Class of '51
Dear Classmates and Spouses,
First, I want to wish you each a very happy new year and as we all age, a year of good health. That is a crucial factor for all of us.
As you have perhaps already surmised this is not our esteemed class agent, Dorothy Johnson Lutz writing this class letter, but is Ray Lundquist, a rather humble substitute to say the least. Last October 20, Gordy Sandbaken and I were participating in Phonorama from the Minnesota Valley Golf Course Clubhouse in Bloomington. One of my calls was to Dorothy who asked me to write a January class letter, so here we are. In the regard to Phonorama, Gordy and I could use more help. We act as ring leaders for our class and usually Pat Pool Hasse and Lois "Hessie" Hesselroth Hovland help out, (but Pat had eye surgery that day and couldn't come) as well as Vern Bergstrom and Marie (Norberg '50), but they also had conflicts on the 20th. Anyway, the five of us enjoy contacting you and hopefully more of you will join us.
I feel all is going well on the campus. I think President Jim Peterson is off to a fine start. I have met him on several occasions and found him to be personable and just a very nice person to converse with. He had a fine tenure as president of the Minnesota Science Museum where he worked for several years. He is a Gustie graduate (1964), as is his wife, Susan (Pepin '65) who also happens to be the senior pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul. That takes a little juggling of schedules at times, but all is working out well.
I'm sure you all recently received the Winter Gustavus Quarterly. I feel the Gustavus staff does a fine job of keeping you informed of campus happenings. It probably comes with our age bracket, but I find myself going directly to the "In Memoriam" section. As listed, you will note the death of Warren Soapes, Darrell Wahlstrom and the daughter of Dennis Lofstrom, Mary '87. Our sympathy certainly extended to each of those families.
Unfortunately, two more classmates have died since the last Quarterly, Donna Mae Danielson Johnson who died November 22 of cancer; the second was Fulton "Klink" Klinkerfues who died on December 21, also of cancer.
I use, to see Donna Mae frequently at the Hennepin County Government Center where she worked for the Welfare Department and I for Court Services. As to Klink, as many of us called him, he was one of our finest Minnesota educators. I recall asking him several times to help with Phonorama. Each time, he said he would, but on one occasion he was chairperson for a large banquet of educators and another time he was working on a newsletter to retirees in education. All of us miss their smiling faces and great sense of humor.
Speaking of news items, let me share news gathered from you during Phonorama and information on your gift envelopes, all of which are much appreciated.
Congratulations to Barb Nelson Jaeger and husband, Al, concerning their son, John, who recently received a Ph.D. in theology from Baylor University.
My former roommate, Don Wulf and his wife, Barb (Lunstead '50), have the unique distinction of having two grandsons (brothers) at West Point, Michael and Daniel Harrison, a freshman and senior. Don, bless his heart, emails each of them daily giving up-beat messages, etc.
Bill Robertz and his brother have been doing a lot of work on their Swedish heritage and have reached back seven generations which I think is an amazing feat. My first wife, Georgia (Gustafson '52), enjoyed researching family history and I thought she did very well to come up with five generations, also Swedish.
If anyone is in the Coeur D'Alene, Idaho area you might view Ken Samuelson who plays in the Coeur D'Alene symphony orchestra. Good for you, Ken. Our sympathy to Elaine Johnson Carlson whose husband, Rev. Theodore Carlson, died this past summer. Elaine, who lives in Alexandria, MN, teaches English as a foreign language to adults. Robert Isenberg and his wife, Onie, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on October 5 and also in October attended their 19th Elderhostel at Culver-Stockton College, Canton, MO. I will always be grateful to Bob for making plans to donate their family farm to Gustavus, which was done the week of our class' 50th anniversary. I was chairperson of our special gift to the college so his gift was tremendous and met our goal several times over. Thanks again, Bob.
David Hilding who lives in Salt Lake City, and his wife, Sonja, visited Switzerland this past summer, which is sequoia nature country. She grew up in St. Gallen, which houses the oldest library in Europe. David was impressed by a book that proved that the German language was well developed long before Martin Luther published his Bible.
