Class of 1951

July 2011

Dear classmates and families,

How can one letter paint the picture of our grand 60th Reunion?!  Stories abound!  The time passed too quickly.  We wish we could have talked more with everyone!

My apologies for leaving some names off the committee list in my last letter.  They worked so hard too!  Thanks to all who served – see the official list in this letter and in our anniversary booklet.

The mix up of names happened because we never met as a whole committee.  I was also dealing with back pain and my son was being tossed about in the Japanese earthquake (in Morioka where he teaches English).

I hope more of you will write your news from the 60th anniversary or send news if you were not able to be here.

Denny Lofstrom had typhoid in May in Tanzania, where they have been volunteering for the past nine years.  They still plan to attend the Nobel Conference as usual next October.

Omitted from last letter’s list of classmates marrying each other are Ed and Joan (Cravens) Benson.

Two classmates had grandchildren graduate from Gustavus this past May.  Carl F. Nelson’s grandson, Neil Nelson ʼ11 and Ray Lundquist’s granddaughter, Sarah Lundquist ʼ11.  It “almost didn’t rain” so commencement could be held outside on the football field.

Bethany, a senior, said, “Chaplain Brian ʼ80 has had a tremendous influence on my life.”

We bid Chaplain Brian Johnson a sad farewell as he goes to Valparaiso University to set up a center for servant leadership.

The senior pastor of Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Pastor Paul Youngdahl ʼ59, age 73, passed away on Monday, June 20.  There were two memorial services for him at 12:00 and 3:00 at Mt. Olivet.  Pastor Youngdahl performed the memorial service for my uncle just a few months ago at Mt. Olivet.  Paul had been a great friend to Gustavus, having served on the Board of Trustees for nine years.  I had the privilege of having Paul as a piano student when I was an assistant professor at Gustavus.  I can still remember his fine, warm-hearted, playing of the slow movement of Beethoven sonata.  Paul was a younger cousin of our classmate, Dave Youngdahl.  Dave died in 2010 at 81 in Ohio of complications of prostate cancer (according to Google).  Paul Sifford had told me of Dave’s death.

Our sympathy to the family of Edward “Pat” Keckeisen, age 86, Glenwood, who died June 15.  He was a native of New Ulm.  At our banquet Bud Hovren told us Ed was in the hospital.

Lloyd Matthews died April 30.  Our sympathy goes to Marjorie Becken Mathews ʼ50 and their family and to Ray Lundquist who was his Gustie roommate for three years.  Ray wrote, “He became like an older brother to me.”  Ray sent me this information written by Lloyd – snippets of Lloyd’s life.

“He enrolled in Gustavus Adolphus College in January 1948 and graduated with an economics and business degree in May 1951.  He minored in Spanish and sociology and played in the 16-pience stage band (soprano, alto and tenor sax).  He also played hockey and worked for a professor in the geology department.  There he met Marjorie Becken.

He and Margie traveled extensively since their 25th wedding anniversary in 1976.  They were to Norway six or seven times, Ireland six times, England six times, Italy four times, traveled Europe by rail and car, and in 2001, they planned and made their own seven-week trip around the world.  They spent 16 winters in Mesa, Arizona where they made many friends and spent their time hiking, playing cards and square dancing.

He had always been active in church.  He taught Sunday school for many years.  He sang in the church choir.  He was the Grace Church Christian education director for five years and Shepherd of the lay ministry program at Peace Church.”

It was good to talk with Lowell Helstedt, who came from Lakeland to the reunion.  He has written the Asplund Family History book.  These are some of his relatives mentioned:  Anna Asplund Sjostrand 1904 married C. E. Sjostrand 1903, who was treasurer at Gustavus from 1923-58.  Their son, Melville Sjostrand, graduated from Gustavus and is a retired ELCA pastor.  Their daughter, Millicent Sjostrand Lee, also graduated in 1930.  Lowell’s sister, Mellicent Helstedt Schadler, graduated from Gustavus in 1948.  His great-aunt, Dena Asplund (1911), played on the winning women’s basketball team for Gustavus in 1910.  Other relatives also graduated from Gustavus.

