Oct. 6, 1925-Feb. 16, 2013
Robert M. Kompelien, beloved friend, servant of the Lord, and glad sharer of years of experience, travel tales, wry humor and good sense, passed away on Feb. 16, 2013, in Boynton Beach, Fla., at the age of 87 after a brief illness.
Born in rural Cottonwood the seventh of nine children of Anton O. and Margaret (Hofteig) Kompelien on Oct. 6, 1925, Bob grew up relishing the culture, food and music of his Norwegian and Icelandic relatives and community. Bob graduated from Cottonwood Public High School, St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN in 1950, Luther Theological Seminary in 1954, was ordained and did further graduate study at Princeton University Theological Seminary between 1976-1978.
Pastor Bob served at First Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wis., Grace Lutheran Church in Waseca, MN, Christ English Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, the American Community Church in Thessalonica, Greece, Assistant to the President of Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN, Ascension Lutheran Church in Memphis, St. Mary’s Lutheran Church in Kenosha, WI, and Ascension Lutheran Church in Boynton Beach, FL.
Bob had a lust for life, a great appreciation for music, art and literature. Most days began playing hymns on his grand piano before breakfast. He loved language and could paint wonderful word pictures, particularly of his favorite Bible stories. He made them come alive. His sense of decency, love of sharing his world, places, people, incidents and conversations made all of us appreciate his humor and wit.
Pastor Bob celebrated his 50th Ordination Anniversary at St. Lucas Lutheran Church in Cottonwood. One of his greatest joys was to return, nearly every year, to “the farm” near Cottonwood where he was raised, the church where he was baptized, confirmed and ordained, and dear family and friends to “re-stock” him with those memories that had helped form who he was from an early age.
Bob is survived by three sisters, June Belling of Hudson, WI, Dagny Gniffke of Burneyville, OK and Ramona (James) Hanson of Tuscola, TX, numerous nieces and nephews, and a vast number of beloved friends scattered around the world.
Memorial services will be held March 4, 2013, at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, Boca Raton, FL and rural Cottonwood, MN at St. Lucas Lutheran Church later this year, with internment to follow at the church cemetery. May our good Lord Jesus, whom Pastor Bob served so faithfully and happily, care for him with His tender love for all eternity.