Class of '62
January 2000

Dear ’62 Classmates,

We’re in the big year—a new millennium, and for many, the big 60 milestone. Won’t you please think of Gustavus and its wonderful people and jot a note about yourselves, your thoughts, your means of coping with age, your millennium or birthday celebrations, your kids, your dreams, your retirement activities…whatever? Give me meat so I can compose a letter without begging for more. We haven’t heard from so many of you for so long, so please do give us some details of what you were and what you’ve become. I would be so delighted if anyone would send an autobiographical sketch again. Many commented on how interesting the reviews were, but I do get bored with begging. All of you who haven’t added anything—MAKE MY DAY! Send info with your gifts to Gustavus, e-mail me at janm@kmbltd.com or send it to me at 7102 Center Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55346.

Have you given back to your Alma Mater lately? As of December 20, 61 out of our 236 class members had given a gift for this fund year, which will close in May. We’re not setting any records so far with this participation. Make this your year!

The bits and pieces of your classmates:

Dennis L. Anderson of Duluth has now stepped down as chair of humanities at the College of St. Scholastica, but he is still the history chair and professor of history there. He is looking forward to a sabbatical leave in 2000-01 that he will spend in England.

Char (Luecke ’63) and John Engstrom write that they have been residents of Seattle for six years, the last three and a half of which they have enjoyed living on their boat, which is a 57 foot 1969 Chris Craft cruiser. They are very near downtown Seattle on Lake Union. John is the pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church of downtown Seattle, a congregation celebrating its 115th anniversary in 2000. On "G.I.V.E. Day" (Oct. 9, 1999) they and about 20 Gustie alumni made soup and sandwiches for over a hundred of Seattle’s hungry or homeless, which is a program that happens every Saturday (September through May) at their church. They also house a women’s shelter nightly.

Another classmate who has been doing great things for others is Joan Eckberg. She adds her insight to her work: "I am always amused by priorities. Just when millions of tax dollars were lost and smashed into Mars, I was in the Highlands of Guatemala with Habitat for Humanity, building a house with a Mayan Indian homeowner. Seems my priorities become more basic each year! A simple, affordable house for every family. Big task, but a great journey!" Well-stated, Joan, and what did they learn from that Mars trip? How to graciously say befuddlement?

In March Lowell Anderson plans to be in Guatemala also. His congregation has a sister parish linkage with Santo Domingo de Guzman, a congregation that is part of the San Pedro Parish in El Estor in the tropic rain forests of eastern Guatemala, not far from the Caribbean. His purpose will be to re-confirm their ties to the congregation there, since the parish priest is new and doesn’t know or understand what their relationship is all about. Lowell also mentioned that he and Elly are expecting their second grandchild very soon.

Sandy Springer Smith and hubby John are still enjoying their life in Fountain Hills, Arizona. She writes: "We gathered all four of our kids and their families together up in Beaver Creek, CO, last summer and had a wonderfully fun time with them all. We have seven terrific grandchildren now, after adding two in just the past year. Isn’t life beautiful? I spend most of my time here doing social stuff, which often involves our Mankato and Minnesota friends, volunteering at the Heard Museum, as much hiking as possible, haunting the many art galleries and art shows, and pretending to work out at our fitness club. John is doing OK in spite of his many health issues. We try to do something fun every day. That is one of the cardinal rules of living in AZ, you know! Linda Johnson Blanding went down to the Heard Museum with me when she was in town over Christmas, so I got to spend a little time with her. John and I are going up to Mark x60 and Roz Johnson Anderson’s new Carefree area home for dinner tomorrow, and I know we will connect soon with Lyle and Sandy Johnson Neagle too." It does sound wonderful to be in sunny territory and do fun things every day! We’ve had nearly a foot of snow here today with no sun! If your maiden name is Johnson, call Sandy when you’re in AZ!

Suzanne Schmoeckel Olson married off one of her sons in a beautiful ceremony and reception in November and is planning the other son’s wedding for this October. She brags about her daughters-in–law and her exceptionally good and beautiful new granddaughter whom they enjoy so much. She and her brothers are selling their parents’ hobby farm that has been in their Stillwater family so long. Changes are certain in our lives.

From Gail Lindsey Breen, I received this note: "We’ve been looking for more than a year to downsize from our big house and move closer into downtown Charlotte, and finally found something in May. The only problem was, it was about to be built, so we signed on to buy one of nine townhouse condos on a wooded lot. We were supposed to be in by the end of December, but you know how that goes. We put our house on the market for sale by owner in August, and it sold within three weeks. On October 11 we moved into a furnished one bedroom apartment and our possessions moved into storage. We’re flying to Philadelphia to see family and friends during Thanksgiving. For Christmas we’re heading to New Orleans for a visit with our younger son, Peter, who is working as an executive recruiter. New Year’s will find us in Atlanta for a big celebration with family. If all goes well, we should move into our townhouse at the end of January. We are looking forward to having a smaller place with no yard work where we can close the door and travel. We are both still working and hope to continue for a few more years."

Carla (Johnson ’64) and Ted Stoneberg became grandparents for the first time in August when Sean Alexander Hammond was born. Both their daughters live in Indianapolis, just a short distance from them. Their younger daughter, Cindy, was married in September, passed her Indiana Bar exam and is working with the county prosecutor’s office. She works in their domestic violence court, so Ted says he and Carla are careful not to beat up on each other when they are in her jurisdiction.

