Class of '50
January 2004

Dear Classmates and Friends of 1950,

Whenever I sit down to write these class letters, I am either blessed with a plethora of class notes or face the conundrum of what to write if there is a dearth of them.  In fact, for this January letter I'm supposed to ask a guest writer to take care of it.  After a call from Dallas Young, of which you'll hear a bit later, I asked him, but he had good reasons not to take on the entire project.  Then I received an envelope of class notes that had been accumulating since summer or fall, so I'll include some of those first―no problem what to write.  I may even save some of them for a couple months from now.  Please don't feel neglected if your note isn't in this letter.

A fun note came from Marie (Norberg) Bergstrom of Minneapolis:  "On September 28, 2003 I will, along with my sis Ruth Norberg Nye ’55, Dorothy Johnson Lutz ’51, and Eleanor Danielson Anderson leave for an 18 day trip to Tanzania where we all spent our childhood as MK's (missionary kids).  None of us have been back since we left just before WWII.  [Remember the book about the sinking of the Zamzam?  GMB]  Our (Vern's and mine) youngest son was married June 21 and our oldest [the word was gone and I can't read it, sorry‑‑GMB] will be married September 20―right before we four grandmas head back to our birthplace.  Marie"  Oh, how I'd enjoy hearing about your trip, Marie.  Where in Tanzania were you?  I remember from Junior Mission Band days when it was Tanganyika.  What an experience you must have had.

Another traveler has been Ken Kamholz of Owatonna, MN:  "Since retiring in 1989, we have done a lot of traveling―from Yalta to going around Cape Horn.  I do a lot of volunteer work, such as driving people to the Mayo Clinic.  Spend a lot of time on my third computer."  Your trips sound exotic!  Tell us about some of them, Ken.  Perhaps you'll give us a few ideas for new destinations.  Thanks for writing.

Other interesting traveling is Chuck Anderson's of Norwood, MN:  "My wife, Faith, has a 77-year-old sister, who runs.  So we are her support team and each year we go along to Grandma's in Duluth, the Twin Cities Marathon in October and NYC Marathon in November…this year she took first place in her age division in the last two!  We went hot air ballooning in October over the teacher workshop week for two hours...absolutely fabulous!  We were in Branson for the Christmas shows before Thanksgiving...again fabulous!  We're enjoying the snow and getting ready for Lucia Day on the 13th and Christmas on the 25th."  I talked with someone else who saw those Christmas shows in Branson and his foursome agreed with you completely.  That's an experience I've yet to have.  I admire your sister-in-law.  I can't even make myself walk a mile or two a day!

We have several volunteers who do a great deal of volunteering.  Lewis Peterson of Coon Rapids, MN is really busy in retirement:

"1).  After retiring as an assistant principal at Coon Rapids High School, I have been busy with many volunteer activities.  This is my 16th year of retirement.  This is my 12th year of teaching "Challenge Math" an hour a week to gifted students in different elementary schools in the Anoka Hennepin School District.  Ten students for an hour a week on a pull-out basis from their math class.  They are wonderful students and so motivated.  Isn't it fun to teach when students are eager to learn?  Have also taught "Great Books" some years.

2).  Also mentor students at the North Metro Literacy Center in Blaine helping immigrants from all over the world develop their English skills.  I do this 3 hours a week.  Their handwriting is so good even though they get their tenses mixed up quite a bit.

3).  Helping some seniors at Coon Rapids High School in hopes that they will pass the Minnesota Basic Standards Test in Mathematics.  They have failed to pass the test every year since they took it in eighth grade.  Two more chances―February and April.  Don't pass, don't graduate.  Oofdah!

4).  Secretary of our Coon Rapids Kiwanis Club for the past 13 years.  Treasurer of Senate District 49, Republican party, for the past 8 years.

5).  Editor for our Sons of Norway Lodge newsletter in Anoka.  Editor of Gudbrandsdal Lag newsletter.

6).  Sing in our church choir.  Taking guitar lessons.  Idle hands make for idle minds, especially when you get older.  Volunteering beats vacuuming.  That's about it."

