1939 - 2007
Rev. Theodore (Ted) Sylvan Okland, 68, formerly of La Grande, Ore., died at Hopewell Hospice House in Portland, Ore., Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. He had been living at the Fairlawn Good Samaritan Society retirement home in Gresham, Ore., for the last seven months. He was buried in a private service at Grandview Cemetery in La Grande next to his parents.
Loveland Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.
Two memorial services were planned, one on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Zion Lutheran Church in La Grande and one at Fairlawn on Monday, the 17th of September.
Ted was born April 3, 1939, in Meiganga, French Cameroon, W. Africa, of missionary parents, Andrew and Margaret Okland, pioneer missionaries in that part of Africa. He started school in Thompson, Iowa, while the family was on furlough and continued grade school in Africa at the mission station where his mother was the teacher for all the missionary children. He graduated from Forest City High School where he had been active in drama and was senior class president.
He graduated in 1959 from Waldorf College where he was student body president his last year and continued his education at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., then went on Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. After his ordination in Forest City, Iowa, he served churches in Wisconsin and North Dakota. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Andover-Newton Theological School in Boston, Mass., in 1977. He then returned to the parish serving several churches in Oregon. He retired in 2001 after serving ten years in McCook, Neb. He moved to Portland, in February of 2007.
He is survived by his sister, Korinne Madsen, of La Grande, nieces Kristi Cason of Snoqualmie, Wash., Teresa Hall of Gresham, Ore., and nephews, Mitch Madsen of Ridgefield, Wash., Jeff Madsen of La Grande and Eric Madsen of Elgin, Ore., and their children. He was close to his extended family, namely his aunt, Sylvia Holmen, and his many cousins and their families.
Ted was known for his sense of humor and his deep commitment to his Lord and Master. He had a heart for missions and also for the downtrodden worldwide; he loved to sing, to debate and to ask leading questions. He was a good listener. May God bless his memory.