Class of '56
April 2005

HAPPY SPRING…  If you are listening to the songs of the birds, watching the buds begin to bulge on the trees, seeing the grass turn green, and smelling the sweet scent of the early blooming flowers, we are sure that wonderful memories of the spring season on the Hill at Gustavus are being rekindled!  We hope those memories stir up your interest in seeing our beautiful campus once again, and let us remind you, only one year hence that opportunity will be ours!  NOW is the time to begin the planning for Reunion 50 in ’06!!!

Time casts different perspectives on lots of things…we thought you might enjoy the following quotes:

“It is not the years in your life, but the life in your years that count.”  Adlai E. Stevenson

“Youth is a gift of nature; Age is a work of art!   ??????

“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.”  Ingrid Bergman

Question of the month:  We know that Cec Eckhoff was president of our senior class and that Lee Carlson was vice president.  Now who can tell us the names of our secretary and treasurer????????  Our research has drawn a blank.

We’d like to start a list of those who will be attending our 50th celebration.  We understand that health, etc. could interfere with the best-laid plans.  However, if you are planning to be there (May 26-28, 2006), please let one of us know by snail mail, e-mail or phone.  We would really appreciate knowing…

We hope you heed Clyde’s words below and become involved in our reunion and gift to Gustavus.  Remember that the Alumni Fund for this fiscal year ends May 31st.


Can you believe that in a short 14 months, our class will be celebrating 50 years since we graduated from GAC?!  Our lives have certainly reflected the benefits that we all received from our Gustavus education.  Now is the time to leave to Gustavus a gift that can be used to assure that students of tomorrow can enjoy the wonderful education and experience that we were granted.  As you already have heard, the committee has set a goal of, at least, $1.5 million for such a gift.  This can be done through outright cash gifts, pledges for gifts or an estate planned gift.  All gifts starting last June are being counted toward this goal.  Please consider a generous gift that reflects the value of educational opportunities that you received.  A special 50th Anniversary gift envelope is included with this mailing.  If any of you desire more information on estate gift planning and how charitable contributions can benefit the school as well as your heirs, an informational seminar can be arranged.  Don’t hesitate to contact me or Jim Isaak ’86 at Gustavus.  This message will be repeated often, so please respond soon.

___________________________________~Clyde Allen______________________________

Perhaps you noticed in the spring Gustavus Quarterly the deaths of Karen Johnson Krueger (West Palm Beach, Florida) last November and Charles “Chuck” Ledin (Hutchinson, Kansas) on New Year’s Day, 2005.  We’re glad that we recently had news from both of these classmates in our class letter.  Our deepest sympathy is extended to their families and loved ones.

You may also have read that Corrine Rhyne Holm lives in Plymouth and is the owner of Custom Design Windows.  You might even remember the picture of Corrine in the fall 2004 Quarterly with her sister, Marilyn Rhyne Herr ’55, who was retiring from the bench in New Jersey.

Dick Bergman works part-time for Highland Management Group, Inc. in Bloomington.  He and his wife, Delores “Tusa” (Johnson ’59) Bergman, have a travel trailer and enjoy camping during the summer―especially now that Tusa’s ovarian cancer is in remission.  In April, they plan to fly to Florida for a week in the sun!  And they do plan to attend our 50th.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary in February, Joan Krantz Braun and her husband, Russell ’58, took a Hawaiian cruise with their three grown children and their spouses.  Joan is a retired public school teacher and resides in Madison, Wisconsin.

Tom Engquist and his wife, Carolyn (Clogston ’58), are well and busy in Prior Lake.  They are thankful that they can continue to enjoy travels, music, art activities and their five grandchildren!  Quoting Tom’s meaningful thoughts:  “Our gift to Gustavus this year is made in memory of our dear friend, Julio Gasteiro, who so loved the music at Christmas in Christ Chapel.  We would like it to be dedicated toward making Christ Chapel accessible to individuals in wheelchairs.  Remembering Barbara Andrews ’58 and her struggles, as well as the strong backs of our classmates who carried her into the old chapel.  We have hopes that our classmates might consider this effort as we look toward our 50th anniversary gift to the college.”

