Class of '56
April 2006


Reunion dates ― May 26 & 27, 2006

Dear Classmates,

Spring is unfolding on the Gustavus campus (as elsewhere!) and we hope you will “spring into action” when you receive the registration info for our 50th class reunion, May 26th and 27th.  You may have already received it so fill it in right away and we’ll hope to set a record of attendees.  You will also be sent a booklet with the compilation of the survey we filled out last fall.  That should make inspired reading!

So many classmates and the efficient staff in the Alumni Office have put considerable time and effort into the weekend planning so that we can renew wonderful friendships, admire the beautiful campus, learn more about Gustavus’ mission, see Ray “Padre” Johnson’s art exhibit and attend the dialogue about his journey through 159 nations of the global human family, hear interesting seminars including one on Antarctica by John Annexstad, and enjoy great memories (perhaps you have forgotten some of our antics―or repressed them!)

Dick Chilkott will be the presenter at the remembrance of Cec EckhoffDick and Char (Swansson) Erickson and Roger and Helen (Sandgren) Munson are chairing the Memorial Service.  Bob Erdman will emcee the banquet while Ruth Chell Oliphant and Phyllis Sletten Dalager will lead the music and other classmates will enhance our memories of those important years at Gustavus.  Carolyn Jens Brusseau and Jo Johnson Lundborg will represent the class at the noon luncheon on Saturday.

Last call for video input!  The Alumni Office is putting a video together of our time as Gustie students with pictures from the yearbook, Weekly, etc.  If you have a picture or other reminiscence you would like included in the video, please send to Randall Stuckey in the Alumni Office by May 1.  Anything sent in will be returned.  The video will be shown at our 50th anniversary banquet Friday evening.

YES!!!  We will have a bulletin board of memories!  A bulletin board will be available in the registration area to post pictures, memorabilia, etc. that you think would be fun to share.  Just bring these items with you―post and remove yourself when you leave.

Dorm rooms will be available for Friday and Saturday nights (just check the blank on the registration form).  If you prefer a hotel/motel (list in September class letter and the registration mailer), you must make your own reservations.

It is great to hear that the following are additions to our list of classmates attending:

  • John Bonderson
  • Jim Chell
  • Luella Gesme Chell
  • Jack Colvard
  • C. Harvey Davis
  • Dick Derauf
  • Steve Ekobena
  • Mary Gruse Jennett
  • Jan Johnson Reed
  • LeRoy Sanders
  • Barbara Brunkow Timmer

Last, but not least, a word from Clyde Allen, our reunion class gift chair:

It’s a beautiful spring day here in Bloomington this morning as I write this note to you.  It reminds me of being at Gustavus on a day like this with the advent of “streaking,” picnics, “beverage busts,” etc.  Can’t beat it, can we?

Reunion time is two months away as I write this.  We have a long way to go in order to meet our class gift goals!  Thanks to you who have sent your gift or pledge.  For the rest of you, please, please help give future students the opportunity to experience what Gustavus can provide for the rest of their lives.  We benefited, so now help pass the assistance along.  An envelope is enclosed for your gift and news notes.  ~Clyde

Class News  ________________________________________________________________

Carolyn has spent the winter here and there and everywhere―Florida for Christmas with her family, Mexico with a friend in January, California to visit grandkids in February, Utah with friends in March and now she is getting ready for a week in Arizona this month.  It is obvious that being a senior vice president has its perks!

Jo and Dick have traveled in the southern states this winter with emphasis on exploring Civil War and other historic sites, visiting friends and relatives along the way, and welcoming a new granddaughter in Austin, Texas.  Jo hopes to be “home” long enough to plant a garden before heading to Minnesota for the reunion!

So sorry to report that Ruth Hanson Haberman was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) last January.  She is losing control of the muscles in her throat and can no longer speak.  Hopefully, she will still be able to participate in our reunion.

Jim and Luella (Gesme) Chell have a home in the forest outside of Jasper National Park in Hinton, Alberta, Canada.  Jim is retired from being the director of the Canadian Mission and now has a shop where he putters!  Luella is a watercolor artist and graciously gives all her sale $$$ to the Canadian Lutheran World Relief.

Robert Keech and his wife, Lois (Knutson ’57), are doing fine and plan to come to the reunion.  Their son and daughter are both teachers.

Corrine Wellendorf Heiberg and her husband, Elvin, live in Northfield and have two sons.  After two years at Gustavus, Corrine attended the University of Minnesota and majored in home economics - human ecology.  She taught in Belle Plaine, Germany and Northfield.  She keeps busy working with Meals on Wheels, the Cancer Society and the Red Cross.

Carl Swanson reports that he was in the Marines after Gustavus and then worked all over the country as a “wordsmith” for corporate consulting firms.  Although he graduated with a major in economics, he has had a lifelong interest in journalism.  His wife, Jean, is an artist and was a teacher at Mankato State.  He has been retired for ten years and is enjoying life in Saint Michael, MN.

Ron Brown used his speech and communication skills after graduation, and with his wife, Suzanne, set up their own consulting business in Calabogie (not far from Ottawa), Ontario, Canada.  They taught management for health care workers, especially executive nurses.  Ron is now helping a friend manufacture golf clubs.  Unfortunately, they have a previous commitment at reunion time.

Again we congratulate Barbara Brunkow and Adrian Timmer who were married in Kentwood, Michigan last June.  Now we can report that they recently took a belated honeymoon in Carlsbad, CA.

John Pearson and his wife, Beverly (Palmquist ’55), are both retired and live in St. Paul.  They have seven grandchildren and have enjoyed recent travels to Las Vegas and Phoenix.  We hope they have put the reunion on their calendar by now, as they were giving it some serious thought!

Marlys Swenson Ostrand and her husband, Norman, have lived in Scandia all their lives and assure us of a wonderful lifestyle.  They have four granddaughters who live nearby.  Marlys plays lots of bridge and runs the food shelf at their church.  We hope they are also giving more serious thought to attending our 50th.

Harvey Davis is a retired high school teacher who still reads a lot of history!  He plans to attend the reunion and tells us that he has been able to travel often since his wife, Deborah, is a NWA employee!

Ronald Nilson and his wife, Janet (Elwood ’57), have two daughters and live in Vancouver, WA but cannot join us in May.  Ron was in the U.S. Navy for 12+ years and then had a career in metallurgy and electro-chemistry.  He was a metals engineer at Bonneville Dam.

Make your plans today to attend our 50th class reunion.  It only happens once!  We look forward to seeing YOU.

Carolyn Jens Brusseau and JoAnn Johnson Lundborg

’56 Co-class Agents