Hovda, Alden and Joanne (Johnson)

(Alden and Joanne Hovda)

Along with the majority of people living in Winneshiek Co. who can trace their family roots to Norway, we too trace our roots back to Fogn Island which is fifteen miles north of Stavanger, Norway. Alden’s paternal grandparents, Ole and Karen (Varland) Hovda, were both born on this Island. They emigrated to America in 1881 and made their home near Mitchell, SD. His maternal grandparents, Colbein Thompson and Anna (Selland), were born in Voss, Norway. They emigrated to America in 1880.

Joanne’s paternal grandparents, John Johnson and Ingeborg (Gudahl), came from near Arendal, Norway. Her maternal grandparents Erik Eide and Sofie (Tystad) were born near Gloppen, Norway. They all made their home near Howard, SD in 1879.

Alden’s parents, Andrew and Mary (Thompson) Hovda, and Joanne’s parents, Raymond and Esther (Eide) Johnson, are all natives of Eastern SD. Joanne was born  in Madison, SD and Alden was born in Sioux Falls, SD.

Joanne and I received our education in rural schools and are graduates of Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD. It was after Alden had served 4 years with the Navy in the Pacific during WWII, that we met at Augustana and were married 12 June 1949 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls.

Alden attended Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN and was ordained 4 Jun 1950 at First Lutheran Church in Volga, SD. Our two daughters, Deborah and Mary, were born in Volga.

After serving that congregation along with Lake Campbell Lutheran Congregation in rural Volga, Pastor Hovda was called in 1953 to serve a home mission congregation in Scottsbluff, NE. This home mission began with only ten families. When we left Calvary Lutheran in 1959 the congregation had grown to over 300 members. Today (1995) the congregation has over 900 members.

Our 3 sons, Richard, Craig and David were born in Scottsbluff. We lived in Madison, SD from 1959 to 1967 where Pastor Hovda served as senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Congregation. He served 12 years on the Board of Regents of Augustana College and was also chairman of the committee on Higher Education of the South Dakota District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Our daughter Deborah is presently a member of the Augustana Board of Regents. Joanne began teaching piano and continued for over 25 years. Our daughter Kristin was born in Madison.

In 1967 the Hovda family moved to Decorah, IA. Here he served as Pastor of Decorah Lutheran until retirement in 1988. Joanne continued teaching piano. She was pianist for many high school and Minowa Players musicals. She has directed the Women's Farm Bureau Chorus for several years and has been a volunteer at the Winneshiek Co. Memorial Hospital and the Vesterheim Museum.

Pastor Hovda served for 18 years on the Aase Haugen Board of Directors. He also served on the Board of Directors of Oneota Housing, Inc., Hospice, United Way and Habitat for Humanity. He and Joanne are active in the Luren

Singing Society and Auxiliary. Alden has been a member of the Decorah Rotary Club since 1972.

Our daughter Joan was born in Decorah. All of our children are graduates of Decorah High School. Deborah, Richard, Craig and Kristin graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls. Mary and David are graduates of Luther College and Joan is a graduate of the University of Ml.

Deborah is an attorney married to Dr. Michael Olson. They have 2 children: Katie and Andrew and live in Sioux Falls. Mary married James Fluehr and they live in Philadelphia. They have 2 children, twins: Kathryn and Erika. Richard is an orthodontist in Wausau, Wl. He and his wife Christine have 2 children: Elizabeth and Nicholas. Craig is a medical doctor in Cedar Rapids, IA. He and his wife Mary Ann have 2 children: Allyson and Eric.

David is a realtor in Minneapolis, MN. Kristin is a nurse and lives in Traverse City, Ml with her husband Dr. Peter Sneed. They have 3 children: Rebekka, Erin and Nathan. Joan is a professional cellist who lives in N.Y City.

We chose to retire in Decorah because it is a beautiful area in which to live. We love the hills, trees, rivers and valleys which constantly remind us of the beauty of God’s creation.

Hove, Gertrude C.

(Gertrude C. Hove)

Bio Photo

Gertrude Hove

Gertrude, the third child in the family of Henry Julius and Helena (Thompson) Hove, was born on a farm in Winneshiek Co., Madison Twp. in 1909. There were six in the family: Stella (Erland). Julian, Gertrude, Eugene (Gene), Hazel (Hendrickson) and Marjorie (Barth).

Gertrude attended grade school at the Carl Soukup Country School and three years of high school in Ridgeway. (At that time there were only 3 years of highschool). Her last year of high school was at Plaza, ND. After graduation Gertrude came back home.

In the fall of 1929 she went to Minneapolis, MN to look for work, but decided to go to Minnesota College (Business College) for one year instead. After graduating she was

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021