Noe Valley Voice November 2006

James Lokken, 1933-2006

Retired ELCA Pastor James A. Lokken, a 23-year resident of Noe Valley, died Sept. 22, after two months' hospitalization for multiple myeloma. He was 73.

Jim was ordained as a Lutheran pastor in St. Paul, Minn., in 1959. He served as pastor of churches in Minnesota and South Dakota before moving to New York City in the 1960s to serve in an editorial position with the Liturgical Conference. He also worked for the American Bible Society in an editorial position.

In 1974, he became one of the founding members of the organization that is today known as Lutherans Concerned, working in advocacy and providing sanctuary for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. He moved to San Francisco in the late 1970s, where he soon became a volunteer assistant pastor at St. Francis Lutheran Church. He earned his living on the technical side of legal publishing.

A man who loved music (he named his dog after the organist E. Power Biggs), Jim will be remembered for his singing voice. He was known around the neighborhood for always being ready for a chat while walking Mr. Biggs, who preceded him in death by only a few months. His favorite joke was that "people check their e-mail and dogs check their pee-mail!" This never failed to make him chuckle, no matter how often he told it.

Jim had a generous spirit and he was known to have helped more than a few people to "get back on their feet" during difficult life transitions. He is survived by his elder brother, Stanley, Stan's grown children, and many friends at St. Francis Lutheran Church, Lutherans Concerned, and elsewhere.

Contributed by Family and Friends