Class of '51
April 2001

Dear Classmates and all,

Many aspects of our Golden Anniversary will be new, unique, and so fantastic that you'll have a fabulous time! We're really looking forward to welcoming you!

These excerpts, which we could apply to our class, are by Prof. Joyce Sutphen, who teaches at Gustavus. Garrison Keillor writes about her poetry…"it eases your heart to read Joyce Sutphen." Coming Back to the Body, her latest book, contains these three excerpts:

Sometimes my world slips

on its axis and words

lose their letters.

I say one name

and mean


Another poem ends: "The heart remembers everything it loved and gave away, everything it lost and found again, and everyone it loved, the heart cannot forget."

The poem, Gifted, ends this way: "they could sing harmony to a song that was only, just then, being composed. They believed in things that no one¾ not even God¾ would have asked them to believe. They knew how to keep stars shining and they still do."

It was good to see Edith Peterson Vogt at Christmas in Christ Chapel. Ray Lundquist was there, but we didn't cross paths. Gordy Sandbaken and Clint Loomis attended on Saturday.

Thanks to all the hard working Phonorama volunteers and committee members. Vern Bergstrom wrote, "I'm really starting to look forward to our reunion!" I hope he remembers that he represents our class at the Saturday evening banquet!

Beth Wiberg Barbosa '95, new assistant director of the Gustavus Fund, is the daughter of Rev. Joel and Nancy (Anderson) Wiberg '60 '60.

What is the Gustie Spirit? Our daughter, Lynn '84, answered, "It's being part of the Gustavus family. It has a good energy¾ welcoming, comfortable, and loyal. If a Gustie sees my Gustavus sweatshirt, they go crazy!" No matter what group we belonged to, we were Gusties first. We didn't complain. We had lots of enthusiasm…The Gustie spirit is inclusive. It's about reaching out to others in a friendly way.

We give out of thankfulness and happiness. A Gustie friend told me, "The fact that Gustavus was always trying to do the impossible with a limited budget, helped grads feel they could go out and do the impossible, too¾ even if their parents weren't rich. Gustavus is still a college with students from mainly middle class families.

A large percentage of the interest on our class endowment goes for scholarships because that is a major need. Will we make our goal of $50,000 in our endowment fund?

I know people are really thinking about that goal! Anyone who gives to it will receive an Old Main print as shown in that great brochure you received. Perhaps you can give an extra "second-mile" gift and receive a second print for your loved ones. Just give that relative or friend's name and address to the office. The flier was sent only to our class. The Old Main print will be at the registration desk all weekend, but try to pick one up as you register.

If you smile, we'll recognize you, gray hair, no hair or whatever! There will be a welcoming committee at the top of the stairs as you come in¾ before you go down to the registration desk¾ at least between one and three o'clock when we expect a crowd to descend upon the campus!

As a little black boy said, "Move over mountain!" A black, Lutheran children's choir was singing in Chapel a few years ago. I have thought of that often lately in relation to our Golden Anniversary. I know that giving and coming are not easy for many of you, but I pray that "mountain" obstacles will "move over."

One of our classmates gives a gift monthly on his VISA credit card. Lutheran Brotherhood matches are helpful. You can still call the AAL representative and tell him you want an associate membership for $10. So your gift of $25 to $100 will be matched. If you are two in your family, the gift will be matched twice.

"The Gustie Spirit lasts and lasts. You can start right in where you left off!" If you arrive early, you could read Little House on the Prairie on the steps of the cabin in the Arboretum. Or stroll in the Rose Garden. Or sit on the huge rocks bought in from all over Minnesota to tell its geological history. Or visit the many Granlund sculptures.

If your Gustie "memory" reaches the office after they print the booklet, the Alumni Office will run copies and make an addendum to be put with your Golden Anniversary Booklet. Those booklets are being printed now and will be sent out in early April.

Remember to bring something for the display table! When I was almost 70, my brother and sister-in-law took me on an adventure-hike in the Colorado mountains so I'll bring that "award" for fun!

