Richard Hallgren, a founding member of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors, has been called to his eternal reward. Hallgren, 91, had served as the president of LHF’s Board of Directors since its founding in 1992.
“Richard’s footprints are deeply imbedded and clearly identifiable in the history of Lutheran Heritage Foundation,” said Rev. Robert Rahn, LHF founder. In 1992, when LHF was organized in Cleveland, Ohio, Hallgren became President and Treasurer of the LHF Board. During this time, he strongly urged moving the LHF headquarters from the basement of the Rahns’ family home to the Detroit area, where the mission could operate in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod’s Michigan District.
“When the move was made, Richard became not only a mentor but a promoter of LHF,” Rev. Rahn continued. “On numerous occasions, he accompanied me when visiting Michigan congregations to promote the LHF mission. He knew the location of every LCMS congregation and often knew the pastor as well, a tremendous advantage for an organization attempting to make its own footprint as a new entity in the LCMS mission field. He literally was a human GPS before it was commonly available!”
Hallgren’s service was the embodiment of how God uses the unique skills and talents of faithful laypeople in His Kingdom.
“When circumstances enabled the LHF to consider its own headquarters, Richard worked with the architect and construction firm as the building supervisor,” Rev. Rahn recalled. “His early experience in the family cement business made him a veritable watchdog making sure work was done properly! The beautiful LHF world headquarters is a testament to his ability and tenacity in supervising a construction project with dynamic results. What you see when you walk into the LHF building, you see the evidence of someone who took an active role in his office as President.”
A knowledgeable businessman, Hallgren “was instrumental in the early phases of LHF obtaining tax exempt status with the IRS and completing necessary steps for Michigan Corporation status, which were vital for LHF as a young non-profit organization,” said Jeffrey Rahn, LHF’s assistant executive director. “His frequent visits to the LHF office to check in and see how things were going, or if anything was needed, will be truly missed.”