Class of '58
October 2009

Dear ’58ers,

Once again the time between letters reflects the procrastination talents of the writer.  Wait until summer is over?  Wait until the first snow?  Wait until the Twins are finally eliminated?  I managed to meet all of those deadlines!

My appeal last spring and summer for news brought results.  A number of you returned the news envelopes and so here we go.  STAN and Marlene LARSON hosted eight Gustavus choir members in April when the choir sang at their church in Eau Claire, WI.  Stan says “each of the choir members was an outstanding ambassador for the school.  Makes me even more proud to be a Gustavian!”  ROBBIE ROBINSON was named National Boys Track Coach of the year last year at the annual convention in Colorado Springs.  Congratulations!  After fifty years of teaching and coaching, Robbie came back to teach two English classes this year and to continue as head track coach.  Never say die!  BEV DUNCAN ANDERSON and Roger ’57 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 18th and are currently on a trip to the East Coast.  LYNN and JAN CARLSON STRAND also celebrated their 50th on August 8th with their children and grandchildren in Bozeman, MT.  The Strands spend part of the winter in Green Valley, AZ and part of the summer at their cabin north of Grand Rapids, MN.  They also mentioned that STEVE and Arlene HILDING celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in mid-August.

Passings.  As we gain in age into the mid-years of our seventies, we lose more of our classmates and spouses.  The last letter reported the deaths of LARRY RAY and BOB ORTLOFF.  JAMES MARSTON, husband of LOIS JUNGAS MARSTON passed away on March 26, after several years of battling Alzheimers.  Jim and Lois had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  Jim is survived by Lois, five children and 17, maybe 19 by now, grandchildren.  Lois now lives in Hugo after many years in Mountain Lake.

AARON MOEN wrote to me in May that his wife, Sharon, had been diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, a rare blood disease that strikes older people and is not curable.  She passed away on June 20th from complications of this rare form of leukemia.  Our sympathies to classmates Lois and Aaron.

We also mourn the passing of JUDITH HANSON TURNLUND on August 16 after a short bout with pancreatic cancer.  She is survived by Richard, her husband of 52 years, three sons, nine grandchildren and her sister Karen Hanson Shogren ’59.  After graduating from Gustavus summa cum laud, she earned a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in nutritional science and did 25 years of groundbreaking trace mineral stable isotope research at the USDA Regional Labs in California.  She received the Distinguished Alumni Citation from Gustavus in 1988.

DEAN FREDLUND reports from Salmon Arm, British Columbia that he has retired from teaching biology and geology.  He and Paula have traveled extensively in Spain and Portugal and they are enjoying their first grandchild, Malin, born last year.  Dean volunteers in Second Harvest and sings in Imaut Raminsch’s Aura Chamber Choir.  Thanks very much for your news note.

We are proud of two grandchildren who enrolled at Gustavus this fall.  Michael Janasz ’13, grandson of MARCIA (AMUNDSON) and CHET, comes to Gustavus from Benilde-St Margaret’s High School in St Louis Park.  Laura Grossmann ’13 comes from Minnetonka and is the granddaughter of WANDA HEUER JOHNSON.  She joins both grandparents as well as two uncles and other relatives.  Joy for an old Admissions person!

Congratulations to BUD BOBERG for receiving the “Skipper of the Year” Award from Minnetonka High School on June 10.  Earlier he had received the “Spinnaker Award” for his 20 years of volunteer service at the high school.  The award reads “Bud’s dedication and caring for Minnetonka students is unmatched.  A 20-year volunteer, Bud works with kids in support groups, provides transportation to medical appointments and meets with families during times of need.  As director of non-profit Family Friends, Bud aids families in meeting basic needs during crisis and helping them to get back on their feet.  Bud is also a member of the MHS Crisis Team, the Student Attendance Review Board and is a chaplain with the Minnetonka Police Department.  A foster parent to many students, Bud’s connections in the community and his kindness and devotion to kids and families have earned him the respect and trust of the students, staff and families through the Minnetonka School District community.”  Bud joined his son, Karl, in being part of the 2009 commencement honor guard.  A most impressive summary of Bud’s volunteer work in Minnetonka.  Bravo!

