Rev. Dale R. Skogman, age 81, died on June 16, 2021, peacefully at his home in Gladstone surrounded by his beloved wife, family, music, and prayer. He was born on October 21, 1939, in Iron Mountain, MI and was the son of Arthur Skogman and Esther (Skog) Skogman.
Rev. Skogman was raised in Felch, MI and graduated from Felch High School in 1957 where he was the class valedictorian and received the Alpha Beta award from the faculty in recognition of his contributions to the student body. He received varsity letters in basketball and debate and was also editor of the school newsletter the “Felch Flash.”
He worked several part-time and summer jobs to pay for his college and seminary educations including as a laborer and expediter at the Iron Fireman Manufacturing Plant in Portland, OR, an assistant to the seminary archivist and a night custodian at Missman, Stanley and Farmer drafting firm in Rock Island, IL. He also worked for the Groveland Mining Company, Dickinson County Road Commission and as a pulpwood piece cutter.
He attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR and received his bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL in 1961. In 1965 he earned his Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago on the Rock Island campus. In 2000 Finlandia University, Hancock, MI bestowed on him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.
Rev. Skogman was ordained into ministry on May 30, 1965, at Zion Lutheran Church in Metropolitan, MI where his great-grandparents, Erik and Brita Skog, were founding and charter members in 1895.
Rev. Skogman served as the pastor of the following parishes: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Toivola, MI, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Atlantic Mine and Grace Lutheran Church, South Range, MI from 1965-1971; First Lutheran Church, Gladstone, MI from 1971-1976; Holy Communion Lutheran Church, Racine, WI from 1976-1985; and Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Wauwatosa, WI from 1985-1991.
In 1991 he was elected Bishop of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with offices in Marquette, MI. He served in the office of bishop for eight years taking early retirement in 1999 when he and his wife moved to Gladstone, MI. In 2002 the Northern Great Lakes Synod bestowed on him the title of Bishop Emeritus.
During his active ministry Rev. Skogman served on a vast number of boards and committees both in the church and community. His service included terms on the board of directors of Carthage College in Kenosha, WI; The Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, IL; and Finlandia University in Hancock, MI. He was presented a Leadership Award in 1997 from Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan in appreciation for his services. In 2007 Finlandia University bestowed on him the title of Board Member Emeritus in recognition of his service to the university from 1993-2007. He also served nine years on the board of the Augustana Heritage Association dedicated to perpetuating the life and legacy of the former Augustana Lutheran Church in America rooted in the Swedish tradition. He was a past president of the Gladstone Rotary and Swedish clubs, officer of Bay Sages and an RSVP volunteer for several agencies.
During Rev. Skogman’s tenure as bishop, the Northern Great Lakes Synod developed a companion synod relationship with the Eastern and Coastal Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. The two synods exchanged visits of the bishops, choirs and several work and witness groups. A special project of the Northern Great Lakes Synod was the construction of a three-story library at Kisarawe secondary school where underprivileged youth could complete high school and go on to college. In 2009 Kisarawe, which means “Hill of Hope,” named the reading room in the complex the “Bishop Dale Skogman Library” in his honor.
Rev Skogman married Josephine A. Larson on December 19, 1964, at First Lutheran Church in Geneseo, IL. Jo was Dale’s faithful companion in life and ministry, and they are the proud parents of three children and nine grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Rev. Skogman is survived by his children, Laura (Rev. James) Wendt of Beaver Dam, WI; Bradley (Sherry) Skogman of Waukesha, WI; Leah Skogman of Milwaukee, WI. Especially dear to Rev. Skogman were his grandchildren, Jamie, Jordan, Jeremy, Cora & Emma Wendt; Addison (Kyle) Gerum, David, Peter, and Ella Skogman, sister-in-law, Lillian Larson. He is further survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of good friends.
Rev. Skogman was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Gerald Skogman, sister Anita Johnson and three siblings who died at birth, Rudolph, Elsbeth and Marsha.
Rev. Skogman pursued several hobbies in retirement including global travel and hosting family and friends in his retirement home, where he maintained extensive flower gardens. He was also adept at handwork, crocheting 4,233 sweaters for distribution to needy children through Lutheran World Relief. At 68, he enrolled in the Children’s Literature Institute, West Reading, CT, graduating in 2009 and was successfully published in children’s magazines. His greatest joy was to be among his grandchildren, family, and friends and to participate in the life of his church.
Visitation will be held on Monday, June 21 at First Lutheran in Gladstone from 11:00–1:00 EST. Memorial services will follow at 1:00 PM. Officiating will be Bishop Katherine Finegan of the Northern Great Lakes Synod. Burial will take place at the Felch Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
First Lutheran Covid protocols will be followed at the visitation and service. Masks and social distancing are required.
The family suggests that memorials be given to the Dale and Jo Skogman Seminarian Scholarship Fund in care of the Northern Great Lakes Synod, or to a charity of your choice.
The family is being assisted by the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone.
The Skogman funeral service at 1 pm will be live-streamed