The Rev. Kenneth Dahlstrom
October 10, 1935 - February 28, 2021
Pastor Kenneth Dahlstrom was born in Omaha Nebraska on October 10, 1935 and died on February 28, 2021, in Palm Springs, CA. He attended Luther College in Wahoo, Nebraska, where he earned an A.A. in 1955. He went on to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas where he earned his B.A. in English and Philosophy. He went on to Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, where he earned his M.Div.
He was ordained by the Augustana Synod on June 18, 1961 and would go on to pursue further graduate studies at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
Pastor Dahlstrom served Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Tracey (1931 - 1967), St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Huntington Park (1967 - 1977), the Pacific Southwest Synod of the LCA (1978 - 80), and Mt. Calvary, Cypress (1980-1985), all in California. On leave from call from 1985 - 1988, he regularly served as a supply pastor, particularly serving at St. Matthew’s, North Hollywood and sharing pastoral responsibilities with two other pastors during a two-year vacancy. Pastor Dahlstrom served the Southwest California Synod as an interim pastor from 1988 - 1998, after which he officially retired, although he continued to serve as an interim pastor. Kenneth Dahlstrom was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, and his partner of many years, Glenn Miller.
As a gay man at a time when it was an absolutely unspoken subject in the church, Pastor Dahlstrom found his own congregation and family with Lutherans Concerned of Los Angeles (LC/LA). Lutherans Concerned was born precisely out of the need for closeted Lutherans to have a place where they could worship and share community as themselves, rather than who they pretended to be in the straight world. For decades, whether LGBTQ or an ally, people hid their association with LC/LA – but when together, they celebrated one another, shared in Lutheran worship where they shared the sacrament monthly, and gathered for other events. While he served as the Convenor of LC/LA for many years, Pastor Dahlstrom was a leader of this beloved organization for decades, whether in an elected position or not. He was one to especially reach out to newcomers, and very instrumental in organizing the Marc A. Reilly lectureship series presented by LC/LA annually.
Pastor Dahlstrom also served as the volunteer Music Librarian for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles for many years, and was a great servant in that group.
In the last 20 or so years of his life, Pastor Dahlstrom lived in Palm Springs with his partner, Glenn, and their beloved cats.
Pastor Dahlstrom had no living family remaining at his passing, and we thank Pastor Ruth Sievert and other dear friends for composing this In Memoriam.
Southwest California Synod of the ELCA | (818) 507-9591 | |