There are a few anniversary booklets still left.  If you didn’t get one, you may request one from the Alumni Office.  It was given to classmates who attended the reunion.  Names, addresses and phone numbers are listed.  You may add the phone for Rhoda Smith Nelson and Donald at Bloomington, MN:  952-948-2642.  However, they will be at their lake cabin in Wisconsin this summer.

If any of you want to add or update the information that’s listed in the booklet, just let the Alumni Office know.  If you did not get a call about the reunion, it is probably because no phone is listed.  Please give us your phone number, if possible.  There were 148 names on the “deceased” list.  Now we must add Ed “Pat” Keckeisen and Dave Youngdahl for a total of 150 classmates who have passed away.  That leaves 183 classmates of which 41 were at the 60th.

It was fun noticing in the booklet that many of you had children at Gustavus in the ʼ80s when my kids, Lynn Marie ʼ84 and Erik ʼ88 were there.  Our extrovert daughter’s job was at the campus post office so she knew many students.  She knew Don Berg’s kids!

I’m looking forward to finishing Milly Janzen Balzer’s new book, Heldin, Coming to Terms.  It is a fascinating novel based on the lives of Milly as Hilda, her family members and friends from Mountain Lake.  I never knew she had eight siblings.  As a Mennonite, it was difficult for Milly to choose Gustavus.  She was an English major.  After her master’s she received a Fulbright.  Milly has been writing this book for 57 years.  She gives insights on the Mennonites in her novel.  Heldin, the title, means “brave women who ask questions that cannot be answered.”  The book can be ordered through Gustavus’ BookMark or online at: www.heldincomingtoterms.com.

What a splendid thing to be able to see many, large weavings by our late, artist classmate, “Sandy” Lenore Anderson Haber.  They were in our gathering place, “The Gustie Den.”

Lorraine Lundquist and I were impressed by a senior, Phil Helt ʼ11, who said, “without you (alumni) there would be no Gustavus.”

  •  Gustavus profs became mentors, friends.  Students became best friends…
  • There are lots of opportunities for involvement…
  • A sense of community.  “Our class will change the world!”

He was chosen to be the senior class speaker at commencement.  I’m sure it will be a persuasive talk, since he won first place at Nationals.

It was an outstanding event Friday evening.  People were especially excited about our banquet – although the whole weekend was extraordinary with 41 classmates plus their spouse/family member.  The total for weekend was 58.  Here is the list of people at the reunion:

First

Maiden

Last

Year

Guest First

Guest Maiden

Guest Last

Year

Mildred

Janzen

Balzer

51

Edward

Benson

51

Joan

Cravens

Benson

51

Stan

Benson

51

Marie

Schafer

Benson

52

Don

Berg

51

Ken

Bjorklund

51

Grace

Bjorklund

Weldon

Burchill

51

Marlys

Akerson

Chase

51

Lois

Quam

Erickson

51

Arthur

Gaard

51

Dorothy

Conrad

Gaard

51

Willis

Gustafson

51

Elizabeth

Gustafson

Lowell

Helstedt

51

Carol

Matson

Holcombe

51

Dwight

Holcombe

51

Warren "Bud"

Hovren

51

David W.

Johnson

51

Delores

Johnson

Roy

Johnson

51

Donna

Seaberg

Johnson

50

Marianne

Ostrom

Kjolhaug

51

Karen

Kjolhaug

Donn

Larson

51

Donna

Larson

Robert E.