"The Memorial Service is a very emotional time as one by one the names of departed members are read." There will be campus tours on Saturday morning. Bring walking shoes and perhaps an umbrella, if the weather forecast is for rain. The food will be fantastic (decaffeinated coffee and tea will be served evenings). If you can stay Sunday morning for one of the Baccalaureate services, ask for tickets at the registration desk. The services are for 9:00 and 10:30. Remember that there is no charge for all meals, housing and events. Also, there will be no restrictions for parking lots that weekend, except by yellow curbs.

The 60-member Gustavus orchestra under their new conductor, Warren Friesen, will give a concert in Christ Chapel on Saturday night, April 6. Don't miss them, as they are terrific!! We heard their concert in Duluth. When I thanked the St. Olaf graduate who was in charge of local arrangements for the orchestra concert, she said, "I'm a Gustie mom! How could I say no?"

I saw Don and Mary (Stollenwerk ’53) Berg at the concert. Don will read the names of our departed members at the memorial service and David Lindberg will give the homily. I just learned that we will have a wireless mike at our banquet! Bill Robertz and Gordy Sandbaken are working on the invitations for professors we knew who are still living. Many live in St. Peter.

If you are staying in Pittman, the dorm on the south side, nearest the arboretum, you can park below, if you like. There are no elevators so you may want to unload in the "no parking" zone in front. Most of us will be staying there. There are sinks in the rooms.

For help contact the CF (collegiate fellow) on your floor. If you're somewhat handicapped, please indicate that on your registration form when you send it in and they will try to accommodate you the best they can. There is a unisex bathroom on the main floor at Pittman. At this dorm (Pittman) students will be available to help carry your luggage to your room, between 1:00 and 3:00 on Friday. We hope all of you are registered by 3:00 so you can have refreshments and head for the first Alumni lecture.

Most of the campus is handicap accessible. The events will be in one building except for Christ Chapel, nearby.

Please send your forms in early! In April you'll receive the forms and then the Golden Anniversary Booklet (which for the first time will include stories.) Thanks to Marilyn Robertz for her work including, asking Ann Komatz Basset to ask her husband, Gene, to create the cover for our booklet. He is a famous cartoonist.

A special feature of the banquet display on Friday will be art by Carol Hoorn Fraser; some of it lent by the Granlunds. Bring your items to Alumni Hall after the Memorial Service. Marilyn and Florentine Peterson Anderson would like five more volunteers that evening.

Hope you have time to get out the old annuals. If you didn't get a list of classmates with address and phone numbers, please call the Alumni Office. If you did, please call someone you haven't seen for awhile and invite him or her to our Golden Anniversary Weekend.

Paul and Edna (Spaeth) Granlund '52 '50 have sold their house in rural St. Peter, but will still be there in May and will join us for our reunion. They have a home on the North Shore near Schroeder.

Even if it seems like longer, the Alumni Office confirms that I have been class agent for only 30 years. Our first Class Agents were: Russ Paulson; Ray Lundquist; Dwight and Carol (Matson) Holcombe; Shirley Swanson Dye; and Bill and Marilyn (Barnes) Robertz.

When they retired, Cec called me in Duluth. Who could say no it Cec? That was in 1971. Under his orders we wrote four letters each year, and I never missed a one (I didn't dare)! Randy set up three dates for letters. Recently, they gone to having the January letter written by a guest writer. This year we will have seven guest letters¾ a record! Sometimes there were extra letters. The grand total I've written to you is about 107! Thanks for inspiring me to continue. (It's a good thing we can have guest writers!) I have tired to convey what it means to be our special class of ’51 and what GUSTAVUS is.

