Retired missionaries, teachers, Kenneth and Eloise Dale embody LSTC’s values

Eloise and Kenneth Dale

“LSTC has always been very close to my heart,” said Kenneth Dale (Augustana, 1950, MDiv), when he and his wife, Eloise, made a leadership commitment to Giving Day.

The Dales embodied many of LSTC’s values and commitments in their long ministry in Japan and even after their retirement.

In 1951, Ken and Eloise were called to serve as missionaries in Japan. Ken first served as a mission organizer near Hiroshima for 10 years. They listened and learned about the context where they were serving, including interfaith relationships. He spent time studying a large, post-WWII sect of Buddhism centered in their huge temple in Tokyo. 

Eloise, trained in music education, taught piano and organ and also English. She also taught cooking to Japanese women, who were increasingly interested in Western culture at that time. She even published three cookbooks, including Mrs. Dale’s Cookies, which sold 150,000 copies.

They came back to the U.S. in the 1960s, for Ken to complete a PhD at Union Theological Seminary in New York. His dissertation was on Japanese counseling as carried on by the Buddhist religion he intensively studied.

When they returned to Japan, he taught at the Japan Lutheran College and Seminary in Tokyo. The college became known for its clinical psychology and social work programs that he helped shape.

Their sons, Greg and Ted, attended the American School in Japan in Tokyo. There they deepened their intercultural understanding and their own commitment to serving others.

In 1982 Ken started a Christian Counseling Center in Tokyo, which he calls “the highlight of my career.” Within a few years it greatly expanded into two locations, with the help of many volunteers and trainees.

Eloise continued to share her gifts as organist for the English-speaking Lutheran Church in Tokyo and teaching music and cooking.

Now residents of the Pilgrim Place Senior Community in Claremont, Calif., the Dales continue to be active in social justice issues. He currently serves on their congregation’s Reconciling in Christ Committee – another example of the way his faith and commitments align with LSTC’s.

Greg and Ted are also continuing their concern for others. Greg lives in Portland, Ore., where he is involved in music ministry at his church. Ted lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he founded and directs a consulting firm in intercultural understanding for businesses, drawing from his childhood experience growing up in Japan.

With their lead gift, the Dales hope to inspire others to join them in supporting the mission of LSTC to form visionary leaders who will help propel the church into a new and exciting future.

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