Larson

51

Ruth

Peterson

Larson

52

Earl

Leaf

51

Clint

Lomis

51

Ray

Lundquist

51

Lorraine

Lundquist

Dorothy

Johnson

Lutz

51

Paul

Lutz

Rhoda

Smith

Nelson

51

Donald

Nelson

John

Norman

51

Leanne

Norman

Russell

Paulson

51

Jack

Peterson

51

Wayne

Ripley

51

Bill

Robertz

51

Marilyn

Barnes

Robertz

51

Carolyn

Peterson

Ruggles

51

Henry

Ruggles

52

Gordon

Sandbaken

51

Beverly

Sandbaken

Joan

Gustafson

Sifford

51

Paul

Sifford

51

Robert

Smith

51

Darlene

Smith

Lloyd

Stivers

51

Dorothy

Stivers

Geraldine

Erickson

Thompson

51

Fred

Tidstrom

51

Marilyn

Street

Turner

51

Lisa and Hailey

Childress

Jim

Whitney

51

Ray Lundquist did a great job as emcee at our Friday night banquet.  Everyone from the Reunion Committee was present.  Thanks go to all of them.

Ray Lundquist

Dorothy Johnson Lutz

Jack Norman

Wayne Ripley

Marilyn Barnes Robertz

Gordon Sandbaken

Robert Smith

Gerry Erickson Thompson


Prayer given at anniversary banquet by Lloyd Stivers.

Franciscan Blessing (from God’s Mission in the World, Augsburg Press)

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world; so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

And the Blessings of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon us and remain with us forever.  Amen.

When President and Kris Ohle came, I said, “We have a surprise.  I’d like to ask my friend, Kris Ohle, to unveil the painting.”  It was the painting of the “Clock Tower, Old Main,” by Barbara Bjelland, given in loving memory of Carl F. Nelson, Class of 1951, by his wife, Leslie Nelson.  It will be hung in Old Main.  Leslie was unable to attend, but gave me this message to read: 

“If Carl could be with you this weekend, he might say something like this:  How I loved Gustavus!  Every moment spent on campus was special to me, beginning with those first four years, and then all the reunions, Christmas concerts, and even Tennis and Life Camp.  My advice to you, especially at this stage of your life, is:  Enjoy the moment!  Don’t let worries about tomorrow rob you of the joy of living!”

Here comes Ray, our emcee, with the portable mike.  Let the stories begin:

When Dwight Holcombe was 11-years-old, his parents took him to a football game.  Gustavus lost 26-2.  The fans chanted, “Lutefisk and Lefse....”

“Dick” Roy Johnson told us he is still influenced by his course in botany in his business.

Bill Robertz taught at Gustavus for 38 years before retiring.  He said, “on May 6, 1949, there was a most blessed occurrence.  It was life changing!  Marilyn (Barnes) had asked him to go to the Alpha Phi banquet.  (There was something about moonlight on Lake Washington that night−then an opera in Minneapolis…).”

Donn Larson smiled and told us how he had introduced Bill to Marilyn after a class.

Jack Norman said he didn’t come to campus before the first day of classes.  He was called into Dr. Carlson’s office for too many absences from chapel.  Jack explained he was in the radio booth broadcasting the chapel service.

Russ Paulson was in the Democrat Club with Peggy so they both celebrated Truman’s election…  One day they came to chapel−a car was up there!

Fred Tidstrom gave us three words to remember about him:  “teeth, Ashland, leadership.”

Rhoda Smith Nelson loved the band.

Art Gaard was engaged to Dorothy (Conrad).  He couldn’t get his diploma because he owed the library one dollar.  He borrowed it from Dorothy and paid it back (with interest) at their 50th wedding anniversary.

Earl Leaf – After being a recruiter for Gustavus, he taught junior high school for 29 years.  He learned from Gustavus, prof:  CARING.  Earl took creative writing from Prof. J. Creel and has written 45 books including one on pioneer women.

Marilyn Street Turner said, “I really enjoyed my four years here.  Louise Borg Bergmann would have loved to come to the reunion, but has a walker.”

Carolyn Peterson Ruggles said her grandfather came here from Sweden in 1881 not knowing English.  Carolyn’s granddaughter, Chloe Radcliffe, is the ninth relative to come to Gustavus.