Congratulations to Marilyn Street Turner on the recent addition of grandson #10. They also have been downsizing and moved to their former house in Santa Rosa, CA on 11/11. I don't know anyone who enjoys his lake home more than Gordy Sandbaken, which is located near Perham. More than once, when I have tried to reach him, his wife, Bev, will inform me he's up at the lake." It is a wonderful retreat for his kids and grandkids.
Wally Brunswold and wife, Jean, live in Walker, MN where they are active at Hope Lutheran. Congratulations are in order for Wally having been inducted into the Rochester (MN) Hall of Fame and Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association. Wally was also a committee member of the five-year lettermen football club, which held a noon luncheon at Homecoming on September 26. I was fortunate enough to be invited. I only played one year, too light, plus a host of other shortcomings. The luncheon was a great, fun event. Don Swanson '55, younger brother of Gordie '52 was the MC. He is a riot and had us in stitches the whole time. Other classmates there included: Dwight Holcombe and Carol (Matson); Fred Tidstrom and Bob Smith. There were others, a lot of you would know, like: Haldo Norman '52 and Jane (Nielsen '53); Tom Zwiener '55; Pastor Bud Lindberg '47; Dale Scholl '49 and Gerry Cady '49 and Kay; plus Bob Collison '50. Anyway, the next luncheon is planned for Homecoming, October 2nd. Players like Gene Payne, Ken Quist, Ed Keckeisen, Bud Erickson and Chuck Anderson showed plans to join us. I forgot to mention that Howard Felt '50 even attended together with wife, Marjorie, which was special since Howard is confined to a wheelchair due to a stroke.
Arden Halk Sanstead and husband, John '48, have enjoyed 16 years of retirement, wintering near Winter Haven, FL and summers in Hastings where they are active in church and community activities. Phyllis Naslund Jacobson and husband, Don, live in Chetek, WI, where she retired as a surgical nurse. It would be fun to view one of her "Ole and Lena" shows that she has been doing for the past 12 years. She still loves to sing and she and Don recently sang with three different choirs.
Louise Borg Bergmann has had a year of surgery and travel. She had a knee replacement and back surgery, but still was able to travel to Barcelona, Spain with husband, Kenn, and do a Mediterranean cruise. Ken and Lois (Anderson) Quist celebrated their 50th anniversary this past summer together with their sons and families by enjoying a cruise to Nassau and then a week in Cocoa Beach, FL. Lee Doering has retired from his law practice and now winters at Naples, FL and summers in Alexandria, MN.
David Johnson and wife, Delores, have done a superb job of assisting the Linneaus Arboretum board where Dave serves as vice president. Their activities have brought them way close to our dear Evelyn Sponberg Young '33 who also has a passion for the arboretum. Bob Smith is currently on his way to Florida where he will stay until April 10. He will be playing a round of golf in February with Ken Quist, Dwight Holcombe and recent Hall of Fame inductee Marv Gunderson '53.
H. Burnell Baldwin now lives in Litchfield, MN, where he is still active visiting residents in care centers as well as writing a devotional book on "The Story of Jesus" using Luke and Acts. A former book "Promises Made Clear" is still available. Irene Tettam Werner who lives in Sunnyvale, CA, recently enjoyed their fourth Elderhostel in Astoria, OR featuring the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She and her husband, Paul '53, have been very involved in their recently completed 12 million dollar senior center.
Floyd Schultz, who was widowed, has been married the past two years to Lillian Rizzo from International Falls. They were married by Pastor Bob Ek '52 who unfortunately is now deceased. It was a pleasure to see Floyd and Lillian in November at the Royal Affair, a fundraiser for the Gustavus library.
Myrna Thorsell Wolf winters in Scottsdale, AZ from October to April and her summers are spent at Long Lake, MN. It was a pleasure to see Myrna at the Gustavus Heritage Partnership luncheon on September 20. It would be great if more of you would consider Gustavus in your estate planning. As of now, only 14 of us have made those plans. The Partnership has a delightful luncheon each fall featuring student talent in music and speech. A student, Matt Swenson '06, gave a great talk on what Gustavus has already done for him. His future plans include youth ministry and he will do a fine job.
