Class of '41
April 2007

Dear classmates of ’41,

The Alumni Office tells me it’s time for another class letter.

I’ve heard from a couple of you and shall include those letters.

I talked with Thorkil Jensen and when he left G.A. in ’41 he taught one year and then went into the Air Force as a B17 navigator flying out of England.  When he got out of the service he went back to grad school and went into medical biology.  He then taught for 35 years at the medical school at the University of Madison in Kansas City, Kansas.  He is now retired and living in Overland Park Kansas.

Had a short chat with Philip Hovander.  He was in the grocery business in Hopkins for 35 years is retired and living in Hopkins.  He has two daughters and 4 granddaughters.

 Following are the letters I received.  Thanks to each of you.

I request that the next eight people write something about your life to share with the class:

  1. Robert Johnson – Duluth, MN
  2. Harriet Stakke Noble - South Bend, IN
  3. Coral Carter Nordstrom - Sun City West, AZ
  4. Blanche Isenberg Pergol - St. Cloud, MN
  5. Luverne Johnson Sellstrom – Willmar, MN
  6. Ellie Swanson Soderquist, Kearney, NE
  7. Genevieve Loff Strom, Nashville, TN
  8. Florence Forsyth Torkelson, Saint James, MN

As ever Charlie

Charlie Lusk

Please make a note in the next 1941 class letter:

The Spring Quarterly listed the death of alumnus, George Gruber ’43.  In the listed obituary it said he is survived by “three children and a brother, Paul ’47.”  The Alumni Office was not aware, at that time, that George was one of five children that attended Gustavus.  Among them is, Clemens J. Gruber of our class, who is alive and well and living in Anoka, MN.  Clemens notified the Alumni Office of the omission and they have set the record straight.

There are many Grubers that have followed the original five.  They are:

Arnold ’38 and Vivian (Henjum ’40) Gruber

            4 children (all Gusties) Karen ’67, Linda ’71, John ’74 and Diane ’78

Ruth (Gruber ’39) and Carl Peterson

            4 children (all non-Gusties)

Clemens ’41 and Elizabeth (Pearson ’43) Gruber

            2 children (both Gusties) Kristin ’71 and Rolf ‘74

George ’43 and Hazel (Johnson ’44) Gruber

            3 children (all non-Gusties)

Paul ’47 and Audrae Gruber

            5 children (all non-Gusties)

We won’t try to list all the grandchildren that are Gusties, for fear of missing someone.

George Gruber ’43, Clearwater, FL, on June 21, 2005. He was a retired aerospace engineer at Honeywell and is survived by three children and a brother Paul ’47.

“I am not deceased – contrary to what the Gustavus Quarterly said.”

 - Clemens J. Gruber ’41

Hi, Fellow classmates of the class of ’41!

I have many fond memories of Gustavus and met many good friends during my college days. I also met my husband, John Holcomb (class of ’39), at Gustavus.

One of the lessons I really learned well from Dr. Carlton, who taught Astronomy, was the order of the planets from the sun. I can still say them in their correct order!

After John passed away in 1971, I remarried a Canadian from Manitoba. His and my daughters worked as surgical nurses at the same hospital in Texas, and they introduced us.  He later passed away.  I am now living in a condominium next door to my youngest daughter in Bellevue, Washington.  We make regular trips to Minnesota each year, when we often enjoy a visit to St. Peter and Gustavus.

Best regards,


(Lucille Westerdahl Holcomb Hope)

Dear Charlie,

            I haven’t been able to get a ribbon for my IBM, so have to handwrite, sorry.  I didn’t know what to write, so I just listed highlights.  Feel free to cut.  I’ll be interested, especially, in what Clem Gruber writes.  We were in high school together.  So many have died.  I hope you are feeling better after your heart attack.  You have yourself quite a job for the class of ’41.  I actually started teaching after Christmas break in ’40 and had to go back in ’41 to take tests.  And then the war came along. My father was back in the service so I worked in the school secretary’s office at Mather Field.  (Thank the Lord I didn’t go back that far.) Take it easy.

