The Rev. Dr. Harold Russell Lohr died on July 4th 2021 at home peacefully after a long struggle with end stage emphysema at 98 years of age, two months short of his 99th birthday.
Harold was born in Gary, South Dakota on August 31, 1922 to Lester and Nora (Fossum) Lohr. He earned a B.S. from South Dakota State University; a Ph.D. (Nuclear Chemistry) from UC Berkeley; an M.Div. from Augustana Theology Seminary (LSTC) Chicago, IL. Member Phi Kappa Phi. He served in combat as a 1st Lt. Infantry, US Army with service in European Theater of Operations, 1944 – 1946. (Harold Lohr (YouTube) is an interview of his war experiences produced by Natick Veterans Oral History Project.)
Harold was a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) pastor, an ELCA Bishop for 12 years, retiring in 1991 as Bishop of the NW Minnesota Synod of the ELCA. These words from the Rev Dr Cordell Strug best capture who Harold was: “ I think he was the finest bishop we served under, and one of the most outstanding leaders we knew. He remained for me a model of what a leader should be. I loved his piercing eyes and sly grin. He always seemed like the smartest and most wised-up guy in the room. It was a privilege to begin our service under him. Mary Carol and I feel it was one of the luckiest things to ever happen to us”.
Prior to his ordination Harold worked as a Research Chemist at Argonne National Laboratory. Chicago, IL.; after ordination in 1958 he served as Pastor-Developer Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Northfield, IL; Assoc. Exec. Sec., Bd. of College Education & Church Vocations, LCA; Director for Study, Research and Planning, Division for Professional Leadership, LCA; Bishop, Red River Valley Synod, Fargo, ND, LCA; Bishop NW Minnesota Synod 1987, Moorhead, MN ELCA; and Interim Director Dept of Synodical Relations, ELCA, Chicago, IL.
He served on many boards and committees through his career; authored numerous papers and letters on theology; the church in society; and theology and science. A learned man of faith and a member of Christ Lutheran Christ, Natick, MA. The ELCA website (www.elca.org) offers video of an interview shot at Argonne in which he discusses his decision to leave science for a life of service to the Lord in the Lutheran Church in America.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years Edith Morgan Lohr; sons Philip K. Lohr of Zephyrhills, FL; David S. Lohr of Brick, NJ; stepchildren Richard C. Krueger Jr, of Chicago, IL; Susan K. Krueger of Providence, RI; Jeffrey S. Krueger of Albuquerque, NM; foster and true sons Hoang Nguyen of Lawrenceville, GA; Tim Nguyen of Tucker, GA; and seven grandchildren: David Nguyen, Madelaine Krueger, Harold Nguyen, Amy Nguyen, Maxwell Krueger, Henry Nguyen, and Helen Nguyen. In addition to his parents, Nora and Lester Lohr , he was preceded in death by his son Michael J. Lohr and grandson Ian Lohr.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, July 23, 2021 from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm at Slattery Funeral Home, Inc., 40 Pleasant Street, Marlborough, MA 01752. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 12:00 noon at Christ Lutheran Church, 113 Union St., Natick, MA 01760.
The internment will be at Hillside Cemetery, Lily, South Dakota on Tuesday August 31st (Harold’s birthday) at 1:00 pm. South Dakota is his ancestral home; he will be buried next to his parents in the cemetery built of land donated by his grandfather in about the 1890’s.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers memorial gifts be given to any of these organizations:
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; 1100 East 55th St.; Chicago, IL 60615; to promote preaching excellence of the Gospel (Homiletics) ;
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church; 113 Union St.; Natick, MA 01760;
Northwest Minnesota Synod of the ELCA; Riverside Center; 310 14th Avenue S; Moorhead, MN 56562.
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Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street, Chicago IL 60615
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
113 Union Street, Natick MA 01760
Northwest Minnesota Synod of the ELCA - Riverside Center
310 14th Avenue S., Moorhead MN 56562