Planning “to stay real active as long as I can,” Jo Cipra enjoys living in Sonoma County (northern California) in the wine country and on the Russian River.  Her summers are filled with wine sipping, kayaking and other water activities.  Jo sings with two groups―a gospel/blues group and the countrywide “Raging Grannies!”  Recent travels include Phoenix, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Mexico and soon Paris.

Bob Erickson and his wife, Sue, spend the winters on Sanibel Island, FL.  Inasmuch as there was so much devastation on Sanibel from the hurricane last fall, they feel fortunate that the damage was not significant in the area in which their home is located.  Bob continues to serve as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University in the College of Education on the school’s Minneapolis campus.  He also is an adjunct professor at Boise State where he teaches an online class.  Bet he didn’t learn those online skills in his education curriculum at Gustavus!!!  Bob and Sue have three children (one son played on the Gustavus baseball team with Randall Stuckey ’83, who is now Gustavus’ director of alumni relations) and seven grandchildren.

Richmond and Lorraine (Youngquist) Anderson are dealing with Richmond’s Parkinson’s disease and are taking it “one step at a time.”  They have a lot of support from their four daughters and nine of their grandchildren live nearby, so “that makes happy times.”  Lorraine stays busy as organist at their Lutheran church and keeps in shape with water aerobics!  Richmond walks the track at the fitness center.

Vonnie Anderson Casserly is coping with the usual challenges faced by recent widowhood and particularly cherishes her attentive close neighbors as well as good friendship extended to her by some longtime Gustavus classmates.  Since Murray’s death, she has experienced a couple of episodes of health issues largely related to her arthritic condition, but at the time we talked to her, she sounded peppy and upbeat and is looking forward to our reunion!  Enjoying the winter in her wonderful Naples, FL home was not possible this past winter…but next year?  Keep your fingers crossed.

Now fully retired from the ministry, Dallas Blenkush continues to reside in Lakeville.

LeRoy Sanders is retired after teaching school for five years in Dassel and 30 years in Willmar.  We have a Naples, FL address for LeRoy and Ruth (Swanberg ’57) so perhaps they have gone south with the rest of the snowbirds!

Kent and Carol (Lindberg) Musser have spent their third winter in Arizona renting for a three-month duration.  Now they have purchased a two-bedroom manufactured home in Mesa and plan to enjoy many more warm winters.  It has been five months since Kent’s heart surgery and he is doing well―walks 2-3 miles daily and is getting his golf game back!

Lee Carlson says his sons have taken over his auto business.  He and his wife, Karen (Hyllengren ’61), winter in Arizona and have three grandchildren.

While enjoying retirement, Miriam “Mimi “Johnson Eisele continues to serve on several Boards and committees in Grand Rapids.  She and her husband, Gerald, spent the month of January in Palm Springs and this month, they will enjoy their kids and grandkids on a Disney cruise.

Moon Mullin is still residing in Oak Run, Illinois, a private golf and lake community, but is planning to sell and move back to Galesburg.  He and his wife, Peggy, enjoy their RV adventures and spend a short period of time at Christmas with their kids and grandkids in Ft. Lauderdale.  He is still in the tax business working currently with H&R Block.   Moon says that he “would be happy to share views on holistic health care with anyone interested (Peggy is a massage therapist in a holistic health care clinic in Peoria) and hopes to see all ’56ers next May.”

Don and Nancy (Lea) Roberts recently had a winter rendezvous at their summer home on Birch Lake near Hackensack.  They got the plumbing, etc. ready for the summer season and, at the same time, enjoyed the beauty of winter hiking and found the solitude of the experience (very few people in residence) to be refreshing to mind and spirit!  They are off shortly to Florida― one week in the Fort Lauderdale area and one week in Naples/Bonita Springs where Don will attend an annual hockey convention meeting and mingling with old friends.  A hockey convention in Florida???????

