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Alfred O. and Anna Fonkalsrud1

Husband's Full Name:  Alfred Owen Fonkalsrud

Husband's Place of Birth:  Montevideo, MN

Husband's Father's Name: Ole Anderson Fonkalsrud

Husband's Mother's Name: Mina Hanserud

Husband's Siblings' Names: unknown

Wife's Full Name:  Anna Nerby

Wife's Place of Birth:  Wisconsin, USA

Wife's Father's Name:  Swen Nerby

Wife's Mother's Name:  Inger Arnesdatter Brager

Wife's Siblings' Names:  Helmer, George, Lewis

Children's Names: Leslie and Marjorie (Robert Tobias)

Pastor Fonkalsrud’s parents came from Decorah, Iowa in 1868 and his family still has land holdings in the vicinity.  He attended University of Minnesota, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL and Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

Following his ordination he served the congregation of Vang Lutheran at Manfred from 1899 - 1901.  He arrived in Manfred in the fall of 1899 and took up his work here. Under his leadership things seemed to change again for the better.  Interest no longer waned, and spirituality seemed to grow. When the United Church visitor came to the congregation, Pastor Fonkalsrud was happy to be able to make a good report. Pastor Fonkalsrud was a real soldier of the cross.   He served the congregation until the fall of 1901.

 

Music has always been a principal component of the Vang congregation beginning with Mrs. Fonkalsrud as organist and the original choir established in 1901. Choirs have been in existence at Vang periodically over the years, with the pastor’s wife often acting as choir director.

 

From Manfred the Fonkalsruds went to Devils Lake and served as pastor there. He was pastor from 1903 to 1909 of the First Norwegian Lutheran Church in Fargo, which later became the First Lutheran Church. His parish included Salem Church, south of Fargo and Zion Church at Harwood. 

 

In 1905, he was elected president of the board of the Lutheran Hospital Association, formed to launch a drive for funds to erect a hospital. The hospital, St. Luke's, was dedicated February 15, 1908 and Dr. Fonkalsrud served as superintendent. 

 

Since 1910, he served as hospital administrator successively in the following cities:  Brooklyn, NY, Fargo, ND, Minot, ND, Sioux Falls, SD, Mansfield, Ohio. 

 

In 1915 he published "Scandinavians as a Social Force in America" 

 

He earned the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at New York University in 1913, and in 1919 returned to Fargo as Superintendent of St. Luke's Hospital.

 

On September 25, 1900 he married Miss Anna Nerby, who together with a son and daughter survives him. He was 78 years old when he passed away in 1951 at Mansfield, Ohio.