ANDERS BJORLING had a photography exhibit at the Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder, MN this summer.  He owes me some details from his photography trip to Africa earlier this year.  DENNIS and Mary ERICKSON spent part of January and February skiing in Idaho and Colorado, took a 10-day trip to Hawaii in March and returned to Arkansas in April where they again spent the month volunteering at the Heifer International Ranch.

Good to see these classmates from St Peter out and about!  MARLYS JOHNSON JOHNSON doesn’t always tell me of her travels, but I do know she is on the Executive Committee of the Gustavus Library Associates Board and led the work to develop a strategic plan that will give the Board a clearer purpose and direction for the next three years in their mission―to promote literature, learning and the Folke Bernadotte Library.

I took a break in the midst of writing to have a glass of wine.  We will see if the letter improves.

A bit of joy from JEANETTE WESTBERG JOHNSTON follows:  “Is there such a thing as being in a class by yourself?  That’s ME!  I just got back from my actual class reunion (1959).  I was at the 58th last year because I started with all of you, but stayed out for a year and worked.  I told you all about that last year when I made a fool of myself (NO!) with that blue Styrofoam kind of a crown.  (I have pictures of myself with CAROLYN LUND SANDVIG with my cane.  Now, next year 2010, is Scooter’s (’60) 50th reunion.  Will we make it?  Who knows?  If am able to go, I’ll be very prim and proper, fat chance, so Scooter won’t be embarrassed.  Both reunions were wonderful! I just laughed and cried until the tears ran down my legs!”  The Johnstons live in Moscow, ID and have five grandchildren.

Editor’s note:  I have tried to convince several people who started with us and took a year off to work to come back to the class of 1958.  ELAINE TORREY HOLMEN and HARVEY KIENHOLZ have resisted my offers, but now I understand that MARLO PUTZ has decided to return home from the class of 1959.  Welcome Marlo!

Paul and MARGO PETTERSEN FOHS were at Wartburg Seminary’s Academy of the Rockies in June for continuing education.  They also did some hiking in Estes Park.  CAROL LUND GARONE had a big spring and summer of celebrations.  They included a wedding of her grandchild, Jessica, to Dan from Australia and high school graduations of grandson Marc, who will be attending Bucknell and granddaughter, Linnea, who will be attending Mt. St. Mary’s.  Her daughter, Laura, also got an MBA from St. Mary’s.  MARLENE ISENSEE THOMAS continues to live in Littleton, CO and cares for her husband, John, who has Parkinson’s.  DOROTHY PALM CHILKOTT and her daughter, Andrea, cruised the Mediterranean in mid-June.

A number of classmates attended the class of 1959 reunion with their spouses.  I saw PAUL BORG, DON ELVESTROM, BEVERLY GUSTAFSON AKERMARK, ALAN CARLSON, and may have missed some others.  Paul spent some time visiting with BOB PETERSON, who lives at Pheasant Ridge, an assisted living center in St Peter.  Bob remains his optimistic self and sends his greetings to you.  You can reach him by writing to his home:  1215 Rockbend Pkwy., St Peter, MN  56082.  NOEL BEHNE continues with First Community Bank in Albuquerque on a part-time basis.  He also served as a Team Captain on the University of New Mexico Lobo Fund Drive. He also serves on about ten community boards and committees including two Indian business development boards, where he enjoys seeing the fruits of the committee’s encouragement.

I reported last spring that JOYCE STRAND MARVEL has moved to Texas where she is in the midst of “unpacking and repacking for charities, trying to figure out how to run the sprinkler system, stabilizing the maintenance of two houses, dealing with refinance, selling the house in St. Louis, finding new doctors and babysitting.”  And she made her gift to the Annual Fund on time!

