Aaron Markuson

by Stephanie Johnson Blomgren

Aaron Burdette Markuson passed away February 11, 2010. He is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Margaret Markuson. Friends and family gathered to remember and celebrate Aaron’s life on February 15th at First Covenant Church of Seattle. As Aaron’s son John remarked it was “a good crowd.” The evening service was full of memories, sweet and a little irreverent, too. From tales of a loving, if somewhat teasing father and grandfather, to the steadfastness of a devoted husband, friend and pastor.

Mel Metcalf, a friend and co-pastor to the Covenant Shores Retirement Center community, opened the service with a story and a prayer. He remarked on Aaron’s selfless nature – more concerned about the welfare of others, than of his own. Always at the bedside, always at the hospital, ready to comfort both patients and family members in times of greatest need. As he began the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, Mel suggested that, perhaps, it could also be known as the Prayer of St. Aaron of the Covenant.

President Emeritus Glenn Palmberg shared greetings from the Covenant Church, and a tribute to Aaron’s years pastoring so many. Bud Palmberg recalled the impact that Aaron had in his own life—and in the lives of young people across the country—though the creation of CHIC (Covenant High Congress), a program Aaron established while working for the Covenant headquarters in Chicago.

Aaron’s grandsons, Anders and Per-Lars Blomgren, shared dueling recollections of a wise and wise-cracking granddad, known to them as ‘Dadjo.’

“Dadjo was one funny guy,” Per-Lars said. “He had the quickest wit of anyone I’ve known. He would tell great stories, and at times just make things up.”

Anders listed off Aaron’s most important lessons: “he taught me to drink coffee; he taught me to joke; he taught me to say grace in Swedish; he taught me to strike out Hans and Per-Lars in wiffleball, repeatedly; he taught me to be a good person; and, most importantly, he taught me that Sweden is better than Norway.”

Marcia Blomgren and John Markuson, Aaron’s children, echoed those sentiments with more family memories—stories spun while fishing with dad.

Mark Nilson delivered a sermon on The Long Home, after a note Aaron left behind.

“I’m aware of the late hour,” Nilson said. “But I am also aware that Aaron would want the Word preached.” And so he did, preaching where Aaron had preached many times before.

Dwight Elving closed with a benediction, listening for Aaron’s voice, “until we all come at last to our good Father’s House, to go no more out forever. Amen.”

Stephanie Johnson Blomgren is an editor of Pietisten.

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