WILMETTE, IL (January 9, 2014) — Retired Covenant missionary Carl “Cully” Edstrom died Wednesday at the age of 95.
A memorial service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 19, at Winnetka Covenant Church in Wilmette.
Edstrom was born October 25, 1918. He earned an associate’s degree from North Park College and then graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s of science degree. He worked at Boeing Aircraft in Seattle during the latter years of World War II.
After the war, he answered an advertisement in the Covenant Weekly that presented the need for a builder in what was then the Belgian Congo. While in Congo, he married Covenant missionary Vivian Anderson at Karawa on May 14, 1959.
Edstrom engaged in multiple ministries in the African nation. In his earliest years, he primarily designed and constructed churches, schools, hospitals, and dispensaries, as well as missionary and African dwellings. One of the schools he helped design was the Free University of Stanleyville.
He served as the principal of Institute Mbenga at Karawa and then later as principal of the Bokeleale Institute in Gemena, a high-school level technical school specializing in training electricians. He supervised Bible study courses taken by correspondence and participated in preaching as station pastor.
During several years when the Edstroms had returned to the United States, he earned a master’s degree in architectural engineering in 1967 and a doctorate in education in 1972, all from the University of Illinois.
Survivors include his wife Vivian, son James Edstrom, daughter Mary Beth Kovacic, and five grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Covenant World Mission, 8303 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631, and designated for the Carl Edstrom Memorial.