Official Obituary of

Gary E. Gilthvedt

August 31, 1941 ~ July 12, 2020 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Gary Gilthvedt Obituary

Memorial services for Gary Gilthvedt of Roseau, MN will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 3:00 PM at Zion Lutheran Church in Warroad.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Northwood Cemetery in Grygla.  Services will be livestreamed on the Zion Lutheran Church of Warroad Facebook page. Can also be viewed at:

Gary Earl Gilthvedt, age 78, of Roseau passed away peacefully Sunday, July 12, 2020 in Grand Forks, ND, Altru Hospital from complications of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.  One of his last statements was “Death is a part of this life, not the next.”

Gary Gilthvedt was born on August 31, 1941, in Halstad, MN to parents C. Earl and E. Vivian (Hanson) Gilthvedt. He grew up in Roseau and graduated from Roseau High School in 1959. In 1963 he graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN with a B.A. in Philosophy and English.  Gary then attended Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, graduating in 1967 with his Bachelor of Divinity degree. He was ordained into the Christian Ministry of the American Lutheran Church (now part of the ELCA) in 1967.   He pursued additional education obtaining his Clinical Pastoral Education at the Fergus Falls, MN State Hospital, Masters of Theology at the Vancouver School of Theology, Vancouver, B.C. Canada and PhD at the University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.  In order to serve ELCA churches in transition, Gary also completed coursework for Basic Interim Accreditation. 

Throughout his professional career as a pastor, Gary served many church congregations in Minnesota, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and central and northern Minnesota. His installed pastorates were as follows:  Calvary Lutheran, Perham and Emmanual Lutheran, Osage, MN ; Calvary Lutheran, Post Falls, ID; St. Mark’s Lutheran, Hayden Lake, ID; Hope Lutheran, Bozeman MT ; and Bethlehem Lutheran, Kalispell, MT.  Gary’s Intentional Interim ministries were: American Lutheran, Baker, MT; First Lutheran, Brookings, SD; Bethlehem Lutheran, Aberdeen SD; First Lutheran, Williston, ND; Baudette Lutheran Parish, Baudette, MN; First Lutheran, Alexandria, MN; and Messiah Lutheran, Roseau, MN . 

Gary was also a beloved teacher, well respected scholar, and accomplished author.  He was an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Augustana University, Camrose, AB, Canada, Director of the Shalom Center for Theological Education at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, and Assistant Professor of Religion at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN.  His writings were many. His Masters of Theology thesis was “Paul’s Theology of the Cross as Hermeneutical Key to Apostleship.” His doctoral dissertation was “Dying to the Law Through the Law (Galatians 2:19).”  He also wrote for Augsburg Press “Following the Lectionary, Second Lessons for Pentecost, Year C.”    Gary had 2 books on Biblical Studies published by Wipf&Stock : “No Condemnation! A Study Manual (Homosexuality and the Bible)” in 2013 and “Dying and Deliverance – Searching for Paul’s Law-Gospel  Tension “ in 2016.  

Gary stated his life’s mission as “to support the integrity of the Word and Sacrament ministry and to nourish appreciation for the Biblical message.” 

While he thrived on his work and mission, Gary’s other interests included hunting, writing, music, reading and research on political issues and ideas, and Biblical studies. In later years Gary spent many hours, days, months, and years working on and reviving his late Gilthvedt grandparents’ homestead on the Moose River north of Grygla.

Gary is survived by his wife Rev. Mary (Ronning) Gilthvedt, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Warroad, MN; daughters Brita (Kristi Parman) Gilthvedt, Seattle WA and Kjersti Gilthvedt , St. Louis Park, MN and son Peter Gilthvedt, Roseau, MN; brother Rev. Ron (Dr. Elizabeth) Gilthvedt and nephew Eric, Owatonna, MN ; brother- in- law Ron Carlson, Missouri; nephew Thad (Barusca) Carlson , Eagan, MN and niece Sari Carlson, Oregon; his former wife Martha (Knutson)  Eng, Bozeman, MT; and many cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Karen (Gilthvedt) Carlson.

Memorials are preferred to Zion Lutheran, Warroad, MN, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, and organizations in lieu of flowers. Messages of condolence may be shared at or mailed to Mary at PO Box 429, Roseau, MN 56751.

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