Class of '56
March 2001

March 2001

Dear Classmates,

Time for another late and lengthy letter to all of you, North, East, West, and South, or in other words, NEWS. Our class reunion, the 45th, is scheduled for this year, September 21 and 22, at Homecoming. Those that have answered and sent in our Class of ’56 Questionnaire, thanks! They are really fun to read. Hopefully, they will help make our reunion interesting. Remember, of course, none of this will be recorded, saved, or used against you in a court of law. Hmmm! Sounds a little like our last election! Seriously, thanks! Many of you went to some length to get this done. I think this, for me, has been the most rewarding part of being your class agent these last two years. Now, those of you that still know the whereabouts of the ’56 Questionnaire, fill it out and get it in!! If you choose not to, no one will know but me!! Just make a good effort to make the reunion.

Now for news: I know many of you know of Pat Tillberg Hasselmo's death on December 30, 2000. She was Dean of Women at Gustavus from 1954 to 1956. Dick Faust, Class of ’55, died February 9, 2001 in Lawrence, Kansas.

The Alumni Board of Directors named the Alumni Association Award recipients. These are:

Greater Gustavus Award

Richard Q. Elvee - Served as chaplain of the college from 1962-2000, creative leader of Christmas in Christ Chapel 1972-2000, and director of Nobel Conference 1981-2000.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:

Mary Nielsen Allan ’65, Pleasant Hill CA, elementary teacher, Jack London Elementary, Antioch, CA, California Teacher of the Year.

Ivy Schutz Bernhardson '73, Bloomington, MN, head of mergers and acquisitions, Leonard, Street, and Deinard.

David Esbjornson '75, New York, NY, theater director and playwright.

First Decade Awards:

Philip Hotchkiss, Minneapolis, MN, president & CEO, BigCharts Inc.

Stacy Vezina, Boston, MA, attorney, Ropes & Gray.

Yes, we still have Phonorama and these dates are March 5, 6, and 7 at Deli Express in Eden Prairie; March 12, 13, and 15 at Alliant Foodservice in Eagan. Call a friend to go with you one of those evenings, then call more friends, your classmates. It's fun and it is necessary! Our class does well collecting the dollars!! But not as well with percentage of participation. It would be another feather in our hats if we could do a little better in the percentage category.

6/1/00 - 2/26/01

Class

Total Donors

Total Class Credit

Class participation

2000

31

$1,130.00

4.90%

1999

40

$2,420.00

7.00%

1998

40

$1,615.50

7.70%

1997

58

$3,777.00

10.30%

1996

76

$5,627.50

15.00%

1995

70

$2,582.23

13.50%

1994

61

$3,462.50

13.00%

1993

88

$7,668.50

17.70%

1992

103

$8,628.50

20.20%

1991

107

$20,625.00

19.20%

1986

88

$8,925.38

19.00%

1981

90

$14,375.74

21.10%

1976

88

$23,842.88

22.20%

1971

75

$40,599.71

21.00%

1966

60

$153,057.11

25.00%

1961

110

$67,726.41

50.70%

1956

69

$574,104.45

41.30%

1951

106

$47,394.28

42.10%

1946

33

$64,885.50

44.00%

Total

1393

$1,052,448.19

17.53%

Lynn Carlson, retired, does a ton of volunteer work: a board member of Wisconsin Hospital Volunteers, works with Lutheran Teens Athletic Association of which he was past President and one of the founders back in the 1960s. Lynn was a wrestler at Gustavus, but has now taken interest in Lutheran College Basketball Tournaments. Lynn is residing in Beaver Dam, WI.

Alden Backman has been retired since 1995 continuing to do interim pastor work in and around the Alexandria area. It's good to hear from you, Alden. Thanks for the news!

Joan (Jody) Lindall lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Jody retired as executive director of Help Clinic House after 25 years of intelligent and caring work for this unique community agency that offers comprehensive social services to those in need. Congratulations, Jody! I know you were much appreciated by those that supported this program and of course by those you and your group served.

Ruth Chell Oliphant retired from teaching elementary vocal music at the Wayzata Public Schools this last June. She still directs three children's choirs in her Normandale Lutheran Church but, nevertheless, she and Bob will have time to visit son, Jon (’91Gustavus graduate) in China. Jon is a manager of six Chinese shoe factories. It sounds like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree--Ruth had enough choirs for several people to direct.

Charmaine Nelson Flen is retired and volunteering, like so many of us. She acts as a coach for Senior Net Computer Learning Center, is a member of SCORE, and is a member of a nursing home auxiliary group. The diversity of these groups is very enjoyable for Charmaine.

Faith Walfrid Lindell and husband, Carl, retired last year from active service as overseas missionaries. They seem to be a bit unusual in that they served under four different mission boards for the same position: NCL National Lutheran Council, ULCA United Lutheran Church of America, LCA Lutheran Church of America, and ELCA Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I thought ULCA was a basketball power, or was that UCLA? Nevertheless, a bit unusual--25 years in Tanzania and Ghana--many thanks to both of you!

Jim and Lou (Gesme) Chell have retired as Canadians, living in Hinton, Alberta. Lou has an Art Studio in their home and Jim, a Cannon Falls native, does wood working and trains horses on their acreage near Hinton. All eight grandchildren are near enough to enjoy grandparents' activities.

Charles (Dewey) Parish--Dewey, it is always good to get your news, especially this one. Dewey replaced both knees at the same time. How did you make that decision? I, too, will replace knees this year-but one at a time.

Dewey's Old "G" Flats Quartet got together, in Florida, in January with Phil Knautz ’48, Paul ’57 and Jan Brostrom, Bob ’57 and Marti (Dahlquist ’58) Sotebeer, and, of course, Pat Parish. They sang for four days with a gig in front of some Minnesota snowbirds. Dewey said, "Hey, we sounded pretty good!" I've never doubted anything you've ever done, Dewey-with the exception of doing both knees at once!!

Short Notes and Whereabouts:

Chuck Ledin, Hutchinson, KS; retired from ministry.

George Hieber, Monroe, WA; Hieber & Associates Environmental Consultants.

Jim Carlstedt Santa Monica, CA; self-employed teaching, computer science.

Laura Lundorff McMichael, Pullman, WA; semi-retired, Palouse Pottery.

Charles Kindgren, Faribault, MN; retired library media specialist.

Mimi Johnson Eisele, Grand Rapids, MN; traveling to Wales and genealogy research in Sweden.

Dick Derauf, Madison, WI; got a hole-in-one, an event that gifted two tickets to Germany. Nancy (Irgens ’57) gets to go along!

Charles Haney, Portland, OR, retired after 24 years at First Immanuel Lutheran.

Well, that's it. Our next late class letter should be in May, hopefully early May! Close of the Gustavus Fund Year is May 31, 2001. In closing, rememberĀ¾ we've all missed a school bus. We've missed a meeting or two. Some of us missed a basket now and then and for sure, have missed a point. We've all missed enough things in life to know better than to make a big deal about them. But missing our class reunion, well now, that's serious!!

Ā Bob Erdman

1956 Class Agent