Ed Benson arrived at Gustavus in January 1947.  Since there were no rooms on campus, the vets slept on Army cots in the Armory and walked up and down the hill.  Finally, they moved to the Ranch House, and then Wahlstrom (built for the vets, but not finished yet!).  He took geology from Prof. Chester Johnson and became the first graduate in geology.

Don Berg told of their round robin letter that is still going on after 55 years.  It includes his twin brother, Dean, Dave Lindberg and Paul Nakamura, who knew each other from Gustavus days.  They have been very faithful in writing−mostly by hand.  (I appreciate that because I’m still writing the class letters by hand after 40 years.)

I’ll remember Ray’s white tennis shoes and his athletic ability to get the mike to these classmates and more.  I didn’t get notes on everyone.  I was too busy taking notes to volunteer for the mike.  I would have told how much I loved orchestra and band.  We got to know each other on band tours.

I was shocked (and shed a few tears) by the class creating “The Class of 1951 Dorothy Johnson Lutz Music Scholarship Endowment Fund.”  It recognizes “her 40 years of service as a class agent.”  The certificate of appreciation, from the Class of 1951 states, “you have kept us informed of college activities like no other class agent and motivated us every year to be one of the best classes for giving to The Gustavus Annual Fund and other Gustavus causes.”

Of course, this honor is really exciting for me and all my Gustie relatives and friends.  A few years ago I was at Honor’s Day reading about the scholarships and wishing I could give a music scholarship.  Now the Class of ʼ51 will forever be famous!

How were you all able to keep the secret?  I was mystified by the fact some people seemed to know something that I did not have a clue about.  Thanks to my husband for all the help he has given me as a class agent these 40 years.

Here are a few excerpts from Marilyn Barnes Robertz’s presentation of the award:

“Thanks, classmates for being here for our 60th class reunion.  Could we ever have imagined this day when we graduated in June of 1951.  Congratulations to all of you!

I’m here to say a few words of thanks to our number one class cheerleader, our illustrious class agent, Dorothy Johnson Lutz.  Recently I found out that Dorothy has class agent genes.  Her mother, Ruth Johnson, Gustavus class of 1920, was her class agent for many, many years.  She was also the recipient of the Greater Gustavus Award, one of the highest awards bestowed by the Alumni Association.  Dorothy’s is a Gustavus family.”  [She lists some of the relatives who went to Gustavus.]  “Since moving back to St. Peter, Dorothy is on campus almost daily, attending chapel, music and other events.

Dorothy is the truest Gustie I have known.  For forty years as our class agent she has kept us connected with news of our support of the college through our donations.  She attended many, many class agent meetings, and participated in Phonoramas where she gathered more news for her class letters.  She whipped up attendance for our reunions and she attended most alumni banquets on commencement weekend.

Four times Dorothy was chosen class agent of the year−in 1975, 1986, 1987 and 1991 and on our 50th anniversary, 2001, we won class of the year.  Classes are ranked for percentage of participation and total gifts.  Under Dorothy’s leadership, our class has always done well.  And now, Dorothy, would you please join me for a presentation…”

The wife of a classmate told me, “You really do have a special class.”

At our banquet, Ray Lundquist presented President Ohle a large piece of cardboard which looked like a check from the Class of ʼ51.  Ray is even more excited since the final total came to $71,781.12 for the Annual Fund with an amazing 66% participation, making our class tops in both categories (total donors and total dollars) of all classes.  Included in that total is the 1951 Endowment total which reached $56,895.50 and the Dorothy Lutz Scholarship for $3,770.00.  Hopefully, we can reach our goal of $25,000 next year so it can be given to a music student.

I’ve asked Ray to write a few words for this letter.  He writes:

“Dear classmates, I just wanted to add a note to Dorothy’s letter to express my thanks and gratitude to all of you who contributed to the Annual Fund this past year.  My goal was 60 percent participation and to attain $60,000 to match our 60th anniversary year, but to have 66% participation and to have $71,781.12 was marvelous!  You’re a great class and much appreciated.  I wish you all could have been on campus for our reunion since it was a very joyous and special occasion.  Thanks again and best wishes to you all, most sincerely,

Ray Lundquist, Annual Fund Chair.”

