Class of '57
Happy New Year! Ours was actually cold with lots of snow―the way things are supposed to be in Minnesota this time of the year. We have had some warm weather so we are in need of a new snow cover that I think we will have before you get this letter.
I had an email from Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey today that reminded me that I had better get going. Also, I read obituaries, and today there was another one that I know ―and so do you. Jan Neidt Bjorling ’58 died on January 4. She fought cancer for several years and she finally lost. We will all miss her in her wonderful store, Swedish Kontur, that she and her husband, Anders ’58, ran in St. Peter.
We did not get down to Christmas in Christ Chapel this year, but reports said it was very good. I did go to St. Lucia Day. I always tell you how much fun it is, but this year was really something special. St. Lucia this year was the granddaughter of Connie Wold Rome. Her name is Katelyn Johnson ’10 and she grew up in Texas, but came back here to be a 4th generation Gustie. Her great-grandma was a Gustie with Clem’s mother, Connie is our classmate, her Mom, Kelly Rome Johnson ’84 was here with our son Craig ’84. She and her sister Amy Rome (also a Gustie ’88) were up for the festivities and they recognized me without even a nametag!
Many friends were there as well, but when I start naming names, I know I will miss someone, please forgive me in advance―Sharon Johnson Eddy was there (Her daughter was St. Lucia at Gustavus too―Sharon said she couldn’t even get there that day because there was a horrendous snowstorm!). I also saw John “Buddy” and Nancy (Johnson ’58) Peterson, and from some other classes Diana Pool Scheff ’55, Pat Johnson Hall ’55, Janet Ford Schramm ’55, Joan Bonn Wright ’55, Marlys Johnson Johnson ’58, and my mind has quit working. The program was fun. Brian Wicklund, (a Gustie ’87) whose father was registrar at Gustavus, brought his wife, Cynthia Anderson Wicklund (a Gustie ’87) and their three children and they put on a great show of fiddle playing, banjo playing, clogging, singing, and more. He related that, yes, he had been a Lucia “star boy” in his time. Really, if you have never been, it is a very nice day. We already know that actor/playwright, Kevin Kling ’79 will be next year’s entertainment. The date is always the first Thursday after the first weekend of December.
Clem and I went down to St. Peter in December for the celebration of Hildur Anderson Swenson’s 100th birthday party! Turns out she is an aunt of Gary Gustafson and he was there too. He looked so good. Could not even tell how sick he had been at the time of our 50th reunion! If I can be like Hildur at 100 (she is also a Gustie, class of 1930) it would be great. She still lives in her own home!!
Since our reunion, both Glenn and Lois (Larson) Mauston have had health problems, but I am happy to report that both are on the mend. Maybe we will see them in four years at our 55th!
The first part of November, Clem and I went to a retirement party for Bill Johnson.
It was a very nice affair. Bill looked like he was ready to strap on the hockey skates and take off!! He is recuperating nicely. I don’t mind telling you that it is very strange to have a different guy messing around in my mouth! Ha!
I don’t know how many of you remember a fellow named Charlie Anderson. He was from the class of ’51 but spent some time on campus when we were freshman helping Dick Brubacher ’54 with freshman football―I think. Anyhow, he was a very shirttail relative of Clem’s so we went to the funeral. What fun. There were so many Gusties there. We started talking to the couple in front of us in line for lunch―it was Earl Leaf―Glenn’s brother―but when he said he thought he knew me―I told him, “yes, you recruited me for GAC and had dinner at my Mom’s dining room table!” How about that!!! I have not seen him since, that I know of. I also saw Barb Blomquist Carlson who lived in my section our freshman year. She was Charlie’s first cousin. I knew that and was kind of looking for her. It was fun to catch up.
Nancy Reiter Grimes and Vada Peterson Carlson had a wonderful trip to Viet Nam. They were gone for about three weeks!
Beverly Bloomquist Todaro and husband, Joe, have completed their move to the state of Washington. They are staying in a rental home while they are building one of their own. Sounds like they are enjoying it so far.
Arne Walker sent us some photos of our reunion. He and his wife, Connie, had really enjoyed it. So much that they were planning to come back for Christmas in Christ Chapel and bring a grandchild too. Are you “brainwashing” to get another Gustie in the family? Ha! Anyhow, I told him that he will have to report about this year’s celebration.