An indication of our mild Minnesota winter was demonstrated by Ed Blair who went golfing on January 9. He said frost collected on the golf ball during the putts on the green, but he enjoyed the time immensely. The golf season is closed after today, however! Ed will be starting half-time pastor work on Feb. 15 as associate pastor at Zion in Buffalo, MN, and immediately take a winter vacation of four weeks to Texas. On his return he will be kept busy with officiating at seventeen weddings scheduled so far this season.

Steve Hanson writes that he is in his 33rd year of medical practice and that he is in his fifth year in the Benson area. He mentions that he too has enjoyed the mild winter, but lots of flu has made it difficult even for a doctor to stay well with so much exposure to it. The day after I received that e-mail from him, I came down with a horrible case of stomach flu. Do you think he e-mailed me the virus? Steve just gave up the OB part of his practice, looking forward to cutting back his work within the next 2-3 years to do some third world medical work. In December he retired from the Navy Reserve. He was awarded the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, which is one of the highest Navy peacetime awards. He also received an American flag flown over the U. S. Capitol that was neatly folded into a shadow box. He says he will miss the camaraderie and esprit de corps, but does enjoy the extra free time. Ben and Ruth Ann (Johnson) Leadholm were there for the impressive ceremony. Steve has a new grandson donated by son, Brian ’90, and will add another grandchild in March when Oronah’s daughter, Sarah, will deliver. Sarah and husband are in Pensacola where he’s in Navy flight school. Son, Brad, and wife in Seattle are also expecting. He is a desktop systems administrator for Amazon books. Youngest son, Joel, moved in with Brad in Seattle last month, continuing his work in Minneapolis by computer.

Ellie and John Lundblad evidently bought a home in Puerto Rico recently, but no other info was given. We want to know more!

Our condolences to Kay Estesen Mowbray and Ben Leadholm who both lost their mothers this past year.

Maggie Swenson Miller’s cancer has flared up again with tumors occurring in vital organs. She is fighting hard with more chemo treatments and a marvelous attitude. She is comforted in the fact that doctors are often wrong with their time lines and that all of our time here on earth is such a short span that if some of us spend a few more years, some of us less, in the long run, we’re all facing the same end to our earthly existence. She is so grateful for family and friends, for the fact that their three kids and families all live in the Denver area, and that she can enjoy her two new granddaughters often. She shared a quote, which she has taken as her philosophy—"You can’t change the past, but you can ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future." She is feeling good between chemo treatments that are three weeks apart, and is doing her usual routines except for subbing in the schools for which she lacks the energy. She says one of her biggest challenges is to put on some weight. (I have some for you, Maggie!) Maggie and Myron were in France last summer, in San Francisco for a family reunion at Thanksgiving and at her son’s mountain home for Christmas. We wish you the very best, Maggie!

Those of you, who are into computers, remember to log on gustavus.edu and go to the alumni section. Put your e-mail address on the roster. Today only six of us are registered for the class of ’62. Enjoy Heidi Mether Anderson’s web page and art at the same time.

Keep Gustavus and its people in your thoughts and prayers. We need to reach for each other in many ways. Keep the spirit alive, the news coming, the gifts showering… "No man is an island. No man stands alone."

Remembering that turning 60 is only one day away from the fifties,

Jan Swanberg Mousel

1962 Class Agent

Campus news from the Alumni Office:

The Gustavus campus is in the midst of January term with over 20% of the student body away from campus this month participating in internships, study abroad programs, student teaching or studying at other domestic institutions. On campus there are many unique classes being offered such as Archeology and the Bible and Analyzing Japan in addition to numerous classes and programs around a J-Term 2000 theme - Focus on Women's Studies. Next year January Term will focus on environmental studies. Winter sports, fine arts and extra-curricular activities are also in full swing. Even though there is little snow at Gustavus the new Nordic Ski Team is preparing for competition. The band and choir are preparing for southern tour destinations—the band to Florida and the choir to Texas.

Construction on campus continues, as the new Campus Center will be finished in February with the completion of renovating the former dining service building. Many offices will then move to their new location in the Campus Center including Admission, Dean of Students, Student Activities and Residential Life. Construction of the new International House-Swedish House, a new residence hall/international center to replace Johnson Hall and the Swedish House that were destroyed in the March 1998 tornado, will begin this spring. Construction on an outdoor track and new soccer field stadium will begin this summer. If you have not been back to campus lately, you are encouraged to make a visit to see these exciting changes.

If you can not make it back to campus, but want to stay connected, check out the Internet site at gustavus.edu. The college is thrilled to recently have hired a web coordinator who has been busy updating the Gustavus home page. Look for more changes to alumni services on the web coming this spring.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

  • Naples gathering February 5 (Marco Island gathering cancelled)
  • Tucson Chapter gathering February 7
  • Phoenix Chapter gathering February 8
  • Sun City Chapter gathering February 9
  • Seattle G.I.V.E. project February 19 and Seattle Chapter gathering on March 2
  • Bay Chapter gathering March 4
  • Los Angeles Chapter gathering March 5
  • San Diego Chapter gathering March 6
  • Helen and Paul Baumgartner, Gustavus music faculty will perform two piano recitals in the Twin Cities on March 19, 7:00 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church and on April 9, 10:00 a.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center.
  • 50th Anniversary Class and 50 Year Club reunions - May 26-27

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 29-30.

Members of the New Millenium: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at gustavus.edu.

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to alumni@gustavus.edu so we can get you on the list. (Be sure to keep us posted on any e-mail address changes, also.)