Class of '63
Volume 43, No. 3
Spring has arrived in Minnesota! As I write this class letter the sun is breaking through after a refreshing rain. The window is open and I can hear the delightful sounds of cardinals calling back and forth. It is a great time to be alive. Ruth and I love the spring season with the various hues of green that start with the yellow-green and then move on to the darker greens. We are actually experiencing two spring seasons this year because we just returned from three weeks in Spain where their spring is a little earlier.
The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards. What a talented group of people are being honored. I am most pleased for the award being given to the Gustavus Library Associates. This group began under the initial leadership of Patty Lindell. They have raised over $2 million for the library. And, through their bi-annual Gustavus Royal Affair, have provided thousands of Gusties an opportunity to get together in their finest duds for an evening of fun.
Greater Gustavus Award: Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.
Distinguished Alumni Citations: Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
First Decade Awards: Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania.
Show your Gustavus pride every time your write a check. You can now order checks with Old Main, Three Crowns, or the Gustavus football helmet at: www.mycollegechecks.com.
Gusties Helping Hurricane Victims
A group of 23 students spent three weeks during January in Mississippi aiding in the clean-up and rebuilding efforts of a town hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. The group was student-led (Matt Swenson ’06 from Champlin) and sponsored by Men’s Christian Fellowship at Gustavus and coordinated through Lutheran Disaster Response. While there the students provided many services, including clearing houses to the bare structure, rebuilding homes, working in kitchens, distributing supplies, and working in pastoral care, child care, and medical clinics. The group was housed and fed in a “tent city” on the grounds of Christus Victor Lutheran Church. This was one of the several vocation month experiences from which Gustavus students had the opportunity to choose.
SHARON SHAVER PINNEY’S husband, Bill, died on February 2 from multiple health problems. He had graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture and was a diary farmer until he retired nine years ago because of health problems. Sharon continues to work for Le Sueur County Public Health as the wavered services supervisor, serves on the Food Shelf Board, Aging Services Board, and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church. Five grandchildren fill up the spare time!!! KAREN PIERSON TOMMERAASEN reports that retirement continues to be good. In February of 2005 she and Court traveled to Tasmania, New Zealand, and Australia. LARRY and VICKI (KRENIK ’64) HEDLIN are celebrating the arrival of their first grandchild. WAYNE BURMEISTER “Jack-of-all-Trades” reports in from Waunakee, WI. “I had so many woodworking project backed up that I didn’t have time to continue working. Thirty-six years with computers is enough. Enjoying early childhood education (baby sitting three grandchildren), travel, and skiing.” CED PRANGE has moved from Nebraska to Savannah, GA where he is the administrator for an orthopedics medical practice. HARRIS TOFTE lives in Appleton, WI and is now retired. ROBERT GORES has now retired from Augsburg College and still lives in Minneapolis. BECKY ANDERSON LINDBLAD and JERRY were back in Minnesota for a few days leaving their beautiful San Clemente home to celebrate spring here. GARY and MARY ANN CARLSON ANDERSON have been building up frequent flier miles. They lead a trip to China last fall and returned a few weeks ago from three weeks in New Zealand. Gary continues as interim chaplain at Luther Seminary. Mary Ann continues to plan future trips. They spend summers at their lake home.
I have decided that since there is so much talent in our class I will seek to have a classmate submit something for each class letter. Several months ago we were with Mary Carlstrom Strand who has been working very hard on her family tree. The result was a priceless treasure of information for future generations to read. I thought you would be interested in hearing about Mary’s newest passion.
I haven’t written anything to most of you since I served as your Junior Class Secretary, too many years ago to count. Tilly has asked me to describe a project, which I undertook recently and may “perk an interest” in some of you. This involves a book of family memories, which started as a small collection of memories and family stories and evolved into more than 200 pages, including almost 50 pages of black and white and colored photos.
All of us have stories unique to our own "roots"....some very pleasant and some we’d rather not remember. This year we turn 65. What a great time to look back and ponder why we are who we are and to thank those family members who are still with us and have influenced our lives! Also, it’s time to remember again with love, parents, grandparents and other relatives who have passed on.