As Fred Tidstrom says, "Strong letter to follow" meaning keep on keeping on. That's a good motto for all of us! Our class is great because we care about each other, about Gustavus and alumni and students. "…thy children are true. We love thee forever, our love we renew…" --the Alma Mater

Our sympathy to Florentine Peterson Anderson the passing of her aunt, Odrun Peterson, at 92. Did you know that Odrun was our faithful librarian at Gustavus for 30 years from 1944 to 1973? She was always so kind to me. Thanks to Florentine for her delightful, welcoming guest letter. Florentine left out that her father and grandfather graduated from Gustavus. Her father was a professor in the business department and interim president before he died in 1943.

I started to tell Florentine that my grandfather, my mother and I had all taught at Gustavus. My sister, Marjorie (Johnson '50) Knutson, sends her greetings from Alexandria, Virginia. My brother, Wendell Johnson ’53, is on a cruise with his wife, around "the Horn." They hope to see penguins on an island off the southern tip of South America. We three were at Gustavus at the same time. We were all involved in musical organizations. Since there were so many Johnson, perhaps you didn't know that Marge, Wendy, and I were related. Former "Prexy," O. J. Johnson was Dad's uncle so that explains why my dad transferred to Gustavus from Bethany College in Kansas. Mom came from Upper Michigan to attend Gustavus. We didn't get a choice of where we would go¾ thank goodness! Gustavus was and is a great place to gain wisdom and friends. Those four years were beyond my imaginings.

My father was on the Board of Trustees from 1942-51. He was the first chairman of the Annual Fund, which started on 1954. Ray Lundquist and Dwight Holcombe were general chairmen in 1964 and 1969, respectively.

Thanks to Louise Borg Bergmann for her lively guest letter. You'll remember she wrote that she felt "at home" at Gustavus. "Being a missionary kid from Africa, I am the most 'at home' at Gustavus that I've felt anywhere on earth¾ including Swedn and Switzerland."

Ray Thompson sang with the Dale Worland singers when they lived near the Cities. I see him singing in the Duluth-Superior Symphony Chorus since they moved to the North Shore. He and took a trip to Israel in January.

Due to my illegible handwriting in a note to Louise, Marilyn Crantz Carlson's ’48 name was misspelled. Sorry, Marilyn. Also, Kenneth Eastlund has not changed his first name.

You can tell that Fulton "Klink" Klinkerfues is a prolific writer. He is so well organized and really gets the message across.

Can you tell I just re-read all the recent guest letters? What fun that was! I recommend it. Thanks to all of them!

I finally found out that Denny Lofstrom can receive a class letter via e-mail, they wouldn't return until winter. Their email address is:

For those of you who are hooked up!

Harold Carlson, retired in 1991 writes, "We have lived since then on a beautiful lake in the north woods, and have enjoyed a fair amount of interesting travel, most recently five weeks in Australia and New Zealand, including hiking the Milford Tracks, sometimes called "The most beautiful walk in the world."

Donald and Marian (Edstrom '53) Lundberg, Wayzata, wrote: "Our grandchildren have expressed interest about choosing Gustavus which then would extend family participation starting with my Dad, my sisters and myself and all of my children and their spouses. My 96 year-old mother died in February. Her Swedish heritage was a source of pride and conversation.

Beverly Johnson Kindschuh and "Kink" Warren '52, live in Oregon, she is retired and enjoys directing a handbell choir at a church in Portland.

David W. Johnson and Delores, Golden Valley, have a garden listed on the National Registry. He is retired and is on the Board of Friends of Linneaus Arboretum. Thanks for helping our Arboretum with your expertise! They are worldwide travelers.

Don Wulf and Barbara (Lunstead '50), Sacramento, CA, celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a family reunion, a ninth grandchild, and a trip to West Point. He wrote, "I continue to be very thankful and highly recommend radio-active seed implants for prostate cancer."

We were sorry to hear that Phyllis Swanson Rettmer's husband, Curtis, died a year and a half ago. Phyllis resides in Minnetonka.

Warren Doeskin, Hibbing, writes, "I am enjoying my 17th year of retirement from teaching biology. The fall season has been beautiful. I plan on attending our 50th reunion in the spring."