Monthly fall and winter class letters will be written by previous class agents.  They will have new insights for you and will “beat the drums” for our 50th reunion―May 26-28, 2006.

Carolyn Jens Brusseau                                   JoAnn Johnson Lundborg

(651) 774-7351                                                 (509) 548-6574

St. Paul, MN  55117                                           Leavenworth, WA  98826                       

Campus Briefs

Gustavus has been known for its strong tradition of alumni participation in annual giving.  Gusties support their Alma Mater in many ways and show their pride with their gifts.  All alumni and current students have benefited from previous and current support.  Gustavus will be as strong as its alumni want it to be.  The 2005 Alumni Fund closes May 31.  Make sure you are included with many members of your class and other alumni that have chosen to keep Gustavus strong.  Three easy ways to give – send your check to the Alumni Office (by using the enclosed envelope), call 866-487-3863, or on-line at

Alumni Awards

The Gustavus Alumni Association has announced 2005 award recipients.  The Greater Gustavus Award to George Torrey ’55 for his lifetime volunteer service and philanthropy to the College. Distinguished Alumni Citations to G. Barry Anderson ’76, Apple Valley, MN, associate justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Deanna Nelson ’64, Cary, NC, president/founder, BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.; Rick Webb ’73, Edina, MN, owner of Ciao Bella, Zelo and Bacio Restaurants; and John Wirth ’75, Pacific Palisade, CA, writer/executive producer, Paramount Studios.  First Decade Awards to Joe Gaugler ’95, Lexington, KY, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Debbie Lightly Mascaro ’95, Fargo, ND, research scientist, North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished third at the NCAA national championship after winning the MIAC title, the men’s basketball team won the MIAC regular season title and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA national tournament, the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAC title and placed seventh at the NCAA national tournament and had seven swimmers earn All-America honors and the women’s team had four swimmers earn All-America honors.

Extraordinary Students

Senior Rachel Batalden, a double major in mathematics and secondary education with a 3.898 grade point average and two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Senior Paul Fraser, a music and computer science major has been selected as the winner of the second annual Caltech-Occidental Composition Contest for new music for concert band. The contest drew entries from all over the world, and as the winner, Paul will receive a cash award and a recording of the world premiere of the work at a concert by the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band in Pasadena, Calif., in May.

Bricks and mortar

Southwest Residence Hall is being constructed across the Campus Drive from the arboretum on the west side of the campus and is scheduled to be finished by June.  The L-shaped facility is configured with apartments for four and six and will accommodate nearly 200 students.  A hostel space for summer programs and confirmation retreat groups is included in the residence’s plans.

With the new Southwest Residence Hall coming on-line, the College will be taking down Wahlstrom Hall to make way for future residential construction.  Crews will start the dismantling process in July with asbestos abatement, and the Kasota-stone residence hall will be razed in August.  Alumni returning for reunion and commencement festivities on May 27–29 will be able to take a last tour through the building’s public areas, stairwells, and walk-through sections following a “decommissioning” ceremony to be held on Saturday morning, May 28.

Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main discovered a cistern under the basement flooring in March.  Gutting the interior has provided evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appears to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.  The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in August.

The education and nursing departments have been relocated to the newly erected Mattson Hall, which is sited just west of the Schaefer Fine Arts Center and Prairie View Residence Hall, on the south side of the campus.  These departments will remain there until a new social science center is built at some point in the future.

Upcoming Events

  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 23
  • G.I.V.E. Community Service Day – April 30
  • Class of 1955 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 27 & 28
  • Commencement – May 29
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Reunions on Homecoming – October 7 & 8
  • Nurses Reunion – October 8

Debate squad

Lucia Queen