Beginning in third grade, this little Lutheran crept cautiously each day after school into the Catholic nunnery where I would practice piano. This meant that I could never play with my friends after school. Perhaps this was the beginning of disciplining myself to get the work done, and skimping on the more fun and social things.
Jean Brown, right, and her sister Margaret Brown, left, ready to march in the Decorah High School band, 1950.
Commitment to God came early in my life. Orrin and I both attended a Church Leadership School while we were in high school and here it was that both of us dedicated our lives to God’s service. I attended Luther College, majoring in Bible and elementary education, playing piano recitals and clarinet in the Luther band.
I married Orrin in 1955 and soon we were off to Muskegon, Ml for his internship in the Lutheran ministry. Our son, Steve, was born in Michigan and only a few months later we discovered that I was very sick with Hodgkins, a cancer of the lymph system. I was expected to live only eighteen months. After treatment at Mayo Clinic and as I began a miraculous recovery that can only be God’s answer to our prayers, Orrin and I decided to live as normal a life as possible. Now, forty years later, though there has been treatment from time to time, I am well and still trusting God to “number my days".
Orrin served parishes in Riverdale and Bottineau, ND. After graduate school in Claremont, CA he was pastor of Holy Triune Lutheran in Minneapolis and later at Peace Presbyterian in St. Louis Park. Orrin died in 1993.
I have an M.A. in Teacher Education from the University of Minnesota and have completed the course work for a PH.D. In addition to studying developmental^ appropriate education for young children, I have specialized in organizational development and have enjoyed being facilitator of organizational development and church growth for several church and seminary groups.
Retired now, I am director of an after-school program in our church for young children. I also do writing and some consulting. I still return to Decorah to visit my relatives, to climb Dunning Springs or to attend the Messiah.
Eittreim, Kinley and Ann (Neiswanger)
Kinley Owen Eittreim was born to Oliver and Mabel (Rohm) Eittreim. He was the twin brother of Orrin Eittreim. Kinley was baptized by his grandfather, Rev. K.O. Eittreim, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah. He was named for his paternal grandfather, Knut Ole Eittreim.
Kinley attended the Decorah schools and graduated from high school in 1950. He entered Luther College that fall but left in 1952 as an enlisted member of the Submarine Service. After 4 years of service as an electronics technician he returned to Luther College in 1957 and graduated in 1959.
During this time Kinley made the career choice to go into the theological field rather than electrical engineering. He entered Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN in the spring of 1963. He was ordained into the Lutheran ministry at First Lutheran Church in Decorah. Kinley served parishes in Sarles/Hannah, ND; McVille, ND; Newman Grove, NE; Vestavia Hills, AL and Huntsville, AL. Currently he is working into full retirement by doing interim work in the church and attempting to build a business in the telecommunications industry.
In 1960 Kinley married Ann Neiswanger of Austin, MN. Ann is a lab technician at the University of Alabama. Ann and Kinley have 2 children: Susan and Mark. Susan is married to Mark Power. They have 2 children: Sean Allen and Matthew David. Both Sean and Matthew were baptized by their grandfather Kinley. Mark Eittreim is married to Debbie Oman. They have one son, Ryan.
Kinley continued to be active in the Naval and Marine Corp Reserves as a chaplain until his retirement 26 Sep 1992. He received the rank of Commander, Chaplain Corps. Some of the highlights of Kinley’s career have been the honor of swearing his son Mark into the Navy and being asked to be the commissioning ceremony chaplain for the USS Annapolis, his son’s boat. He is the only reserve chaplain ever asked to do so. (Quoted from remarks at his retirement ceremony: “Kinley Eittreim’s strength as an officer, a chaplain, a counselor and civilian minister is, besides his faith, his compassion for his fellowman.”)
Kinley loves to bake and often brings a loaf of fresh bread when he stops in to see a parishioner. He relaxes best by riding his motorcycle.
Marilyn Frances Eittreim was born , the daughter of Oliver and Mabel (Rohm) Eittreim. She attended West Decorah Elementary School, East Junior
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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021