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Mary Loken - People of Faith

Mary Loken discusses the history of Luther Memorial Church of Springfield, Illinois, tracing its earliest days at the dawn of World War II, to its merger with two other Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) congregations in 2015. Mary Frisk grew up in Mason City, Iowa and pursued a long career in education, especially in the field of special education. She married Dennis Loken in 1963, and the couple moved to Springfield in 1965, joining Luther Memorial Church that same year. She is an insightful observer of her congregation's history, and passionate about its role in the Springfield community.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Joining Luther Memorial Church

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early life and career, and story of Luther Memorial through early 1990s

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

History of Luther Memorial from mid-1990s thru its merger in 2015


Photos

Caption

Lutheran Memorial Church in Springfield, Illinois as it appeared on August 3, 1942. The congregation was founded in 1941 in order to serve Lutherans in the southern part of Springfield. Parking was always a challenge for the congregation.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

August 3, 1942

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Luther Memorial Church as it appeared shortly after its completion in 1942. The building was completed in the midst of the war.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1942

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

“Our Progress,” read the caption from a church director. Pastor Peterman and Pastor Roger Hansen (Luther Memorial’s pastor at that time), break ground for the new church in 1961.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1961

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

An artist’s sketch of Luther Memorial Church, which was dedicated in January, 1962 after a successful fund raising drive.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

January, 1962

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Mary Frisk and Dennis Loken were married at First Methodist Church in Mason City, Iowa on August 3, 1963.

Where:

Mason City, Iowa

When:

August 3, 1963

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Dennis and Mary Loken were fairly new to Springfield, Illinois in 1966 when they had their photo taken in front of the couple’s Ford Mustang convertible in Washington Park.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1966

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Luther Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church of Springfield, Illinois, as it appeared during the mid-1980s.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

mid-1980s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Member’s children and grandchildren lined up with their Easter baskets for a Sunday School Easter Egg Hunt in the late 1980s.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

late 1980s

Ownership:

Photo appeared in the church director from 1991. This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Bonnie Schattschneider served as church secretary in 1990, and was still working in that capacity until Luther Memorial merged with two other congregations in 2015.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2015

Ownership:

Photo appeared in the church director from 1990. This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Carol (Wiese) Goldsmith, the congregation’s choir director in 1990.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1990

Ownership:

Photo appeared in the church director from 1990. This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Pastor Jane Jenkins presiding over a baptism at Luther Memorial in 1990.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1990

Ownership:

Photo appeared in the church director from 1990. This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Rosabel Rasmussen, 1990. Rosabel was the last living charter member, who passed in 2016.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1990

Ownership:

Photo appeared in the church director from 1990. This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Reverend Jane E. Jenkins, Pastor of the congregation in 1991. She served as the pastor at Luther Memorial from November, 1980 to August, 1994.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1991

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Bonnie (Drew) Froiland, the church organist, at the organ in 1991. She continued in that role until Luther Memorial merged with two other congregations in 2015.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1991

Ownership:

Photo appeared in the church director from 1990. This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Mary and Denny Loken take time for a picture at Joyce and Bob Christensen’s residence in November, 1992 before heading to the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois’ annual Amicus Certis dinner at Park Ridge, Illinois.

Where:

Park Ridge, Illinois

When:

November, 1992

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This stained glass window was added above the front entrance of the church in 1996. The window was created by Melotte-Morse Stained Glass Inc. of Springfield, Illinois.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1996

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Luther’s memorial garden. The stone was dedicated to honor Heather Sandstrom, a high school student who was killed in an auto accident in August, 2000.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2000

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Dennis and Mary Loken with their son Alan, his wife Susan and their grandchildren Beck and Finn in the summer of 2005.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2005

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Mary Loken with her son Alan, his wife Susan and their grandchildren Beck and Finn.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Mary Loken and staff member Dan Petty enjoyed working with the students at the Regional Safe Schools Program in Springfield in 2010. Mary was the coordinator of the Safe Schools program at the time.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2010

Ownership:

This photo accompanied an article in the Springfield State Journal Register in 2010, May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.



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