Alden I. Lerohl
Pastor Alden Lerohl, 88, passed away peacefully Sunday, May 27, 2018 with his son, John, and wife, Stephanie, beside him. He entered Heaven’s Gates, where he was met by Jesus his Lord and beloved family members who had preceded him.
A small service will take place at a later date in Colorado Springs. In lieu of flowers, a gift can be made to Love Africa Mission, Alden Lerohl Memorial, P.O. Box 507, Belmont, N.C. 28012
Alden was born Nov. 5, 1929 to Alex and Emma Lerohl in rural Maynard, Minn. His early life revolved around faith, family, farm, and appreciation of his Norwegian heritage. After high school graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he was assigned to the chaplain service as Chaplain Asst./Welfare Specialist. When Staff Sgt. Lerohl exited the service after the Korean War, the Senior Chaplain encouraged him to become a minister of the Christian gospel.
He enrolled at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., where he met his future wife, Ruth Ness, from Lake Mills. Following his 1958 college graduation, he continued his education at Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.
June 12, 1960 was a special day in his life, when he married Ruth, his best friend and love of his life at Winnebago Lutheran Church, rural Lake Mills. Later, when Winnebago Church was in need of an interim pastor, Alden was hired by the congregation to serve weekends. The couple was blessed with their first son, Andrew, in 1962.
After Alden’s first year of internship at Grace Lutheran Church, Chula Vista, Calif., he was ordained June 10, 1962 at his home church, Wang Lutheran, rural Maynard, Minn. Pastor Lerohl’s first call was to serve a two-point parish at Rosholt/Iola, Wis. Alden and Ruth’s second son, John, was born while there in 1963. Most of his decades of ministry revolved around pastoring mission churches, and encouraging growth, not only in numbers, but also growth in personal faith and a growing walk with Jesus Christ.
Alden’s life of mission pastoring moved him and his family nationwide. He served at Trinity Lutheran in Porterville, Calif. in 1965; and then went on to plant a church in Franklin, Wis. in 1972. That church was named House of Prayer. After four years, the family then moved to serve at Lord of Life, Waterloo. Once again, Alden heard the call to serve Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and bring the Gospel to Sandy, Utah in 1977. Finally, in 1979, he moved his family to San Jose, Calif., to serve Community Lutheran Church . . . where his final years of congregational ministry concluded in 1986.
The final decade of service was focused on serving disabled veterans as the Chaplain of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif. From 1960 to 1998, Alden’s life touched thousands with God’s love and the message of Grace to all in Jesus Name.
One of his greatest memories was in his call was to Franklin, Wis., where the House of Prayer was formed, and a new sanctuary was built. After much prayer, fund raising, and membership drives, House of Prayer remains a vital congregation today forty six years later.
Pastor Al and Ruth retired to a retirement community near Hot Springs, Ariz. in 1998. While there, they volunteered at Potter’s Clay, a home for troubled and abused women. Ruth held Bible studies, while Al served on the board of directors.
Following Ruth’s death March 10, 2016, he moved near son John’s home in Grapevine, Texas, to an assisted living facility. In August of 2017, when John and Stephanie moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., Al moved with them, where he lived his final days in the ‘shadow of Pikes Peak.’
Pastor Lerohl was survived by his son, John, and daughter-in-law, Stephanie; grandchildren: Dr. Elizabeth (Clay) Duval; David (Kelsey and daughter, Abigail Grace) Lerohl; Rebecca (Ryan) Tavitas; and Ross Lerohl (fiancé, Brittany Smith, and daughters, Marliegh Mae and Harper Rae); brothers: Howard Lerohl, Robert (Helen) Lerohl; sisters-in-law: Elaine (Donald) Bergan and Gayle Ness McMullen; step-sister-in-law, Ruth Vermedahl; and step-brother-in-law, Pastor Wayne Halvorson; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Preceding him in death were his wife, Ruth, in 2016; son, Andrew, in 2014; parents. Alex and Emma Lerohl; parents-in-law, Olaf and Agnes Ness; step-mother-in-law, Ida Vermedahl Ness; sister-in-law, Diane Lerohl; brother-in-law, Marvin Ness; and step-siblings: Lois Halvorson and Claire Vermedahl.