Dr. Robert A. Smith, Minnetonka, "Enjoying summer golf in Hayward, WI, and winter golf in Orlando, FL. Spring and fall enjoying grandchildren."

Harold and Verdyne Lindell, live in Chandler, AZ. He is a real estate agent, appraiser and broker.

David and Sonja Hilding, Salt Lake City, sent this news: "We are excited about the reunion. This past year brought us to Turkey with beautiful Mosques and Ephesus where we saw where Paul preached to the Ephesians at a time when the city was ancient¾ several thousand years old. Retirement is sure good! I haven't been so busy since college days!"

Art Adamson discovered that Bob and Helen Sjostrom also live in Eden Prairie.

We had a great chat with Burnell Baldwin and Berniece in Cloquet. I discovered that Berniece is Marie (Norberg) Bergstrom's '50 cousin. Berniece's uncle was head of the Augustana Lutheran Mission Board when our family and Marie's served in Tanganyika. She knew all about the Norbergs and other missionary families surviving in the Atlantic Ocean after the Germans sank the Zamzam in 1941. What a story that is! Fortunately, my parents had decided to stay in the states when we returned in 1938.

Rev. H. Burnell Baldwin wrote, "Currently I am celebrating the process of heading toward my 80th birthday by continuing to write and enjoying the fruits of my publication, 'Promises Made Clear.' It has been well received and I have hopes of putting another volume on the market in the near future. In addition, my first effort, 'Pearls In the 23rd Psalm,' is also available from Zion Lutheran Church, Cloquet. It has been used by the congregation in distribution to senior citizens particularly.

Right now I am helping at the Carlton Nursing Home in Carlton, MN, as a volunteer chaplain of sorts, trying to pave the way for a chaplaincy in a new building which will open next April.

I thank you for considering this offering and rejoice with you at the continuing progress of our college in preparing people for life engagement in work that is meaningful and productive. God is good."

His book, Promises Made Clear, was recommended by Bishop Strommen, NEMN. I found myself enjoying your observations and writings very much. I love the creativity of what you've done…poetry forces us in a very creative and visual way to probe the deeper meaning of things.

We have this news to share from The Gustavus Fund Office: Greetings and thank you for your gifts to the College in honor of your 50th Reunion. Through March 31st, total Class credit equals $66,095.63. We have received a total of $22,803 in new gifts and pledges for the Class Gift which is designated for The Class of '51 Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund has now reached $41,629 in gifts and pledges. The Endowment Fund was established ten years ago for your 40th reunion and The Reunion Committee decided to make this a special project for your 50th reunion. If you have any further questions please call Jim Isaak '86, toll free 866-487-3863.

Hug me lightly¾ not tightly (since I have osteoporosis). I suppose many of us small gals have it to some extent. If my wedding ring is on the correct hand, it means I was able to gain a few pounds and it went to my fourth finger.

My husband, Paul, has graciously consented to come with me to our special reunion. He is an Augustanta, Sioux Falls, graduate.

Thanks for all the news over the years. If you want any news in the class letter, please write it down. I won't quote you from the reunion chats. Thanks, Gordy, for your great, guest letter. He wrote, "We expect it to be the largest anniversary event ever at Gustavus. Hope to see you there." I know that our Gustie spirit will grow at our Golden Anniversary as we share our memories. May that spirit last a lifetime!

See you soon,

Dorothy Johnson Lutz

1951 Class Agent

P.S. Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 fell and broke her right arm (mixing arm) on Saturday, March 3. Sounds like it has slowed her down just a little, but she’s in her typical good spirits. I bet they needed a half-dozen extra volunteers in the kitchen to replace Evelyn for the Gustavus Library Associates Breakfast with the Easter Bunny (held March 24th). Our best wishes for a speedy recovery, Evelyn!

Editor’s Note: On the (recently sent out) reunion reservation form, under the heading of "campus housing," the wrong dates were printed they should have listed May 25 and 26 (rather than May 26 and 27). We apologize for the confusion.