Cover photo for Robert Beckstrand's Obituary
Robert Beckstrand Profile Photo
1925 Robert 2022

Robert Beckstrand

January 12, 1925 — March 26, 2022


Stoughton- Robert Gabriel Beckstrand, 97, died at Skaalen Home in Stoughton Saturday, March 26, 2022 after a two and a half year stay on hospice care.

Robert was born on January 12, 1925 in Rockford, Illinois to Rev. O. Garfield and Agnes (Anderson) Beckstrand, the third of five children. He attended school in Rockford, graduating from East High School in the class of 1943. Drafted into the service, he chose the Navy and served as the main battery radioman for 12 inch guns on the battleship USS Maryland, which served in the Pacific invasions of Palau, the Philippines, and Okinawa.

Following his discharge, he enrolled at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, graduating in 1950. That same year, he was married to Dorothy Wade, in Elmira, New York, a fellow Oberlin student. He then began study for the ministry first at Gettysburg Theological Seminary, in Gettysburg, Pa., and finishing at Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. in 1953.

He was ordained into Lutheran ministry, following his father, brother, and brother-in-law, and began ministry at Winnebago Lutheran Church, near Forest City, Iowa. He was the founding pastor of a new congregation, Redeemer Lutheran Church, in Estherville, Iowa. He went on to serve also in Zion Lutheran Church, International Falls, Minn., Our Savior's Lutheran Church, West Bend, WIs., First Lutheran Church, Stoughton, and Trinity Lutheran Church, Cedarburg, Wis., retiring in 1990. Robert and Dorothy returned to live in Stoughton and continued to serve, often as a team of pastor and organist, for another 15 years on a part-time basis, in Edgerton and Fort Atkinson.

In 2007, his studies on the Psalms were published,  Companion to the Psalter, by CSS Press, of Lima, Ohio.

Robert loved being a pastor, books, telling a good story (some we heard more than once; others, his WWII stories, we wish we heard more), puzzles, crosswords, baking cookies and bread, and playing crazy card games with his grandchildren like “shucky darn” and “I doubt it.”  He also enjoyed travel and church trips to the Holy Land, Greek Islands, and Europe.  As Robert aged, he had to let go of his car, his independence, and eventually the little home he so loved.  But Robert held on tightly to his faith, his wife Dorothy, family, his giving nature, and his love for desserts and chocolate.

Robert is survived by his wife, Dorothy; son, Rev. Peter (Catherine) Beckstrand, of Viroqua, Wis., daughter Mary Beth (Tom) Lynch, of Stoughton, son, Rev. William Beckstrand, of Hovland, Minn.; grandchildren: Matthew (Aly) Lynch, of Madison; Abby (Adam) Kuehn, of Stoughton; Peter (Dana Lesmonde) Lynch, of Stoughton; Erik (Kira) Lynch, of Madison; Nora (Greg) Springer, of Afton, Minn., Jim (Whitney) Beckstrand, of Viroqua, Wis., Joe (Courtney) Beckstrand, of Prescott, Wis., and Sgt. Abe Beckstrand, stationed in Laredo, Texas. He is also survived by five precious great grandchildren: Miles and Lola Kuehn, Jonah and Jace Beckstrand, and Gabriel Springer.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings: O. Garfield Beckstrand II, Margaret Roth, Armour Beckstrand, and Anne Dudycha, as well as his daughter, Lisa Beckstrand, and a grandson, Timothy Beckstrand.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM, Saturday, April 2, 2022 at First Lutheran Church in Stoughton with the Rev. Dick Halom presiding.  Services at church will be livestreamed, please use this link: (please complete the 2 step registration process, if you need assistance please call Cress at 608-873-9244).  Friends and relatives are invited to a luncheon, immediately following the service, in the church fellowship hall.  Burial, with Military honors, will take place in Lutheran Cemetery South after the lunch.  Visitation will be 9:00 AM until time of services.  Memorials can be made to Skaalen Home, AgraceHospiceCare Inc. or First Lutheran Church.

The family wishes to thank the many caregivers at Skaalen and Agrace for the kindness and support shown to our family and the wonderful care Robert received during his stay.

Please share your memories of Robert by posting on his Tribute Wall.

Cress Funeral Service

206 W. Prospect Street, PO Box 231, Stoughton

(608) 873-9244

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Beckstrand, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 2, 2022

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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