Einar Haugen was laid to rest after 93 years of faithfully serving God, supporting his family, educating students on two continents, striving to better people's lives and his willingness to always help others.
He was born Dec. 3, 1918, to Anders and Mina Haugen in Brooten, Minn. Einar particularly enjoyed the winters growing up in Minnesota and participated in several winter sports. As the sons of the only American to win a medal for ski jumping in the Winter Olympics, Einar and his brother excelled at ski jumping and downhill telemark skiing.
Einar attended Union College in Lincoln, Neb., where he met his bride to be, Ellen Eggert. Einar and Ellen were married Dec. 7, 1940, and celebrated their first wedding anniversary to news of the bombing at Pearl Harbor. After earning a bachelor's degree in education, Einar and Ellen moved to Walla Walla, where Einar earned his second bachelor's degree in theology at Walla Walla College. During his time in Walla Walla, Einar worked as part of the crew that built the runway and barracks for the Army air station. He continued his educational pursuits attending Andrews University earning two master's degrees in theology and biblical languages.
After college, Einar worked as an educator and administrator at several Adventist schools - including Campion Academy, Armona Union Academy, La Sierra Academy, Golden Gate Adventist Academy and Pacific Union College. As a well-rounded educator, he taught several different subjects including Bible studies, biblical archeology, math, history, printing, drivers ed, and served as a flight instructor. Einar was an accomplished instructor and pilot, frequently putting his flying skills to use for the Adventist conference in California.
Einar and Ellen, along with their three children, served as missionaries in Ethiopia from 1950 to 1952. Einar served as the administrator and a teacher at the Akaki Adventist Mission School outside Addis Ababa. When not teaching, Einar was helping to build new buildings and dormitories for the school. He also utilized his piloting skills, flying a DC-3 to transport supplies to the school and surrounding areas in need.
Upon their return to the United States, and after a few more years of teaching, Einar and Ellen planted roots in the Bay Area of California. Einar pursued his minister calling and became the associate pastor at the Grand Avenue Adventist church in Oakland, Calif. After a short time, he became the head pastor at both the Alameda and East Oakland churches. Einar and Ellen officially retired from church service in 1984. Not one to sit idle, Einar still volunteered his time for the church and to any member of the congregation in need. He also worked as a bricklayer, constructing walls, sidewalks and buildings for friends, schools and churches. Einar and Ellen enjoyed traveling the country and the world, visiting almost all 50 states and most of Western Europe - including Einar's ancestral homeland of Norway. At the age of 88, Einar and Ellen finally began to take life easy when they returned to live in Walla Walla and be near their two daughters who lived in Tacoma and Walla Walla.
Einar is survived by his wife of 71 years, Ellen Haugen of Walla Walla; son, Lynn Haugen of Longmont, Colo.; daughter, Andrea Thorson of Walla Walla; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mina Haugen; father, Anders Haugen; brother, Alf Haugen; and daughter, Ina Haugen.
The memorial funeral service will be held on Sunday, May 6, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the Wheatland Village Chapel with Chaplain Steve Cromwell officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Yucaipa Seventh day Adventist Church or Walla Walla Community Hospice through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA. Family friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.