Thorwald Ansgar “Unk” RykkenThorwald Ansgar “Unk” Rykken, age 89, passed away at home on October 5, 2013, surrounded by his family. He was born July 14, 1924, at the Bethany Indian Mission in Wittenberg, WI, where his father was serving as a missionary among the Ho-Chunk, Oneida, and Stockbridge people. His mother taught at the mission school sponsored by the Norwegian Lutheran Church. Thor attended the mission school until 1930 when the family moved to Petersburg, ND. Following graduation from Petersburg High School in 1941, Thor attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where he was active in a variety of extra-curricular activities and served as senior class president. He excelled academically, graduating in 1947 with dual degrees in philosophy and the classics.
While singing in the Concordia Choir under Director Paul J. Christiansen, Thor met the love of his life, Cathryn Wambheim, and the two married in 1948. Thor and Cathy enjoyed 64 years of marriage, raised four children, and answered seven pastoral calls. Thor cared for Cathy during a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s, and she preceded him in death just six months ago.