More than a year ago I wrote to all of my living relatives, both in America and Sweden, asking them to participate by sharing family memories, stories and photos. My intent was to compile a family book, which would strengthen family bonds and be, in a sense, a gift to future generations. My role models in this effort were my mother and my sister, Joan (Carlstrom ’64) Morehouse, both avid journal writers. My own writing has been more in “spurts,” usually in connection with upcoming family events.
After almost nine months of editing and typing I invited family members to gather at Christmas time to share hugs and laughs and listen to each other’s stories. Our youngest reader was my niece’s son, eight years old.
Growing up in Bayport, Minnesota in the 1940s made a strong impression on many of us. While reading the stories, which arrived, certain trends soon became evident. Many of my cousins mentioned the influence of our immigrant grandparents, their faith in God and the small town ethics, which were instilled in us. There were also humorous stories: the gypsy rag seller (“with pierced ears, heaven forbid!”); playing “Queen for a Day;” burping contests after eating my grandmother’s bread dough (I have no memory of this, but one cousin wrote that I was usually the person who won!); the outhouse with three holes and a Sears Roebuck catalog; and a story about the day Joan brought her future husband to meet us. This also happened to be the day on which Lee Harvey Oswald was shot...so Terry Morehouse and Oswald are forever "linked" in our family stories. There is also a story, written by Dick about a sort of “forced date” with me, instigated by his mother, in the summer of 1957, long before we had noticed each other. Dick would have rather been anywhere else! Stories from Sweden were filled with memories of the first American family members to visit Småland and descriptions of the older generation whom most of my cousins never met.
Digging through boxes of memorabilia from my mother’s attic after she died, Joan and I found a love letter written in Swedish to my grandmother from my grandfather (“after you read this, burn it!”), letters written from Newfoundland and Germany by my uncles during the Second World War and a Christmas card sent from Sweden to my uncle from the grandmother in Sweden whom he never met.
There are stories which brought tears to our eyes...the story of the recent death of our oldest cousin’s wife, the words I wrote for my mother’s funeral, a poem written by our daughter, Kirsten, thanking us for adopting her, my niece’s memories of the day her “ Grandma Lisa" died. Our daughter, Lisa, wrote of her many memories of the times she visited her two grandmothers in Bayport in the ’70s. All of these and many more led to a “sense of community” and will, I hope, be preserved and treasured for many years to come.
I would encourage you to talk to your children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Write down some of your own memorable stories. Tell about your hometowns, your grandparents, your first date, your college years at Gustavus (Who would believe a “panty raid?”), stories that
have maybe been left untold. When all is said and done, what more can we leave them?
~Mary Elizabeth Carlstrom Strand ’63
Thanks, Mary, for taking time to share your story. Dennis Johnson, Class of 1960, has been working for almost 15 years on his own story. He started his story by describing his immigrant roots, parents’ history, siblings, and Dennis’ own launching. He has completed 285 pages which takes him up through high school graduation. This part will be published in a book and then he will continue with the rest of his story. Our generation is kind of a bridge generation because for many of our parents, they were first generation Americans. I think that we have obligation to pass on some of the history to our children and grandchildren or it will be lost forever.
This is the last class letter for this year. I have received a few comments from some of you about the somewhat poor showing of the Class of 1963 in level of support for Gustavus. As always, I encourage you to make a gift to the Gustavus Annual Fund each year. I have always stressed participation over the size of the gift. The Annual Fund closes on May 31. I hope that you will choose to make a gift this year. It is SOOOO easy to do so on-line by going to: gustavus.edu and clicking on “Making a Gift” or you can use the enclosed envelope and be sure to include some news. Your old Class Agent would appreciate our setting a goal of 100% participation. One year we were up over 60%. We can do it! Help to preserve a Gustavus education for years to come. Make a gift now!
Thanks for your continued friendship. Have a great summer. I will be back to you again in the fall with the 44th volume of class letters. Please send news. My e-mail address is below!
Paul F. Tillquist
1963 Co-class Agent