Harold George Hultgren, senior canon of Los Angeles diocese, dies at 87[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Canon Harold George Hultgren, senior canon of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, died December 27 of heart failure after several years of declining health. He was 87.
Hultgren served Holy Trinity Church, Alhambra, as rector for 30 years, and was the diocese's canon missioner for ecumenical and interreligious matters for 28 years, secretary of convention for 17 years and archivist and historiographer for six years.
The Rev. Canon David Bauman will preside and preach at a Requiem Eucharist at Holy Trinity Church at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 3.
Hultgren is survived by his wife of 30 years, Margaret, and sons Timothy and Paul. Another son, Peter, died in an automobile accident at age 21, and Greg, the youngest of the four, died two years ago of cancer. Hultgren was married in 1945 to Elaine Patricia, the mother of his four sons. She died in 1970.
After Hultgren's retirement as diocesan ecumenical/interreligious officer in 1986, the Hultgrens moved to the Lucerne Valley, where they had built a home. Hultgren served as interim priest at St. Peter's Church, Rialto, and St. Paul's Church, Barstow, and priest-in-charge of St. Joseph of Arimathea Church, Yucca Valley.
The list of Hultgren's achievements and his services to church and civic organizations is lengthy and varied. He served in 1987 as president of the Interreligious Council of Southern California, and was honored in February of that year by the National Conference of Christians and Jews for his efforts to foster understanding between faiths. He was a deputy to General Convention several times, and served on dozens of diocesan and church committees and commissions. He carried out an extensive ministry to Native Americans of the Navajo reservation in Arizona. He was known for his strong opposition to the ordination of women to the priesthood as well as his loyalty, service and devotion to the Episcopal Church. Francis Eric Bloy, third Bishop of Los Angeles, named him an honorary Canon of the Cathedral of St. Paul in 1973.
Hultgren was a member of the Society of King Charles the Martyr, the Society of the Holy Cross, North American Academy of Ecumenics, the National Episcopal Historical Association, the Society of Mary, the Guild of All Souls and the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.
Hultgren was so well loved during his tenure at Holy Trinity, which began in 1953 and continued until 1983, that he was known around town as "Father Alhambra." The city's Civitan Club presented him its "Citizen of the Month" award in January 1960. He was a member of the local Kiwanis and Hi-12 clubs; president of the Alhambra Mental Health Program; a co-founder and board member of Family Guidance; board member of the United Fund; member of the Youth Coordination Council; member of the advisory committee for Alhambra Welfare Association; and a member of the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He also served on the board of the city's public library and the local Red Cross, was a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Education, and was a co-founder and second president of the Alhambra Historical Society. He was a board member and chaplain of Alhambra Community Hospital, and made local headlines when he vehemently opposed sale of the facility to an outside interest. He was a chaplain to the city police and fire departments, and was presented with his own fireman's badge in 1975.
He received the Grand Knights' Fellowship Award of the Knights of Columbus. B'nai B'rith named him Community Man of the Year and the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce presented him its prestigious Past President's Award. Other honors include a Resolution of Honor from the California State Assembly (1978); the California Council for Adult Education's Abram Friedman Award (1983); a Distinguished Merit citation from the National Conference of Christians and Jews (1987); the Boy Scouts of America's Order of the Arrow (1962); several awards from the United Way and Chamber of Commerce; and many honorary life memberships.
After his retirement, Hultgren served on a variety of similar civic and community organizations in his new home in the Lucerne Valley.
Prior to his service in the Diocese of Los Angeles, Hultgren served congregations in New York City, Long Island City, Boston and Okauchee, Wisconsin.
Born in New York City on October 2, 1920, Hultgren received his B.A. degree magna cum laude at Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1942. He earned B.D. and M.Div degrees in 1945 and 1946 at Nashotah House, Wisconsin, and engaged in graduate studies at General Theological Seminary and Harvard Divinity School. Nashotah conferred an honorary doctorate on Harold in 1976.