Kathy Thomsen


Danish Lutheran church, immigrants, cultural heritage


Peter D. Thomsen (1922 - 2015) was one of eighty-two students at Grand View College (GVC) in 1940. The students came from Danish immigrant communities all over the United States, including Chicago, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, California; Kimballton, Iowa; Tyler, and Askov, Minnesota; Racine, Wisconsin; and in my father’s case, Marinette, Michigan and Menominee, Wisconsin. He was a first generation American; his parents had immigrated to the United States from Langeland, Denmark shortly before he was born. His experiences in Danish Lutheran church communities around the country reflect many of the changes that came about as Danish Americans integrated into their local communities and tried to balance the competing demands of fidelity to their cultural heritage and fidelity to the Christian message of outreach and inclusion.