Obituary: William (Bill) Liljegren

TURLOCK, CA (September 1, 2016) — Retired Covenant pastor William Herbert Liljegren died Saturday, August 27, at the age of 93.

liljegrenHe was born on January 2, 1923, the first child born in Moline, Illinois, that year, and the first of four sons born to Herbert E. Liljegren and Edna (Edlund) Liljegren.

Bill graduated from Moline High School in 1941, worked at John Deere Harvester Works, and soon enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served during World War II. After the war, he again worked in the John Deere personnel department.

In 1946 he married Esther (East) Anna Marian Soderstrom.

Bill discerned God’s call into the pastoral ministry and attended North Park College, Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and North Park Seminary.

He served as pastor at several Covenant churches: Northport, Michigan; Thomaston, Connecticut; North Park in Chicago; Squaw Peak in Phoenix, Arizona; Bethel Covenant Church in Flossmoor, Illinois; and as visitation pastor for Trinity Covenant in Oak Lawn, Illinois. After retirement, Bill and East moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he served as a part-time visitation pastor for Valley Presbyterian Church.

Bill and East were beloved for their hospitality, for how they cared for people, visited the sick and hospitalized, reached out to neighbors, and worked with children and youth.

East died in 2003. Shortly after that Bill moved to Covenant Village Retirement Community in Turlock, California. He married Shirley Hedeen Sellman in 2006.

He is survived by his second wife, Shirley; two daughters, Sally Thomas (Randy), and Nancy Nelson (Tom); and son John Liljegren (Cindy), seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Celebrations of Bill’s life will be held at Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley, Arizona, on Saturday, October 1, and at Covenant Village of Turlock on Sunday, October 9.

Memorial donations may be given to the Benevolent Fund at the Covenant Village of Turlock, 2125 N. Olive Ave., Turlock, CA 95382.

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About the Author

Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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