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Rev. Dr. Olaf K. Storaasli

President of the Wiggins Ave. Seminary from 1953-1959.


SASKATOON, 18 May 2006 – It is with sadness that the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon has received the news of the death of its former president, Olaf K. Storaasli, at the age of 90. He died peacefully on May 16, at his home in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.

 From 1953 to 1959, Dr. Storaasli was president of Luther Theological Seminary, one of two predecessor institutions that would merge to form Lutheran Theological Seminary. Ordained in 1942, Dr. Storaasli and his wife had arrived in Saskatoon in 1944, and he first served both as Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church and as Professor of New Testament at the seminary.

A pioneer of Lutheran theological education on the Canadian prairies, Dr. Storaasli was a key member of the group that worked to unite Saskatoon’s seminaries, a dream that was fully realized in 1965. He successfully hosted the International Luther League Convention in Saskatoon, in 1949. As a pastor, professor, and president, Dr. Storaasli was a mentor and friend to many ELCIC pastors.

Although Dr. Storaasli left to take a call as Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, where he taught until 1986, he maintained lifelong ties with the Seminary in Saskatoon. In 2000, he and his wife Lila endowed a Mission Lectureship at Lutheran Theological Seminary, so that the Saskatoon and St. Paul seminaries might be “tied closer together in the common mission of the Church.” They also donated a valuable hand-written 15th century parchment page from a Latin Antiphonarium, which currently hangs in the reception area at Lutheran Theological Seminary.

In the video greetings he sent to the 2005 Storaasli lecture, Dr.
Storaasli remembered having preached at his ordination on Romans
1:16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ … For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” This text, he said, had become “the motto of my ministry, the basic statement of my life belief in the gospel.”

Dr. Storaasli’s years of championing and guiding the project of providing a pastorally trained, theologically equipped cadre for generations of ministry in the ELCIC and its predecessor bodies were, and will continue to be, fruitful well beyond his years of dedicated, active service to Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Dr. Storaasli is survived by his wife, Lila; his sister-in-law Ruth; his children, Olaf (Barbara), Carolyn Nestingen (James), Faith Hutin, and Elizabeth (Mark Knutson); ten grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A memorial service is planned Monday, May 22, 11:00 a.m., at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, 2323 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN.


Biography from the his funeral bulletin insert

Obituary on Luther Seminary's website and from Minneapolis Star Tribune, 21 May 2006


Photo is the Class of 1958
Graduates: E. Langness, G. Grant, D. Johnson, C. Stalwick, O. Lokken
Faculty: T. P. Solem, O. K. Storaasli, G. O. Evenson