I’m still hearing in my hearing, in my head, the wonderful sounds of your voices singing the “Alma Mater” with Gordie Sandbaken leading.  Russ Paulson pronounced the benediction.

“Hi” from so many who were unable to join us that weekend.  Here are just a few who sent good wishes:

Jean Schendel Sorensen

Marie Norberg Bergstrom ʼ50

Marion Odberg Olson

Jytte Petersen Monke

Louise Borg Bergmann (who has about 100 relatives who went to Gustavus!)

In our class we take for granted all the smiles, the energetic good will and the generosity.  Other people are amazed.

Be sure to read in the Quarterly about the awards and citations given at the Saturday evening Alumni Banquet.  I’ll just mention a few.  Dr. Robert Brown ʼ83, Staff Neurologist/Professor at the Mayo Clinic, spoke from his wheelchair, “Gustavus was so much more than academics.”  Read about his amazing accomplishments.  He was in an accident at age 13 so he gets around in his wheelchair.

Dr. John McKay, Professor Emeritus, did a fabulous job of explaining the requirements and training necessary to be an operatic tenor like Mark Thomsen ʼ78.  Mark explained, “I came for football.  I became a music major my sophomore year…”  A recording can’t capture the unique quality of each performer and the audience members.”  He bowled us over singing an aria from Carmen.  Everyone jumped to his feet as Mark ended.  We clapped loudly!  In the Book Mark see the Christmas CD Mark has recorded.  Also, check out www.markthomsen.com for CDs, etc.

Ray Lundquist, who served in the Marines before Gustavus, had a chance to visit with John Bergman ʼ69, the three-star brigadier general who got an alumni citation.  “This informal visit would never have happened in the marines; said Ray.

Ray Lundquist wrote, “I continue to rejoice over how well our reunion worked out.  I enjoyed every activity so much.  It was also great to become better acquainted with certain classmates...”  

Ray called Ray Malzahn in Joplin, MO.  They are okay since they were five miles from the tornado’s path.  Their Lutheran church was somewhat damaged.

Paul and Joan (Gustafson) Sifford have cheered on the Gustavus swim team at nationals for many years.  “We got that from Vic [Gustafson ʼ42].

We have wanderlust−have camped in about 80% of the national parks.  Have gone to Churchill to see polar bears−did research on whales in Costa Rica−research in Belize on dolphins, went on tall ships on Puget Sound−Joan was able to climb to the top of most to take a picture−took a rubber band airplane to San Salvador−went on bamboo raft in Jamaica down the river−visited from Alaska to Key West−Bay of Fundy to California−mostly we travel on Elderhostels.”

Paul writes, “Remember the first black and white TV in the canteen in 1949?”

Don Berg’s son, Jonathan ʼ87, has a daughter, Estee Berg, Gustavus class of ʼ14.  She will be a sophomore in the fall.  She is a star soccer player on the varsity team and majors in math.

There is electricity in the air at reunions.  There is an inner glow in our class.  Thanks so much for coming!  I especially appreciated your great effort to get here.  Many of you wonder if you’ll be able to come to our 65th anniversary celebration.  You are welcome every year as a member of the 50 Year Club.  I hope to make it that mile to campus every year to celebrate for many years to come.  I haven’t been president and communications chair of anything before so I’ll have to enjoy that until the 65th when you attendees vote on officers.  I know Ray Lundquist is already active as vice president and

Jack Norman is the third officer, recruitment chair.

Marianne Ostrom Kjolhaug was excited about the reunion.  She sent late breaking news of two who were at the reunion: 

Marilyn Street Turner was in the hospital with pneumonia since May 31.  She was in rehab in Alexandria, MN, but is back home in California.

