Alden Henry Hovda

Monday, October 12, 2015 6:53 pm

Alden Henry Hovda, 92, of Sioux Falls, S.D., passed away, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, at the Sanford Hospice. The family will be present for a visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Miller Funeral Home, 507 S. Main Avenue, Sioux Falls. Memories of Al will be shared at 7 p.m.  A private family burial is at 10 a.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery. A celebration of Al’s life is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 909 West 33rd Street, Sioux Falls, S.D. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Joanne and Alden Hovda Music and Ministry Scholarship at Augustana University. ( Online condolences may be directed to

Alden Henry Hovda, son of Andrew and Mary (Thompson) was born Oct. 31, 1922. He grew up on a farm near Letcher, S.D. He attended a country school and was a graduate of Letcher High School in 1940. Al was a graduate of Augustana University cum laude and served 12 years on the Augustana Board of Regents. He also was a Fellow of Augustana. In 1941 he enlisted in the Navy and served as a radar officer on board a troop transport in the South Pacific and rose in rank to Lieutenant JG. Following the war he attended Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., graduating in 1949. Pastor Hovda served First Lutheran congregation in Volga, S.D. and Lake Campbell congregation near Volga from 1950-1953. In 1953 he accepted a call to serve a Home Mission congregation in Scottsbluff, Neb. until 1959, when he accepted a call to serve Trinity Lutheran congregation in Madison, S.D. from 1959-1967. At that point he went to Decorah, where he served Decorah Lutheran congregation until his retirement in 1988. While in Decorah he started the Meals on Wheels program. He served as president of the Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He served 12 years on the Board of the Aase Haugen Home for the Aged. He also served on the Board of the Oneota low rent housing for 10 years. He served on the Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, Cancer and United Way board of directors. For several years he was a member of the Luren Singing Society in Decorah. He was united in marriage June 12, 1949, to Joanne Johnson at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, S.D. She preceded him in death June 19, 2002, in Sioux Falls, where they had moved in August 2001. Al enjoyed the South Dakota Symphony and all Augustana sports and musical concerts. While in Sioux Falls, he was a hospital volunteer in admissions at Sanford Hospital for 11 years and helped deliver meals on wheels. Al and his wife Joanne enjoyed traveling. They traveled to Norway, Denmark, Sweden, England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Caribbean, Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii. But despite their faraway travels, their most enjoyable trips were to visit their children and grandchildren. Al later traveled to Italy, China, Spain, Portugal, Greece, South African and Senegal. He was an avid stamp and cut glass collector, and spent many hours on his HO gauge train hobby. It was with his four daughters and three sons that he shared his love and concern and from which he received his greatest joy and satisfaction.

He is survived by Deborah (Dr. Michael) Olson and children Katie (Scott) Radigan, and Andrew (Lesli) Olson, Sioux Falls; Mary (Jim) Fluehr and children Erika and Kathryn, Naples, Fla.; Dr. Richard (Christine) Hovda and children Elizabeth (Andrew) Welles, and Nicholas, Wausau, Wis.; Dr. Craig (MaryAnn) Hovda and children Allyson, Eric, John, Matthew and Kristen, Cedar Rapids; David (Jayne) Hovda and son, Samuel, St. Paul, Minn.; Kristin (Dr. Peter) Sneed and children, Rebekka, Erin, Nathan and Joel, Leland, Mich.; Joan (Dr. George) Stoffan and children, Josephine and Luke, Oxford, Mich.; three great-grandchildren: Daphne and Michael Olson and Daniel Scott Radigan. He also is survived by his sister-in-law Mary (Larry) Schultz, Lincoln, Neb. and brother-in-law James J.(Judy) Johnson, Sioux Falls, and many nieces and nephews.

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