The following news was sent from the Alumni Office. As you can see―we need lots more, or you just have to read my ramblings! HELP!
Ramona Lovold Hawkinson has retired from teaching. It was great to see you at the reunion Mona, but you didn’t stay very long! Mary Kendall Dick has retired, but she continues to teach private voice and she coaches barbershop quartets and I think does some work with choruses too. She just doesn’t direct City of Lakes anymore. Carol Lindig has retired, but she doesn’t say from where. William Morton has retired from the University of Minnesota where he was an applications programmer.
Okay—that’s it! Oh well! If my friends won’t mind, I will share some of the news I received via Christmas cards. (You can bawl me out later!!!)
It was fun getting so many pictures of 50th wedding anniversary celebrations this year. Many of us did that this year.
Gary and Joyce Kirkvold Knoll celebrated with family. This year they have begun a new venture―they are part of the “kinship program” in which they mentor a young Native American boy named Tyrell. He has no parents and lives in a Foster Home. Knolls try to spend one day a week with him and also find group activities with him. Ann Russell Johnson has moved into a new house in Texas. They have been busy landscaping, painting, etc.
My old “roomie” Phyllis Holmberg Olsson just can’t retire! She is still working part-time for the University of Minnesota. (Clem can’t either—retire that is!) She and Bill have taken several nice trips this year though. They drove to Florida last winter at a leisurely pace and saw a lot along the way. Bob ’56 and Bette Kocourek Villesvik celebrated 50 years last summer. They had all the kids there and a great time.
Barbara Carlson Glenzinski comes to our church once in awhile because her daughter is a member. She promises to wave at me as Clem and I sing in the choir. Marilyn “Marcy” Rhyne Herr just had another grandchild. She has just become president of the local tennis club. (I wish I were coordinated!)
Well friends, that concludes the saga for this time. Nancy may have something to add so there may be more!
I am BEGGING on my hands and knees—PLEASE SEND US SOME NEWS!!! I’m including my email so it really won’t be so hard!
Your classmate―looking for news,
Marlys Mattson Nelson
1957 Co-class Agent
It is cold in Minnesota right now. If you are basking in sunshine someplace, I will tell you that this winter is like the ones that we grew up in. Remember when we used to walk five miles through waist high drifts to get to school (just kidding). There is a lot of snow and the temps are supposed to dip below zero this week. It has been very different from the past few winters. I guess it is okay, but I am heading for Florida and California next week. I think I have picked a couple of good weeks to be away.
Marlys has taken care of the news that was sent in to Gustavus. I can glean a few tidbits from Christmas letters and will share them with you. Marlys told you about Beverly Bloomquist Todaro’s move to the state of Washington. She and husband Joe are building a house in Lacy, near Olympia. They are now much closer to their daughter in Utah and son in Washington. Phyllis Fox Paulson and husband Don did a mission trip to Mexico early in the year and then took a trip to China in the fall. On their way home, they had the good fortune to meet up with their son-in-law and daughter and their new Korean grandchild in Tokyo. All enjoyed the opportunity to get acquainted on the long ride home. Marlys did not tell you that she and Clem and their whole family took a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Marlys still directs the Larks choral group, and plays in the bell choir at her church. She’s also in two knitting groups and a Red Hat group. So much for retirement!
Carol Rylander Farrell celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with husband, Jim, with a motor coach and train tour of French Canada. She also cheered hard and her Rockies won the National League pennant this year. I always eagerly await her Christmas card. She is quite a renowned watercolor artist and her card always has a reproduction of one of her paintings on the front. Sue Soldin Thorsheim continues to live in New Jersey. One son lives near her and the other in Connecticut so she is able to see them often. Both sons work in New York City. Vada Peterson Carlson and I did take the fall trip that Marlys referenced. It was our fifth time in Thailand, second time in Viet Nam, and first time in Cambodia. We went with Overseas Adventure Travel, which is a wonderful company. The groups are small (15) and the pace is rigorous, but you do see and do an awful lot of things in a relatively short time. We left on October 19 and returned on November 12. We were in floods in Hoi An and encountered incredible mudslides on the road to Da Lat. Well, they do call it “adventure travel.”