Marlys Akerson Chase tripped and fell off her deck and cracked her pelvis on Memorial Day.  She was recuperating at the Masonic Home in Bloomington, but is back home managing on her own.

Students who make an early decision to attend Gustavus get priority in housing and selection of classes.  If you know of any juniors or seniors who would be interested in coming for “Explore Gustavus” during MEA, October 20 or 21, let the Office of Admission know (800-487-8288).  It’s a big event.

I’ve felt the strength and joy of our special, wonderful class.  Three words sum up the 64 years:  “Thanks for everything.”

Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Communications Officer

P. S.  Enjoy these six “mini” guest letters.

Louise Borg Bergmann

“I will not be attending the big celebration of our 60th anniversary at Gustavus.  It’s a bit difficult to do so at this time.  Thank you to all who have spent time and energy in planning and carrying through all the activities for this event.  I know it will be a great occasion for all.  Also, thank you to those who have helped Dorothy in the newsletters that also takes time and caring to do.  I don’t have an up-to-date picture of us, but we don’t look much different than this picture.  I’m still doing much of what was in the Christmas letter, which was reproduced in the April class newsletter.”

Ken Samuelson

“Dear Gustavus classmates of 1951, I should correct the greeting to classmates of 1947-48 since I attended Gustafson only that school year.  However, I have fond memories of that time and I did enjoy attending the 50th year reunion in 2001.

The high academic standards at Gustavus plus the emphasis on a Christian education was a real asset.

Following a stint in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict I continued my college education at Idaho State University and the University of Idaho−bachelor science degree in 1957.  I was on my way towards a career in agricultural or mechanical engineering−several of my relatives were engineers and my youngest son, Steve, is a civil engineer.  The junior year at Idaho I changed major to pre-dentistry.  Great decision−many science and engineering principles apply well to dentistry.

I was accepted at Washington University Dental School in St. Louis, MO and graduated from there with a DDS degree in 1961.  What a great institution−some of our professors were from the medical school.

I practiced general dentistry from 1961 to 2003 in Post Falls, ID, located 25 miles east of Spokane, WA.  Post Falls had a population of 1900 in 1961.  The population now is about 17,000.

I was married to my lovely wife, Maribel, for almost 50 years.  She passed from life to life in 2005.  We have three sons:  John, Glenn and Steven.

Looking back at 1947-48 while at Gustavus I have many happy memories.  Mrs. Fryxell, my English teacher was “tops”−I quickly learned to avoid writing jargon.  Mrs. Ermarth was also an excellent teacher of history.  Dr. Joe Hermanson and Dr. Skartvedt in chemistry were notable.

Playing violin in the newly organized orchestra under Professor Arne Koljonen as director and Robert Rischmiller ʼ48 as concert master was satisfying.  I remember the orchestra playing Grieg’s “The Last Spring” at the 1948 spring concert.  I continued orchestra involvement having played in the Idaho Falls Symphony and more recently the north Idaho Symphony.

One happy memory at Gustavus was when my roommate, Al Swanson and I and two others rode in Al’s model T−Ford convertible to Mankato to hear and see Nat King Cole.  This was early in his career.  We met in a high school gym and Nat had only a piano and bass player.

Greetings and well wishes again from north Idaho.  Wish I could have attended the reunion.  Best wishes, Ken Samuelson.

J. Stanley Benson

Marie Schafer Benson ʼ52 writes about Stan and classmates at our reunion:

Stan was so pleased that when we came together Friday evening, May 27 and noted classmates who were attending, Weldon Burchill was among them.  They had been roommates at GA in the Jess Miller house just below the college, Clarence Budke also lived there.  When Weldon left before graduating to head for dental school, Lloyd Stivers moved into his empty room there.  We had visited the Burchills when passing through Michigan six years ago and Stan had visited them several years previously.  So we were surprised to learn that Weldon’s wife died 10.10.10 last year.  Weldon continues to practice dentistry several days a week.

