Richard Nostbakken (2015)

Richard Nostbakken (2015)

During Rick’s time as a faculty member at Luther College High School, from 1971 to 2014, he became best known as a pioneer and champion of the school’s fine arts program. He also was a highly influential teacher of art, history, English, Christian ethics, theory of knowledge and computer science. In 1973, he helped stage the first Broadway musical at Luther — a tradition that continues today. Richard also was instrumental in introducing and implementing the International Baccalaureate program at Luther College High School and for many years taught IB Art. When he retired after forty years of teaching in 2001, he returned to serve as the school’s IT coordinator. 'Nosty' was a remarkable educator who has impacted more lives than he would ever care to acknowledge.

However, Rick was more than a teacher – he was a gifted artist, writer, musician, and philosopher with a unique sense of humour and perspective. Above all, Richard was generous and modest. His interests were eclectic and his contributions many. There are many homes and public places charmed and made better by his paintings and sculptures with bright hues of prairie landscapes and abstract impressions.

Richard was a genuine artist, who creatively inspired others with his depictions of flowers and cactus and prairie and creatures and people.

Richard was also a musician, a humourist, a storyteller a gatherer-of-people together. For example, he often performed in chapel at Luther and his “Scum” song became the stuff of school legend.

During his earlier years as the art teacher at Luther, Richard designed the cards that the High School and University used when sending out Christmas greetings.

Along with one of his former students, Erik Norbraten, the tongue-in-cheek Anton Scholssbein Kunstrichtung was formed. This collaboration produced much artwork in the form of brandings for Canada Wide Lutheran Church conventions, one of which was chosen to be represented on a Canadian Postal Stamp, along with logos for many Luther College functions, including the College’s centennial celebrations. Richard established an art scholarship that since his death has been renamed The Richard Nostbakken Memorial Art Award. It is a wonderful legacy to Richard’s continued desire to inspire students in the arts, and a wonderful example of the many ways in which he gave back to this community.

Richard passed away in 2014. He is survived by his wife Ann, daughter Kristine (Levi Carleton), son Jonathon (Christina Winter), and son Soren (Andrea Nostbakken); his adored and adoring grandchildren Liv, Mila, Bec, Vero, Freya, Leif, and Elsa.