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Keith Olmanson 1929-2016

Written by | August, 2016
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Keith Nolan Olmanson, longtime pastor of the CLC, was taken to be with the Lord on May 26, 2016. A victory service was held on June 2, 2016 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota.

Keith Olmanson was born in St. Peter, Minnesota, on July 28, 1929, to Bennett and Helen (née Jacobson) Olmanson and was baptized on September 15. He was the oldest of seven children. Keith graduated from St. Peter High School in 1947. He attended Bethany Lutheran Junior College in Mankato and Northwestern Lutheran College in Watertown, Wisconsin. He graduated from Bethany Lutheran Seminary in 1955.

He served for forty years as a Lutheran pastor. His first call was to the Jerico-Saude parish in northeastern Iowa. There he met Sonja Johnson, who became his wife on August 11, 1957. In January of 1958, Keith began serving Ascension Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. During his time in Eau Claire, Keith became a founding member of the CLC, and remained a member until his death. He served in several CLC congregations over the years, including Messiah in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Faith in Nicollet, Minnesota; Salem in Eagle Lake, Minnesota; Immanuel in Mankato, Minnesota; and Faith in New Ulm, Minnesota. He also filled vacancy positions in Texas, Florida, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Keith was a devoted father, who led his family and congregations with the Word of God. By his faith in Christ as his only Savior, and by his example as a man devoted to his Lord, he led many others to follow the path to eternal life. He enjoyed reading, gardening, hunting, fishing, and watching football and other sports. He belonged to a local Norwegian club and the Hedmark Lag. He translated Civil War letters written in Norwegian by his great-grandfather, Bernt Olmanson, a soldier in the Union army. He had opportunities to travel in Scandinavia as well as throughout the United States.

He is survived by Sonja, his beloved wife of fifty-eight years; eight children, twenty-two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Evan.