We invited Weldon to come to visit at our home that evening of May 27.  Later I brought him to his dorm on campus which he said was Sohre.  My first thought was that was on our south side of campus but I took him to another on the north side which also began with an S.  That is Sorensen.  I dropped off Weldon and went home.  It was a very quiet night with seniors about to graduate from GA in town.  It was too early for the bars to dispense them.  The next morning we met Weldon at breakfast and he told of his finding his way home to Sohre.  He could rouse no one in the three dorms on the north side although a female student was arriving and told him that Sohre was on the other end of the campus.  She went back to her car and brought Weldon to Sohre.  Is the moral of this story that 60 year reunion attenders are safe to taxi to their dorms?

Another thought that came to me at the reunion which I also have with other friends we have is the widowhood fact.  As many of our peer aged friends are widows and widowers as are couples.  So what does a group of octogenarians expect?

It was good news of the establishment of an endowment by the class of 1951 honoring class agent Dorothy Johnson Lutz.  It also gives incentive to complete the endowment in the months and years to come.

Milly Janzen Balzer

Milly came from Pennsylvania for the reunion after not visiting for 60 years.  She brought her book Heldin with her.  Many of us bought it from her and there are more copies available for sale at the Book Mark.  More than 60 years ago Milly became our dorm counselor when we were sophomores on one of the top floors of Wahlstrom Hall.  That was a mid-year change of counselors because it was the winter our counselor, Myrna Thorsell, married Ted Wolf ʼ50.  Milly stepped up to be counselor.

Stan has read Heldin and I am reading it now.  I relate to it because Milly was from Mountain Lake of the Mennonite Community and I was from 20 miles down the road at Lakefield of a conservative Lutheran background (LC-MS).

Milly’s husband had died less than a month previous to coming to the reunion.  Milly has also been having chemo for years which accounts for her light crowning glory.

Leslie Ann Nelson

Dear Dorothy, first, let me thank you for your wonderful, faithful service to the Class of ʼ51 over all these 60 years.  You are quite remarkable, to say the least.  Carl was always so proud of you and so happy to see you whenever we were on campus.

When I heard of the big weekend coming up this May, I resolved to attend and to give all Carl’s classmates a warm greeting.  He loved being a Gustie so very much.

Unfortunately, my mother had a stroke last May and is now in a nursing home in Florida.  Her 94th birthday is on May 27, so I am sure you will understand that I must return to be with her.

As to news, you have already mentioned the big event in my life this year, which makes me feel so very proud of Carl and his big generous nature−The American Swedish Institute groundbreaking which took place in April.  The new building which Carl dreamed of is finally underway, and will, indeed, have office space for Gustavus.

I will be on campus on May 21, for the Heritage Partnership Luncheon and hope to see you, Ray, and even Ellery Peterson ʼ49 at that time.  Sincerely, Leslie Ann Nelson

Clarence Budke

Dear Classmates,

It was wonderful to be able to hear Wayne Ripley’s voice again when he called in the last days.  Thanks Wayne!  It was also poignant to hear of the events which have taken place in his life, especially since Easter of last year when his beloved wife died.  That kind of message is shared more frequently these days within our Class of ʼ51, and certainly gives us all the more reason to thank our Lord for the incredible message of Easter.

I think the passing of time also gives us more reason to express our appreciation for the gifts which have been shared over the years by our class in such personal ways.  So it is certainly appropriate, Dorothy, to give recognition to your ongoing faithfulness in caring for our class newsletter over these years.  How special that has been!  And then there is your dedication to the beauty that music gives to our lives.  How wonderful that is!  Also, it was your father who allowed Stan Benson and myself to watch while he performed a cataract operation shortly before Stan and I left for Borneo.  How impressive, and appreciated, it was to see such surgery!

