Class of '81
January 1999

Dear Classmates:

Yes, this class letter is coming from a "guest" writer. I, Jane Breckner Pederson, did willingly volunteer to author this one. (Thought I'd toss that in in the beginning, so you wouldn't have to flip it over to see who in the world it was.)

My arm was not even twisted! Actually, I received the last letter from Heimer, with his offer to let anyone else author a letter, and shortly afterwards, received a call from one of those "student callers" asking for my pledge. I told her, of course I'd send money, but more importantly, wanted to make this offer to Heimer. She passed along the message, and here I am...

The reason I was compelled to offer is that I feel more connected to Gustavus lately. The news of the spring tornado truly saddened me. I have watched, with great interest, the reports of the rebuilding process. It illustrates the true spirit of the place.

My other connection comes from babysitters. You may or may not recall that I had triplets in September of 1996. My beautiful girl and two boys are now 28 months old. As you can imagine, we have had a number of babysitters during that time. We have gotten to know them, and their friends, and feel so fortunate to know these wonderful people. Two of them are attending Gustavus this year, as freshmen. (Lindsey Burg of Apple Valley, and Leah Nelson of Frederic, WI.) Listening to them wonder about their dorms, their roommates, and their classes, etc., has brought back so many memories.

At the same time, it made me reflect on how things have changed. Leah told me she was going to be in Norelius Hall. (I had to remember that Co-Ed was now Norelius.) The list of things to bring included so many things that didn't even exist at the time we were freshmen: VCR's, personal computers, pagers, microwaves, telephone answering machines, and a telephone book full of e-mail addresses.

It is amazing how many "essentials" were unavailable to us then...I was talking with a few of the girls one day, and was in the middle of a story, and asked, "Well, do remember when Valleyfair first opened?" My husband gently reminded me that they weren't even born then...

Hopefully, that hasn't made anyone feel too old...on with the class news:

  • Suzie Carlson Smiley is now a school nurse with ISD #277, and has a new daughter, Cassandra. David Jaeger welcomed his son, Matthew David Jaeger, on November 19, 1998. Jeff and Lisa (Kuntz ’82) Molenaar, welcomed Matthew Jon and Carly Ann Molenaar, on March 6, 1998. (From my vast experience, it appears that these guys are twins!)
  • Marcia Bloom Bodnar welcomed her daughter Jessica Marie, on September 8, 1998. Her email address is mjbod@cts.com. Sue Ruchotzke Self is now employed by CorVel. Helen Bauer Peach is a teacher with ISD #196 (Lakeville).
  • Tim Swanson had a lot of changes recently! He married Theresa McCormick on July 25, 1998. He also moved to Woodbury, and has a new job as vice president of Richfield Bank and Trust Company. Congratulations Tim!
  • Deb Doak Zabel is now working part time at Abens Financial Services. Her husband, Richard, is now with Cobb & Assoc. Mike Zea is now employed by Silkers Studios. Dr. Scott Dee was recently awarded the American Veterinary Medical Association Practitioner Research Award "...in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in veterinary medical research, by a practicing veterinarian...He has played a major role in understanding, controlling, and developing preventive measures for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus, a devastating disease to the swine industry."
  • Karin Orson Anderson has a new job with HealthPartners, as a senior medical services coordinator. She was also recently elected to the Operating Group for the American Diabetes Association Holiday Program, and is chairing their SuperSeller Program Committee. Tony Randgaard finished his MBA last year, at St. Thomas. He is manager of Cargo Customer Service, for Northwest Airlines.
  • Julie Videen Finch has joined Hinshaw & Culbertson's Minneapolis office, as a partner. Liz Husebye Hartman is now employed by Silent Knight Security. David Wagner started recently with Fire Fab, Inc. Jack Granlund is now with TC Molding.
  • Mary Carlson Tornquist continues teaching middle school band and choir, in the Lincoln School District, in Ypsilanti, MI. Sue Seiwert Conner has purchased a bowling alley in Riverside, IL, called Victory Lanes. She invites all Gusties to come and visit.

Best regards to you all,

Jane Breckner Pederson

1981 Guest Letter Writer