Wow!!  I'm tired just reading about all that you do, and I hope doing crossword puzzles, etc. will keep my mind alert!  Oh, well…

Another active volunteer is Pastor Robert A Olson of Roseville, MN who "leads hymn sings two times monthly at Twin City Linnea Home, St. Paul.  Conducts one Holy Communion worship service monthly at Lynnhurst Health Care Center, St. Paul.  Travel by my car twice a year to visit my brother Howie and family in Florida.  Attended in ’03 the School of Evangelism, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada."  What a beautiful place to attend a special session―you must have enjoyed that.

George Anonsen of Brooklyn Center, MN, wrote:  "Wife, Kathryn, graduated from Macalester.  Son, Kerry, works for Starkey Hea[part of word missing] Aid Co.  He has three girls and built a new home at Albertville.  Son, Kent, lives at Warwick, RI and works for Navy.  I work as a volunteer at Health Partners Clinic."  Thanks for letting us hear from you!

Floyd and Ruth Uleberg Keller live in Bayport, MN.  Floyd writes:  "I have been promoting the starting of Café Philos, philosophy discussion groups, in libraries and bookstores with the hope that it will improve the decision making in the country!?"  What a great idea!  I'd never heard of them―wish we had one around here!  Let me know how you do with them.

Paul L Gustafson writes:  "David Gustafson and I moved from Silver Bay (15 years there).  He to Las Vegas and Minneapolis, and I to White Bear Lake, where I lived 25 years.  Spent a lot of time at my cabin at Gooseberry Falls State Park.  In winter 15 CCC boys and I carried out huge logs for buildings.  Then promoted to Supply Sgt, CCC Co 2710.  Spent two years there 1939-1940.  Company Commander of 3525 Quartermaster Trust Company.  Promoted to Major, with 31 years in Army.  Thirty-one years at Minnesota State Prison at Stillwater, retiring in 1981 with 31 years of service.  I am 84 years and retired 22 years.  Busy every day.  The trouble being retired, is that you have no "days off."  No deer seen this year after 52 years.  Only one 10-pointer.  Many fish including 60 lb. Halibut.  Ballroom dancing with 100 seniors, but now only 1 or 2 times a month.  Been on chemotherapy every month for three years; but feel fine―not sick―lymphoma.  On the go all the time with my best friend, Dorris.  Love to all my class mates, Paul L Gustafson."  His letter was sent in October and included his address and phone number, if someone would like it―we have it.  Thank you so very much for writing, Paul.  I've always enjoyed your letters―we learn something new every time.  I often wonder if we couldn't use the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) again to keep some of our young people busy and productive.

Richard Steinke of Bloomington, MN does volunteer work at the St. Paul Historical Society, working on WWI veterans' discharge papers.  He and his wife, Mary, are treasure hunters.  I know you keep busy.  Do you still spend time at the Mall of America?

James A Doering of Richfield, MN writes:  "I retired in 1986 after 31 years with the Soo Line Railroad.  Retirement―it's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it."  Hope you're enjoying it as much as your classmates are!  Thanks for writing.

Dallas Young of Baxter, MN, whom I mentioned before, underwent open heart surgery on October 16 for aortic valve replacement.  True to his tradition, he used imported, upgraded, previously owned parts (porcine).  He's doing just fine, but that's why he didn't take on the full responsibility for the class letter, and I could understand that.  I am going to include another story he wrote, concerning the 125th anniversary of Zion Lutheran Church of Amor (Battle Lake, MN).  It is so typical of many of our Gustavus and family histories that it is well worth reading.

When Zion Lutheran Church of Amor (Battle Lake, MN) celebrated its 125th anniversary, they wanted to have someone who had gone into the ministry from the congregation as the anniversary speaker.  It was a short list:  Dallas Young was the only one alive!  So he was the preacher at the two anniversary services on August 3, 2003.

It was quite appropriate, since not only had Dallas grown up in that Church, but his parents Leonard and Esther (Wallin ’16) Young had spent their whole lives there.  His paternal grandparents, Oscar and Mary Young, and his maternal grandparents, John and Mathilda Wallin, had been there most of their adult lives.  His paternal great grandparents, Johan Nicholas and Sofia Young (Oscar and Janne) had been charter members when the congregation was organized January 31, 1878.  Of those early members, four families (including the Youngs and John Wallin) had emigrated from the little Swedish country parish of Nittorp in Västergötland.

