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Remembering Paul Fransen

Memorial Service Set for September 22

fransen paulA memorial service for the Rev. Paul Fransen, the Robert Frederick Betzel Emeritus Professor of Stewardship, Administration and Leadership, will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 22, in the Gloria Dei Worship Center at Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

Professor Fransen, who served on the Trinity faculty for nearly 20 years, died August 15. He was 76. He joined the Trinity faculty in 1986 as associate professor of stewardship and parish administration and served in a variety of leadership roles during his tenure, including acting Dean of Community Life, Mission, and Ministry and acting Academic Dean. He was named the Robert Frederick Betzel Professor of Stewardship, Administration and Leadership in 1999. In addition, he was a guest professor at the Ivory Malagasy Lutheran Seminary in Madagascar (1990) and an adjunct professor for the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He retired in 2005.

Professor Fransen was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Luther Seminary, St. Paul. He served Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in La Crescent, Minnesota (1963-68), and then established Lutheran campus ministry for students of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (1968-73). He later directed its counterpart at UW-Madison (1973-77). In 1977, Fransen was called to serve as senior pastor at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, St. Paul, where he served until 1980. He then accepted a faculty appointment at Luther Northwestern Seminary, St. Paul, as associate professor of Pastoral Theology and the director of KAIROS-Continuation Studies. His service there included work as circulation manager of the journal Word & World.

In retirement he served as a pastor at Christ the Servant in Louisville, Colorado (2006-07) and Faith Lutheran in Baltimore, Ohio (2008). He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Sylvia Louise. He is survived by his three sons, Erik (Jodie), Stephen (Christina Bambara), and Christopher (Gina Salumbides), and four grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Keith Fransen (Gwynne Fransen); brother-in-law, G. Rolf Svendsen (Patricia); and sisters-in-law, Karen Svendsen and Margaret Maguire, and several nieces and nephews.