Obituaries

Iver Norman Torgerson, 86, of Randolph, Minnesota, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on June 14, 2019 at his daughter’s home in Macomb, Illinois, after a long and valiant battle with Parkinson’s disease.  His funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM, Saturday, June 22, 2019 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Macomb, IL.  Pastor Youngshim Pitcher will officiate.  Interment will be in Minnesota at a later date.

Iver was born to American Pastor Einar N. Torgerson and his wife Esther M. (Brudvik) Torgerson on May 16, 1933 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.  He was the eldest of seven siblings.  During his childhood, the family relocated to Kent, Washington, and later settled in Twin Valley, Minnesota.  Iver was paralyzed with polio at the age of nine, and was fortunate to experience a full recovery, playing on the high school basketball team, and participating in other sports.  He graduated from Twin Valley High School in 1951.

Iver attended Pacific Lutheran University for one year, then enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as a Medic at a military hospital in France during the Korean War.   Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he completed Bachelor’s Degrees in English and History at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.  He taught English and History at high schools in Minnesota and California, before entering graduate school. He earned a Master’s Degree in History at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, then taught History at the University of North Dakota branch in Williston, where he met his future bride, Austa.  He later taught History at Chadron State College in Nebraska, and studied East Asian history in Singapore on a Fulbright Scholarship.  While at Chadron, he took flying lessons and eventually received his pilot’s license. He later purchased his own small airplane, a Piper Pacer, and enjoyed many years of flying.

Iver married Austa (Brostuen) Torgerson during a spring blizzard on April 29, 1967 in Williston, North Dakota.  They lived in Chadron, Nebraska, then spent a year in Norway, where he taught English at the Bedrifts Economic Institute in Oslo. Upon their return to the United States, he enrolled at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  He was ordained as a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA) in 1972, and accepted a call to Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church in Randolph, Minnesota, at which time he also served as a counselor at the Mineral Springs adolescent treatment center in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.  In 1978, he was recruited to join the Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots (LAMP) as a Pastor/Pilot, first serving far northern Canada from a base in Yellowknife, NWT, then establishing a new base on McKenzie Island, in Red Lake, Ontario, where he and Austa served the needs of residents in remote villages and trained volunteers to conduct service projects in these communities.  He also served as a Mental Health counselor for a time in Red Lake, Ontario.

In 1992, he returned to Randolph, Minnesota, and soon accepted the position of Interim Pastor for the Cross of Christ and Cannon River Lutheran Churches in rural Welch and Cannon Falls, Minnesota, where he served for eleven years before his retirement. 

Iver loved people, and loved the outdoors.  Favorite activities included hiking, fishing, flying, boating, cross-country skiing, road trips, exploring wilderness areas, museums, parks, vegetable gardening, and sharing great stories of his adventures with family and friends over hearty meals.  He had a wonderful sense of humor; his roaring laugh was infectious and unforgettable. 

Iver is survived by his wife, Austa, now living in Macomb, Illinois; daughter Andrea (Don) Alveshere of Macomb, Illinois, and their children Cody, Lachlan, and Ciaran; son Peter (Heidi) Torgerson, of Kasson, Minnesota, and their children Cooper, Cassidy, and Alexander; and stepson Marc (Debbie) Torgerson of Gainesville, Georgia, and their children JT, Savannah, and Aziel. He is also survived by brother Gordon (Cheri) Torgerson and sisters Lenore Darrah, Grace (Darrol) Nichols, and Elsie Himes. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Walter and John, and many beloved in-laws, friends, and extended family members.     

The family requests that memorials be directed to either the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or the Children’s Tumor Foundation

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