On Saturday of the anniversary weekend, a family reunion was organized for the descendants of Dallas' grandparents John and Mathilda Wallin.  A catered dinner at the church was set for 55 relatives including cousins from California, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and around Minnesota.  Special guests were cousin Tore Nilsson and his wife Runa from Skara, Sweden.  Tore grew up in the Ljungsarp parish, immediately adjacent to Nittorp.  He presented each of the current first cousins with a 192 page family history with pictures, stories and genealogical tables reaching back to 1733.  Tore is a professional genealogist and has compiled and printed these family histories.

Included in the Wallin family history are generations of Gustavians.  Dallas' uncle Arthur Wallin graduated in 1918.  Dallas' mother Esther Wallin Young graduated from the School of Commerce in 1916.  Dallas (Phyllis) graduated in 1950.  Their children include:  Jon ’77 (Anita Thomsen ’77), Steven ’78 (Stacie Freeman x78―Crown College ’98), their son, Tyler, fall semester 2000; and Thomas ’88 (Meredith Roth).

Dallas claims that his mother never acknowledged there were any other colleges so when he sent in his college application, St. Peter was the only address he knew!

Dallas also has a unique proposal as to how to support the Gustavus Fund.  As you know, several projects are going on―the 30th anniversary of the Linnaeus Arboretum, the BIG remodeling of Old Main, etc.  He writes:  "AT LEAST A PENNY FOR GUSTAVUS, that is, at least a penny from each dollar of family income committed to the Gustavus Fund each year.  The formula is almost too simple―to calculate the gift, just move the decimal point two spaces to the left on either monthly or annual earnings.

"For years we participated in G-1000.  That plateau was not in relation to resources and didn't change.  Thinking in terms of resources available gives growth-mode-potential even at a 1% level.  This may be entry level.  If you have already passed this point, congratulations and thanks.  Keep growing!

"At our class's age level (and the current market), growth in resources may not be a prime factor―catch-up may be more descriptive.  We have been asked to be a test-pilot.  Questions and suggestions may be directed to Jim Isaak ’86, Director of the Gustavus Fund or to me, Dallas Young (218-828-6210).  May 31, 2004 will come quickly.  How about AT LEAST A PENNY FOR GUSTAVUS!"

I don't know if Dorothy Johnson Lutz ’51 still sends out those multi-page class letters to the class of 1951, and I'm not trying to compete with her for letter length―(only in contributions and percentage of donors)―but, I hope you've enjoyed reading this one.  As I said, some class notes are saved for next time, so Alpha, Pete, Bob, Dennis and Harry, we'll hear from you then, plus all of you who write after this letter.

I didn't say anything about myself.  As a result of those two mishaps I had last July, I joined the thousands of people who have torn rotator cuffs (plus three torn Latin words in each shoulder), so I'm having surgery on January 15.  Making this class letter deadline was a necessity for me this time, not just for the Alumni Fund.

This is a good place to include another class note, this time from Eldon C Johnson, Sr. in Torrington, WY:  "Just a note of thanks to the Lord and to you all for our fellowship over the years."  Amen to that.  Thank you, Eldon.

Sincerely,

Gloria Martell Benson

1950 Class Agent

Campus News:

Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target

Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign.  The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships.  Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth.  Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties. 

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus? The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College. Take a look online if you wish at <http://gustavus.edu/admission/tour/video/>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra will take a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir will take a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota, and will also present a concert in the Twin Cities on Friday evening, January 30, 2004, 7:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in St. Paul.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, will tour during Spring Break.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education—“the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies.” We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on “great teaching” and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey ’83, director of alumni relations (rstuckey@gustavus.edu), or Steve Waldhauser ’70 (waldo@gustavus.edu), managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

Upcoming Chapter Events

  • Washington DC, Gustavus gathering – February 6
  • Atlanta, Georgia, Gustavus gathering – February 26
  • Tampa Bay, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 27
  • Naples, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 28
  • Vero Beach, Florida, Gustavus gathering – February 29
  • Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 20
  • Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering – March 21