Fellow Gusties,

This is my life:

  • I got my MA at University of Minnesota.
  • I taught, Business Depts., for 32 ½ years, the last 25 years in St. Paul.  Ran an on-the-job language program, office area, for many years.
  • Taught night school, TVI, St. Paul for 16 years.
  • Acquired dogs and canaries, showed a pug. I now have a cat, Max, who thinks he’s a dog. He greets people at the door, comes when called – usually, and is my constant companion.
  • Summer I worked as a secretary in several law offices.  I spent 7 summers with SMSG typing math textbooks in such places as Boulder, Yale, and Stanford.
  • Vacationed in Florida when possible, having built a house there.
  • Husband died unexpectedly.
  • After comparatively minor hurricane damage in Florida, had to decide, Florida or Minnesota.  (Maintaining two homes and traveling back and forth became too costly.)
  • Sold the Florida house and opted for Minnesota.
  • Only son, Scott Robeck Forehand and wife, Dee Dee moved to Pinehurst, NC. They urged me to do so also – but I can’t loft a golf ball!
  • Brandon, Dr. Mark Robeck Forehand is a tenured professor, Business Department University of Washington in Seattle. His wife, Colleen Belany Forehand is a pediatrician oncologist.  They are both into research.
  • I have two young great-grandchildren, Mari and Ian.
  • I had partial mastectomies in 2003 and 2006.
  • I have diagnosed leg problems so far not attended to. Walking is restricted.
  • I enjoy crossword puzzles, reading and dining out with friends.
  • Biggest regret: That I didn’t get into computers.
  • I apologize if you learned more than you cared to, reading this.
  • Good health to you.


Shirley Hall

Campus News

Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.  Greater Gustavus AwardGiven to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:  Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni CitationsRecognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade AwardsRecognizes early professional achievement

Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium, Linnaeus @ 300, on Wednesday, April 25, 2007. The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, and Linnaean scholars Hans Odoo and Paula Robbins. The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast. Visit <> or call 507/933-6181 to learn more.    

Lindau Symposium brings Richard John Neuhaus to campus

The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a well-known conservative Catholic intellectual, will address “Religion in American Public Life” at the inaugural Lindau Symposium at Gustavus on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.  A gift to the College from Phil ’58 and Nancy Lindau given prior to Phil’s death last April established the symposium at Gustavus that bears his name. Lindau, a commodities trader and executive who served Gustavus as a board member, campaign chair, and longtime volunteer leader, was passionate about the faith-life intersection and the church-relatedness of his alma mater. The symposium, which the Lindau family and College officials anticipate will be an annual event, aims to provide a forum in which diverse intellectual voices and mainstream beliefs and values can be brought together in a liberal arts environment.  The May 8 Lindau Symposium will be webcast (live video and audio) online at:

“Community Food Security” is Theme of MAYDAY! Peace Conference

"Community Food Security" is the theme for this year's Gustavus MAYDAY! Peace Conference, to be held on May 2.  This is an annual conference, devoted to a topic relating to human rights and social justice.  Among other events, the daylong conference will feature presentations from author Janet Poppendieck, who wrote Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement, and Mike Hamm, Ph.D., chair of sustainable agriculture at Michigan State University.  For more information call the Office of College Relations at 507/933-7520.

Gustavus Choir Reunion to Celebrate 75 Years

Alumni and friends of the Gustavus Choir are welcome to attend a reunion on Saturday, May 5.  The day will include an alumni choir rehearsal, a banquet for past and current members of the choir, and a full concert with both the alumni choir and the Gustavus Choir.  For more information, contact the Office of Fine Arts Programs at 507/933-7013.

Celebrating 75 Years of Theatre at Gustavus

The Department of Theatre and Dance celebrates 75 years of theatre at Gustavus with a reunion on May 11 and 12.  Highlights of the weekend will include an afternoon program sharing memories and monologs from the past 75 years and viewing the performance of The Tempest in Anderson Theatre.  For more information and to register, go to the theatre reunion section of the Alumni website at <> or call the Alumni Office at 800/487-8437.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Lindau Symposium – May 8
    Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26