Rev. Eugene “Gene” Olaf Slagstad, Sr., age 85, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday morning, October 4, 2020 at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, MI. Gene was born on January 1, 1935 in Ensign, MI, the fifth born child of Olaf and Freda (Chaukline) Slagstad. He married the former Nancy Sinnaeve on February 28, 1959 at Calvary Baptist Church in Escanaba and was given in marriage by her father, Cyriel Sinnaeve Sr.
Gene served in the USAF from 1952-1956. Following the service, Gene attended Bay College while working at Harnischfeger and also served as Youth worker with his wife, Nancy, at Calvary Baptist Church, was a deacon and taught 5th-8th grade and adult Sunday school classes, and was for a time, Sunday School Supt. During those years he also filled pulpits for vacationing Pastors in a number of denominational churches. He worked with Harnischfeger Corp. from March 1959 until he resigned in the fall of 1972, to enter Bible College.
He attended Bible College in Grand Rapids, MI and served as youth Pastor at Evanston Ave. Baptist church in Muskegon, MI while attending College. His former Pastor Donald Wolf was Sr. Pastor at Evanston Ave. and encouraged him to go into full time service.
Gene was ordained to the ministry in 1975 at First Baptist Church in Norway, MI. While there, through correspondence, he graduated with a Bachelor of Biblical studies, and a Bachelor of Theology from Trinity Bible College and Trinity Seminary. To secure guarantee graduation, he had to attend the graduation exercises. Throughout his ministry, Gene served seven churches. In Michigan: Evanston Ave. Baptist as Youth Pastor, First Baptist Norway as Pastor, Randville Bible Church as Pastor, and Cornerstone Church Escanaba as Interim pastor. In Wisconsin: Homestead Baptist Church in Homestead, and Faith Baptist Church in Bayfield. In Minnesota: First Baptist Church in LeRoy. Gene retired at 76 years old in 2011. from that point on, he filled pulpits from time to time. Each week he also sent study papers to over 60 people through email, completing 176 papers. Gene was also the author of four books: Only a Pastor, From There to Eternity (on Revelation), novel, Sophia, and a book of poems, Petals for the Heart. He also penned over 400 poems.
Rev. Eugene Slagstad is survived by his wife, Nancy Slagstad of Norway, MI; children, Verlarae Slagstad of Norway, MI, and Eugene (Jennifer) Slagstad, Jr. of St. Cloud, MN; grandchildren, Cassandra (Justin) Galleske, Joel (Ariel) Bloniarz, Eugene III (Trey), Hunter, and Nicholas Slagstad; great-granddaughter, Tiana Bloniarz; sister-in-law, Sharon Lind; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by 2 sisters, Kathleen (Clarence) Johnson, and Verlarae Beauchamp; 4 brothers, Vincent (Patsy) Slagstad, Verne (Betty) Slagstad, Wayne (Dorothy) Slagstad, and Russell Lind.
Private family funeral services will be held at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba with Rev. John Collins officiating. Burial and Military Honors will take place in Lakeview Cemetery in Escanaba. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials please be directed to Samaritan’s Purse.
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