DR ALEX NADESAN lectured on the historical and current influence of religions on culture in Southeast Asia where he examined the introduction, growth and eventual fall of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in Indonesia as well as the rise of Islam in his native country.  He described the historical remnants of various fallen empires in Indonesia, the influence of cultures from India, the coming of Islam, colonialism and the co-mingling of religions and how the diversity created conflict and prevented unity for the population.  Alex is a professor emeritus at Bemidji State University.  Pat (Rasche ’59) and JIM McPHERSON visited Phyllis and HERBERT ANDERSON in California in May when Jim was presenting several lectures.  Herbert was in Minneapolis for the Churchwide convention of the ELCA this summer.  The Andersons will soon celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.

DON and Ginny OLSON winter in southern California, Palm Desert, I believe.  MIM ANDERSON OLSEN decided a full year in Texas might be too much and so she purchased a condo in Little Falls.  MARY ELLEN YOUNG is recovering from hip surgery, not quite ready to play golf, but her therapy is allowing her to get back on the highways of Jacksonville, FL.  HEATHER PETERSON DAVIS-PEABODY continues her courageous battle against lung cancer with her always positive outlook.  CAROLYN LUND SANDVIG tells me Heather looks great, and I say, when did she not look great? 

RON and Marilyn MICHELSON are moving to Alaska next spring.  “The great State of California has gotten way to politically correct for this REFORMED liberal.  As far as I can tell there is no one in this state that is willing to discuss politics or religion (my two favorite subjects for debate) without first determining whether or not you agree with them.  I find little to learn from people who agree with me.  So―where to go?

Since humidity, bugs and extreme heat are not our cup of tea, we first considered Oregon, but that’s like California on steroids.  We thought about Idaho, but that didn’t seem to fit either.  We thought about returning to Minnesota, but after you guys elected Al Franken, we decided no.  So we have settled on Alaska and come heck or high water, we are moving to Wasilla or Palmer next May.  Our friends say, old people don’t move to Alaska and we say “precisely.”  Ron’s first visit to Alaska was 50 years ago and he considered staying at that time.  He and Marilyn are dog people and are excited about spending more time learning about the country.

I recruited students for Gustavus in Alaska for ten years in the nineties.  I loved meeting the refreshing people and learned much about their backgrounds, since almost everyone came from somewhere in the “lower 48.”

They are well traveled, opinionated and open to new opportunities.  We had about 30 students from Alaska at Gustavus at one time and I still run into some of them who always make me happy by saying they are one of my Alaskans.  We will have to hear more from Ron in the coming year.  Yes, and Wasilla is the Palin home.

I asked ROLLIE HIRMAN to write the following describing some of their experience in driving from their winter home in Pine Island, FL to their lake home near Outing, MN.  They traveled by motor coach and decided this spring to take an East Coast trip off the freeway.  Rollie allowed me some editing to fit this class letter.

THE LONG WAY HOME

We started our trip meeting friends and relatives in Melbourne (FL), and Jacksonville, Savanah and visiting Charleston and Myrtle Beach.  Each day Mary would call ahead to a campground and arrange for an overnight.  One day we had driven longer that our usual 200 miles and called ahead later than usual.  After several calls, she found one that could accommodate our “big rig,” a 40’ coach pulling a trailer loaded with a car.  The lady at the campground stated that if we arrived after 8 p.m., she would be in the barn with the band, but she would keep an eye out for us.  After driving further and further back into the woods on a one-lane road, we found the campground and were invited to come and listen to the music.  When we went into the barn, there was a 12-piece band of ol’white-tops playing beautiful dance music and about 40 people enjoying the music and dancing the 2-step.  Our camp lady was the singer and she had the most beautiful deep voice, singing gospel and country music.  There was no alcohol or smoking in the barn and everyone had a great time.

