environmental, Call Committee, and was the underwriter of the electronic sign installed in Central’s north plaza in 2016.

The Legacy Partners of the Central Lutheran Church Foundation can say “Thank you Bob” for providing for Central in many years to come.


More information

For more information about the Central Lutheran Foundation and helpful charitable giving resources, contact:

Inez Bergquistinez-berquist-sm
Director of Development




Foundation Documents

Foundation Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Arlan R. Abel
Emilie A. Anderson (not pictured)
Joyce H. Anderson
Kay H. Dixon
Scott H. Fisher
Larry A. Gregerson
James R. Heintz, Secretary/Treasurer
Charles Scheiderer
Steven A. Studt
Shirley A. Teig, Vice President
Bonnie J. Weisenburger, President

Mark A. Gassedelen, Executive Secretary

Ex-officio Members
Pastor Peter Nycklemoe
Sara Stensaas
Robert “Obie” Holmen

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