Pastor Lou’s life will be celebrated at a service on Wednesday, June 19 at 2:00 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church in Roseau, Minnesota, with the Rev. Greg Billberg officiating. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 18 at the Messiah Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. A private family burial will be held at Moe-Rose Cemetery, rural Roseau. Memorials to Messiah Lutheran Church Sunday School or Roseau Public Library Children’s Collection are preferred in lieu of flowers.
Louis Hermansen was born July 4, 1935 to Capt. Louis and Nellie (Haakonseth) Hermansen in Brooklyn, NY. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Trinity Lutheran Church on 46th Street in Brooklyn. He graduated from high school in Brooklyn. He worked at the Brooklyn Public Library for one year before moving to Moorhead, MN to attend Concordia College. While at Concordia, he met Annette Ellefson. Louis and Annette were married on June 20, 1960 in Canton, SD.
Lou earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN. During his high school, college and seminary years, Lou worked at the Brooklyn Public Library, as a deckhand on tugboats with his father, and also did maintenance and landscaping work, as well as many other odd jobs.
Following his ordination as a Lutheran minister on June 10, 1962, Pastor Lou spent the rest of his life ministering to others. He served as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont, OH from 1962-64, Resurrection Lutheran Church in Painesville, OH from 1964-65, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Lima, OH from 1965-69, and as associate pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, MN from 1969-72. In 1972, Pastor Lou began 28 years of ministry at Messiah Lutheran Church in Roseau, MN. After “retiring” in 2000, he filled in at several area parishes and continued to serve part-time at Piney Community Church in Piney, MB, Canada, where he had started serving in 1987. Pastor Lou especially enjoyed working with the youth of his congregations, and took many youth groups and confirmation classes on trips and retreats, including to Miami, FL, New York City, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and several area cabins.
Pastor Lou was very active in the community, volunteering his time as Chaplain for Pine to Prairie Hospice, serving as Chairman of the Salvation Army, and helping to establish and serving as treasurer of the Roseau Post Prom Party for many years. Other memberships included the Glenmore Outpatient Advisory Board, Roseau Area Hospital Ethics Committee, Community Hall of Fame Committee, Roseau Food Shelf Board, Regional Arts Council, Roseau Concert Series, Farm Health and Safety Committee, Roseau Senior Citizens Center, Violence Task Force, Sons of Norway, and Roseau Lions Club. He was also an Emergency Medical Technician with the Roseau Ambulance Service for many years. In 2012, Pastor Lou and Annette were both named Roseau County Outstanding Senior Volunteers.
Pastor Lou had a strong appreciation for nature, and liked to camp, fish, canoe, garden, and take pictures. He was an avid reader and a life-long learner. He became a licensed boiler engineer so he could maintain the heating system at the church himself. He was a self-taught carpenter and built his own garages. He was a self-taught electrician, wiring the house he and Annette built when they retired. He was a certified locksmith. He enjoyed attending concerts and plays, and traveled throughout the United States, Canada and Europe with Annette, his wife of nearly 59 years, who he jokingly introduced to others as his “current wife.” Pastor Lou was very well-known for his sense of humor, and always had a joke ready to share.
Pastor Lou died on June 10, 2019 in Roseau, MN. He is survived by his wife, Annette; three children: Karin Hermansen (Scott Eckstein), Cannon Beach, OR; Louis B. (Jane) Hermansen, Rochester, MN; and Lisa (David) Hanson, Two Harbors, MN; four grandchildren: Dane (Valerie) Hanson, Kyle Hanson; Louis A. Hermansen, and Christian Hermansen; three great-grandchildren: Briella Hanson, Decker Hanson; and Louis J. Hermansen; and his brother, Norman, Staten Island, NY. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Evelyn.