During our class reunion, I talked with “Buddy Pete” about an article that was in a historical book about the Chisago area. He sent me a copy of the paragraph that talked about his relatives and their journey to Gustavus. It is very interesting and I am reproducing it for your enjoyment.
The fall of 1899 saw eight young men from the Chisago City area leave for Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Two of them are Edward Peterson and Henry Peterson Linner. (Henry is Bud’s great uncle and Edward is his grandfather); the others are Charlie Palmquist, Henry Quist, Oscar Piehl, A. Rolins, Axel Shoberg and George Noren (also Bud’s grandfather). I often wondered how eight farm boys could arrange or afford this so I asked George Noren who is still living at 105. He replied, “Rooms were hard to find as most of them were taken up, so we rented accommodations with cooking facilities in the asylum. We took turns cooking and buying groceries. Bread was 5 cents a loaf; day-old sold 7 loaves for 25 cents. We bought butchered pigs from a farmer for 5 cents a pound. George cut it up and salted it down in a 30 gallon Red Wing crock jar they bought in a local hardware store for $2. In the spring when school was out, they returned the crock and got their $2 back. Oscar was always hungary, and it was like filling up a silo.”
Those prices are even cheaper than when we were at GAC! Thanks, Buddy, for sharing with us. Have a wonderful winter season wherever you happen to be.
Nancy Reiter Grimes
1957 Co-class Agent
Forensics Team Continues Excellence
The Gustavus forensics team continues the tradition of excellence, with major team and individual wins this season. Last season the team ranked in the top 20, which is impressive since 14 of the top 20 schools are “Division I” schools that have more funding and more coaching staff. While many schools have several full-time forensics coaches, the Gustavus coach also is a full-time professor. So a unique aspect of the Gustavus program is the team meets weekly for peer coaching, a technique the team has found to be very successful.
Gustavus Dancing With the Profs
Inspired by the popular television show Dancing with the Stars, a standing room only crowd of students, faculty, and St. Peter community members filled Alumni Hall on November 2 to watch Gustavus students and faculty/staff members swing dance to raise money for the St. Peter United Way. The event, “Dancing with the Profs 2,” featured six teams of one Gustavus student and one faculty/staff member. In preparation for the evening competition, the Gustavus Swing Club gave the teams dance lessons, while members of GAC-TV documented the learning to provide a video showcase on each couple.
Alumni Insurance Programs
The Alumni Association sponsors insurance products for alumni, spouses, children, and parents. Products include life insurance, auto, home and renters insurance, and short-term medical insurance to fill temporary needs of new alumni without insurance after graduation and others who may have gaps due to unemployment. For information about life and short-term medical insurance, call 800-635-7801. For information about auto, home, and renters insurance, call: 800-524-9400, (800-328-0705, ext. 552 in the Greater Twin Cities area).
Gustavus Music Showcase
The three international touring music ensembles at Gustavus Adolphus College — The Gustavus Choir, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra — will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Tickets for the concert are on sale through the Orchestra Hall box office and may be purchased in-person, online at: www.minnesotaorchestra.org/boxoffice/, and via fax or phone at 612-371-5656. Tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for children ages 6-18 and current Gustavus students with a valid I.D.
College Relations blog
Gustavus College Relations staff has introduced a new blog that will offer commentary and news on a variety of topics pertinent to the campus community as well as some photography, video, and audio content. During the month of January the blog will feature the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra’s China tour and observations on several January Interim classes. The new blog can be read at: www.collegerelations.blog.gustavus.edu.
Men's tennis coach Steve Wilkinson has been named the national winner of the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Campus Recreation Award. This awards program, which began in 2003, was open to more than 2,000 ITA head and assistant coaches at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA and junior/community college levels. Senior goaltender Trevor Brown became the first men's soccer player in Gustavus history to be named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Men’s Soccer Team as released by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Upcoming Alumni Events
- Gustavus Gathering in Phoenix/Sun City, AZ - Jan. 20
- Gustavus Gathering in Tucson, AZ - Jan 22.
For more information on alumni events, go to: gustavus.edu/alumni/events