John Aufderheide has recently moved from Gibbon, MN to Crosslake, MN. Jim Whitney and Wayne Ripley will soon be leaving for Glacier Park for their annual cross-country ski trip. Don Osell now lives in Cohasset, MN where he is enjoying family, volunteering, church, fishing, writing and travel. That is what you call a full-time retirement.
Dean Berg and wife, Barbara, reside in Federal Way, WA. He is semi-retired since he is working two days a week as visitation pastor at Mountain View Lutheran, Edgewood, WA. They are looking forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next September 4. Dean added on his card his years at Gustavus were some of the best years of his life and all his memories are great. Good for you Dean!
Elmer Luke, who I see occasionally golfing, continues to swim competitively which is a great achievement. He also does volunteer coaching for his son who is the swimming coach at Stillwater, MN. Swimmers from the early '50s continue to meet annually for a gathering with Coach Vic Gustafson '42.
Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target
Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign. The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships. Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth. Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties.
The theme for this January Term is "Undergraduate Research and Creativity," to promote course offerings and activities in all fields, not just natural sciences and fine arts. In addition about 375 students are on travel programs abroad in such places as Europe, Australia, Malaysia, Fiji, and Israel. Also, 180 students are participating in internships and career explorations, now so essential for many students in securing a job, no matter what career field.
New Gustavus Video
Have you been to campus lately? Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus? The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College. Take a look online if you wish at <http://gustavus.edu/admission/tour/video/>.
The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra will take a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin. The Gustavus Choir will take a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota, and will also present a concert in the Twin Cities on Friday evening, January 30, 2004, 7:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in St. Paul. The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, will tour during Spring Break.
Peter Krause '87 returned to Gustavus in November to meet and conduct workshops with students. Krause has been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards for his role as Nate Fisher in the critically and commercially acclaimed HBO drama, "Six Feet Under." With the hope that the day would focus more on the students than on his newfound fame, Krause spent the afternoon doing acting work with classes and theatre and dance majors.
In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education - "the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies." We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on "great teaching" and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors. Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey '83, director of alumni relations (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Steve Waldhauser '70 (email@example.com), managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.
Upcoming Chapter Events
- Washington DC, Gustavus gathering - February 6
- Atlanta, Georgia, Gustavus gathering - February 26
- Tampa Bay, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 27
- Naples, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 28
- Vero Beach, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 29
- Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 19
- Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 20
- Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 21
In conclusion, I sincerely hope each of you will give a gift to the annual fund prior to May 31. Thanks to all of you, our class continues to be one of the top classes in percentage giving. Last year it was 67.1% with 169 donors who gave $73,862. I recall one year when we were almost at 80%. I give so much credit to our class agent, Dorothy Johnson Lutz, who has done such a fine job for us as well as Jim Isaak '86, Director of the Gustavus Fund and his fine staff.
This year the goal is 50% participation of all alumni in giving. This year, 2004, marks the 50th anniversary of the fund which was started in 1954 by Ren and Sylvia (Benzon) Anderson '34 '36. Their two sons, Jim '60 and Tom '63, are the chairpersons this year.
It should be noted that Gustavus placed first of the 28 ELCA colleges last year with a 38%. Our sibling rivalry, St. Olaf, came in at 32%. Augsburg's goal is to reach 20 % participation so we're doing well but we all know we can do better and must to reach the 50% goal.
In my own situation, I feel so indebted to Gustavus for meeting a dear wife, employment that I always enjoyed, life-long friends and certainly spiritual growth. In my alumni life, my wife, Lorraine, who attended Concordia, Moorhead and is now an honorary Gustie, enjoys the Christmas concert, luncheon and other alumni affairs. I enjoy following the Gusties in football and especially men's basketball. The last several years I have participated in the golf fundraiser for both of these teams, which are very enjoyable, even for a poor golfer, and then of course Phonorama activities.
May each of you have a most happy year with good health. Thanks again for sending a gift to the Annual Fund and may God bless each of you.
1951 Guest Letter Writer