Christian 12

Margo (Pettersen) Fohs

April 19, 1936 ~ September 19, 2022 (age 86)




     Margo Oline Pettersen Fohs was born on April 19, 1936, in Madelia, Minnesota along with her fraternal twin sister, Marlis, to Eldon and Olga (Brevig) Pettersen. She graduated from Madelia High School in the spring of 1954. Margo attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, graduating in 1958. She taught kindergarten in Rochester, Minnesota and eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Minnesota. Margo also attended the Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis and decided to become a missionary teacher in Madagascar for about 12-13 years. She ended up training prospective Malagasy students to be teachers.

     After the door opened for women to become pastors in the ALC in 1970, Margo entered Wartburg Theological Seminary in 1974 to become a pastor. There she met her future husband, Paul Fohs. They were married on August 27, 1977, at the seminary in Dubuque. For their honeymoon they traveled to Pittsburgh to pick up her car that needed radiator repair as she had car problems on her way back from Long Island, New York a week before the wedding. They then drove to Houston, Texas, in two cars, where Paul did his internship. Their daughter, Jessica, was born in Bellaire, Texas on September 21, 1978, at the end of Paul’s internship. The family then moved to Aurora, Iowa where Margo served at St. Paul Lutheran Church on a half-time basis while Paul finished his seminary studies. Margo was ordained on January 21, 1979, at her home church, Faith Lutheran, in Madelia, Minnesota. On December 30, 1979, Margo ordained Paul and they left the next day for Nashua, Montana, for their first call together. Margo became the first woman pastor of the former ALC Rocky Mountain District in January of 1980. Margo and Paul served parishes together at Dazey-Rogers, North Dakota and in Ringsted, Iowa. The couple then moved to Dunlap, Iowa where Paul served at St. John and Margo at Bethesda in Moorhead, Iowa. Margo retired on January 1, 2001 and they moved to Arlington, Iowa where Paul served his last parish before his retirement. On October 1, 2014, Margo and Paul moved to Deloit, Iowa to enjoy their retirement with their daughter, Jessica, and grandsons, DJ and Logan.

     Margo died on Monday, September 19, 2022, at the Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison, Iowa at the age of 86 years and five months.

     Margo was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Darwin Pettersen; and sisters, Marlis Bruns and Evelyn Blickem Paulson. She is survived by her husband, Paul Fohs; daughter, Jessica Fohs; and grandsons, DJ and Logan, all of Deloit; sister, Rose Chute of New Ulm, Minnesota; and many nieces and nephews.

Fun facts about Margo:

She took flying lessons and flew solo.

She asked Paul to be her date at the senior banquet at Wartburg Seminary because she thought he was a safe date.

After marriage Paul bought her a tennis racket. She played once with him and then got pregnant and never played again.

After coming back from Madagascar, she never pointed a finger at anyone. She just pointed her chin at you. That’s a cultural thing they did in Madagascar. Fortunately that trait faded away after some time. It was somewhat annoying.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margo (Pettersen) Fohs, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Margo

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Dunlap

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September 27, 2022

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Bethesda Lutheran Church
703 Pine Street
Moorhead, IA 51558

Memorial Service
September 27, 2022

2:00 PM
Bethesda Lutheran Church
703 Pine Street
Moorhead, IA 51558

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