Died August 4, 2013. Age 82. Husband of Lois for 58 years. Caring father of Martin (Lena), Toren and Ellen. Loving grandfather of Rex and Lola. Brother of Janet Holte of Cornucopia, WI. Also loved by nieces, nephews, other family and friends.
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Jerome Martin Engseth was born in Minneapolis, MN in 1931 to Martin Oscar Engseth (1903-1972) and Dorothy Ethyl Evelyn Johnson (1905-1998). His sister Janet was born in 1933 and the family lived in south Minneapolis and later Wayzata, MN. Jerome, or Jerry, attended Augsburg College and graduated with a degree in sociology in 1953. During the college years he worked at the Minneapolis Star and Tribune and at Sears, where he met Lois, his wife-to-be. While he trained briefly with the Marine Corps, in 1953 he realized a calling to the ministry. He found a theological home with North Park Theological Seminary (Chicago, IL) and the Evangelical Covenant Church of America.
In 1955 he married Helen Lois Swanson, born 1933 in Minneapolis. Their marriage was later blessed with children Martin, Toren, and Ellen. Jerome received a Masters of Divinity and was ordained in 1957. His many places of service included Covenant Bible College (Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada); Floral Park Covenant Church (Floral Park, NY); the Church of the Redeemer as developer pastor (Bowie, MD); Northwest Covenant Church (Mount Prospect, IL); the Church of the Master (St. Louis, MO), Community Covenant Church (Kirkwood, MO), and Christ Covenant Church (Florissant, MO) as developer pastor; Milwaukee Covenant Church (Wauwatosa, WI) and Hope Covenant Church (Waukesha, WI). He continued to work as pastor part-time through the mid-1990s.
Jerome immensely enjoyed his avocation as a biblical scholar, particularly during the later part of his life. He took courses at Union Theological Seminary, Virginia Theological Seminary, Marquette University, and a short course at Oxford University. He wrote two self-published books, Just Mark, concerning biblical criticism and the gospel of Mark, printed in 2004; and Swedish Men Arguing about God, regarding reflections on Pietism among Swedish-American immigrants, compiled in 2011.
Jerry was a proud liberal who was dedicated to human and civil rights. He enjoyed dramatic activities and wrote many plays. He traveled to Europe with friends and family several times, particularly enjoying Scandinavia and his extended family in Norway. He also spent time in Israel and Guatemala. He loved his family, genealogy, reading and writing, ideas, discourse, and the family summer cabin on Lake Superior.
In 2002, Jerry suffered an aortic dissection followed by a physically-disabling stroke from which he regained partial use of his body the following year. During these last years he suffered a broken hip and renal failure but kept up his spiritual strength.
We give thanks to God for his long life.
Memorial service at LUTHER MANOR, FAITH AND EDUCATION BUILDING CHAPEL, 4545 North 92nd Street, please use north entrance, Thursday, August 8, 3:00 PM. Private interment in Cornucopia, WI. Memorials appreciated to the Milwaukee Evangelical Covenant Church community outreach program.