I mentioned Stan.  He is another especially remembered classmate, but he is more than that.  We grew up within a few miles of each other, first met when we were at WCSA (West Central School of Agriculture) in Morris, were then at Gustavus at the same time, roomed in the same house off campus the last two years at GA, and then went to British North Borneo together for mission work there.  Ruth (Larson ʼ52) and I had met at Gustavus, were engaged and a year later, after she had graduated, she came out to Borneo and we were married, with Stan as our Best Man at our wedding.  (You might want to ask him about his helpfulness in getting our luggage, and then us, to the boat to start our honeymoon.)  From there we went together with Stan to Tanganyika, East Africa where both of us were involved in work with the Masai.  Fascinating people, and wonderful work supervised by Dr. Richard Reusch.  I met Dr. Reusch when he was on sabbatical from the Masai work and was one of my teachers at Gustavus.  Stan was related to him by marriage.  What a privilege to share with special people in special work in such a special way!  And that privilege continued when Stan gave me the honor of being his Best Man when he and Marie [Schafer ʼ52] were married.  Since that time, Stan and I have gone to different seminaries.  He returned to the work in Africa, while I was first assigned to a parish (in Rushmore, MN) and then called to the highlands of Papua-New Guinea to work for about 10 years with people who often had never seen outsiders before and were making their transition from the Stone Age to 20th century before our eyes.  Another incredible privilege!

Since returning to the States in 1972, we first served a parish on the eastern shore of Maryland and then a parish here in North Carolina.  We retired from full time ministry in 1992, though continuing to serve part time until the end of June last year.  Our children are Susan, who has three children and is an NP and director of nursing at a hospital in Ottawa, Kansas; Beth, with one child and husband, is a compliance manager, at Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC; while Tim, with his wife and two small children, live in Florida.  He is a mechanical engineer, a major in the Air Force and is presently back from about 14 months with a small unit near Kandahar, in Afghanistan.

The journey in life since 1951 has been different for each of us, but for Ruth and myself Gustavus has been not only a major starting point, but more, an ongoing reference point and foundation for the life that our Lord has given us to live for Him.  Our class ranks are gradually getting thinner but the impact of a Christian college such as Gustavus is meant not only for our journey in time, but for eternity.  So, on our 60th anniversary, we cherish the journey which we have had together, and look forward to the future.  We send our warmest greetings.  Our Lord’s richest blessings!  Clarence and Ruth (Larson) Budke

Don Wulf

Dear Classmates:

Warmest Greetings!

I thank God and Gustavus for a great "launch" out into the world- its been an exciting adventure. I'm especially grateful to Gustavus for:

My wife Barbra Lunstead (Class of 1950) for 61 years of a happy and inspirational marriage!

My super wonderful roommates Ray Lundquist, the late Lloyd Mathews and Don Andrews who were all outstanding Role Models and Special Blessings and still are today!

All the good people at Gustavus, many thanks for enhancing our lives.

I'm not rich and famous but we do have precious and priceless four children and nine grandchildren- like many of you.

The following is shared because it is something everyone can do now while "our library is still open!"- "Write it down" as apart of your lasting Legacy.

Eleven years ago Barbara and I started sending (sayings) "Words of Wisdom" (WOWS) to our two grandsons in the Army and in Afghanistan everyday and still do now on a weekly basis. These "Words of Wisdom" total over 4,00 and along with inspirational articles total 280 pages. These WOWS are divided into the below six categories under the heading of "The Joy of an Extraordinary Life":

The Joy of an Extraordinary Mental Life

The Joy of an Extraordinary Physical Life

The Joy of an Extraordinary Spiritual Life

The Joy of an Extraordinary Family/Home Life

The Joy of an Extraordinary Friends/Social Life

The Joy of an Extraordinary Financial/Career Life

These have been compiled into six 1/2" loose leaf binders for easy additions. (U.S. Copyright Office states "Short phrases and slogans are not eligible for Gederal copyright protection).

We share these six books with family, friends and anyone interested- they are a "goldmine of valuable and inspirational information."

"Nothing you can desire compares to Wisdom!" -Proverbs 8:11.

Sorry we cannot make it to the banquet due to other commitments but still send our joy and appreciation of you. May God continue to Bless you and keep you.

Don Wulf