After visiting our son and his family in Williamsburg, we moved to Fredericksburg, VA where I had rented a beautiful brick home during my Marine Officer’s training.  It was built in 1812 and now is on the National Registry of homes.  I mentioned to an antique shop owner that I had briefly lived there and in a certain house.  She encouraged us to contact the owner and ask if we might see the home, which had been meticulously restored.  It was a special treat to get a tour of the home.  The owner had taken the paint off the dining room walls to the original layer; had it chemically analyzed and reproduced with the same pigments, colors, etc.  She had the living room hand-painted wallpaper (which was imported from France with a mural of the Seine River) reproduced on canvas at $7,000 a roll.  Lastly, she had just sold the home the week before for $2M to descendents of the original owner, who wanted to preserve it as a family heirloom.

We toured the Civil War battlefields in Fredericksburg and also visited Quantico Marine Base and the new Marine Corps Museum.  The latter has exhibits of all of the battles in all the wars in the history of the Marines and our Country.  The next day we toured Washington, D.C. including Arlington Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial, Ford Theatre, Washington Monument, Vietnam Wall, etc.  Our trip home took 22 days and ended by driving through the Pocono Mountains, the Amish country and finally the Midwest.

The Advancement Office at Gustavus supplied me the latest numbers on our reunion projects.  We have raised $51,594 for our 1958 Class Scholarship and have $42,225 in outstanding pledges.  Many classmates made three-year pledges, but some made five, so I am confident we will ultimately reach $100,000 for our scholarship.

The Christ Chapel Accessibility, honoring BARBARA ANDREWS, has reached $37,410 with outstanding pledges of $8,175.  I hope those pledges will be paid this year.  Now for the amazing news!  An anonymous donor has made a bequest of $165,000 to the chapel project!  While this money will not be available immediately, it does bring the total to over $200,000.  WOW!  I hope the new Commission Gustavus 150 gives serious thought to this project.  And thanks again to CAROLYN CLOGSTON ENGQUIST and PAT TRENCH ROSENBERG for their early support.

I try to list all of the donors in a class letter and to the best of my record system, here are the donors from April 16 to May 31 last year.  Our class total for the first year after the reunion was 116 donors for 63.4% participation and a total giving of $50,487.  We ranked third in our decade for amount given and participation.

BEVERLY DUNCAN ANDERSON, HERBERT ANDERSON, LEE ANDERSON, WESTEN ANDERSON, VAHAN ASSADOURIAN, BOB BAUGH, NOEL BEHNE, BILL BINGER, ELLEN MAUS BOLER, PAUL BORG, KAREN MATTSON BRUNING, ALAN CARLSON, DOROTHY PALM CHILKOTT, CHARLES CLEMENTS, JAMES CONE, MARTHA BANKE CURTIS, MIKE DALE, LOREN ECKBERG, DON ELVESTROM, CAROLYN CLOGSTON ENGQUIST, DENNIS ERICKSON, MARGO PETTERSEN FOHS, CAROL LUND GARONE, MYRTICE JOSTAD HANEY, STEPHEN HILDING, ROLLIE HIRMAN, MERYL NELSON JESSEN, JOHN JOHNSON, LOIS WALFRID JOHNSON, MARLYS JOHNSON JOHNSON, WANDA HEUER JOHNSON, JEANETTE WESTBERG JOHNSTON, MARGE LUND KINNEY, LINDA ECKBLAD KNOCHENMUS, STAN LARSON, ROBERTA WALKER LORENO, RUTH PEIKERT MADDOX, LOIS JUNGAS MARSTON, JOYCE STRAND MARVEL, CLAUDETTE ANDERSON MC COLLAR, JIM McPHERSON, RON MICHELSON, AARON MOEN, BARBARA JOHNSON MORRIS, LEROY MUELLER, KEN NELSON, DALE NOYED, MIM ANDERSON OLSEN, DON OLSON, RICHARD OLSON, PATRICIA MILLER PETERSON, BOB PETERSON, JANET (THOMAS) and DOUG PRITCHARD, OWEN SAMMELSON, LENIDA JEPSON SANDAHL, CAROLYN LUND SANDVIG, HELEN MAGNUSON SCHULZ, MARILYN CARLSON SHERMAN, DICK SODERGREN, DONNA (ELVESTROM) and ADE SPONBERG, LYNN and JANICE (CARLSON) STRAND, SONYA (HARBO)and DUANE TALUS, SALLY CLAUSEN TAYLOR, MARLENE ISENSEE THOMAS, MORNA PELL TRAFFAS, JUDITH HANSON TURNLUND, CHAR BUKKILA WESTRUM, MARK WIBERG, MARLENE HAUGEN WIDMARK and MARY ELLEN YOUNG.

And final thoughts and heartfelt thanks for our reunion by LOIS WALFRID JOHNSON

Thanks to all of you who made our 50th reunion so memorable.  That includes you, Anders, and your incredibly beautiful photos.  You, Marlys, for your fine editing of the reunion booklet.  And to the writers of the class letter who gave us the words that Herbert spoke at the memorial service so we could read them again.  We needed those words, Herbert.  We always need to remember the value of friends and classmates who have been among us.  You helped us to remember in such wise and stirring ways.  Your thoughts, Mark’s part, and the entire service were deeply moving for us.

It was heartwarming to visit with many of you.  Isn’t it fun to be able to just take up where we left off, sometimes 50 years ago?  It says a lot of what we have in common.  It also shows the caring that we have had for one another.  It’s awesome when that caring can bridge the gap of 50 years.

I am especially glad that I was able to talk with Wanda and Lloyd Johnson at the Saturday morning breakfast.  Wanda was my roomie senior year and Lloyd the person who always knew more Swedish than I did.  We join you, Wanda, in being grateful for the years you and Lloyd had together.  Our prayers for you and your family.

People often ask, “Lois, are you still writing?”  I think that authors are probably the poorest retirees there are.  We keep going on and on and on, as long as we have health.  Since reunion, a publisher has been preparing my 10 Adventures of the Northwoods novels to come out in new covers.  I just finished “Girl Talk:  52 Weekly Devotions” a guide to life for pre-teen  readers.  I find it really humbling to be an author.  I hope all of you can sense a similar reward from whatever kind of work you have done for the years.

And so another class letter ends.  This is Carolyn’s 11th year as a class agent and my 43rd and of course we don’t want to forget the 31 years that BOB PETERSON contributed.  Below is a picture of Bob and Sam taken at the reunion.  I hope more of you will find time to send us news, thoughts, or opinions for the next class letter.  There are many interesting people and stories in our class.  We would enjoy hearing from you.

sam

BLESS YOU ALL!

OWEN SAMMELSON

CAROLYN  LUND SANDVIG

Photo collage from reunion

Campus News

Gustavus gets High Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College is listed as the 33rd best liberal arts college in the country according to a new set of college rankings released on Thursday, September 3, by Washington Monthly magazine.  The publication states on its website that schools were ranked based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories:  social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Gustavus once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings.  Gustavus moved up eight places from last year’s rankings to 80th on the magazine’s “Best Liberal Arts College’s” list.  Gustavus is one of six Minnesota colleges that placed in the top 100 in this year’s rankings.  One of the measures used to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college is alumni giving percentage; therefore, participating in a giving program at Gustavus, regardless of amount given, is important to the College.

GLA Membership

All of us remember the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  It was a place for study and, depending on your era, finding a “coffee date.”  But, in the 21st century, it has become much more.  It is a technology-rich laboratory for learning and a storehouse of culture and recorded knowledge.  It must constantly be strengthened to ensure excellence in education.  The Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) provides financial support for the library and a program of events to its members.  Join this year and immediately make a difference.  Whatever membership gift level you choose, 100% goes directly to the library’s acquisition budget.  Join today at www.gustavus.edu/GLA!!!

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Upcoming speakers:  Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80 – Nov. 18, Thomas Young ’88 – Dec. 16.

Upcoming Events

  • Gustavus Library Associates – A Royal Affair – November 14, 2009
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – December 4-6, 2009.
  • Festival of St. Lucia – December 10, 2009.
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12

royal affair