Class of '56
We hope you have had a terrific summer after our grandiose 50th celebration at Gustavus. No doubt, the pictures sent to all of us after the reunion are framed and the “golden oldies” CD is in constant use while driving your sports car across country!
FYI―“Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don’t recognize you!” Thank goodness, we had pictures and large print on our nametags.
Tragically, two of our “star performers” at the reunion have since passed away―Ruth Hanson Westlund Haberman on July 27 and Dick Chilkott on August 25.
Dick died from a massive heart attack after surgery. We shall always remember his meaningful tribute to Cec Eckhoff at the Orbisc statue and his outstanding singing voice which is so familiar to us. We send our condolences to Dorothy Palm Chilkott ’58.
Ruth succumbed to the dreaded ALS disease. Fortunately, she was able to join us at the reunion just two months earlier and wrote the invocation for Friday night’s anniversary dinner. Her courageous “thumbs up” attitude is instilled in our memories forever. We print here the invocation written by Ruth and presented by Jo Cipra:
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe. Your gifts are so
many, one of them being the time our class had together just 50 to 54 years
ago. Thank you for the education, the playing, and even those tough learning
experiences that helped us to broaden our viewpoints on life. Bless us as we
gather together today and in the challenges we face in everyday living. May
we be thankful for life and its gifts, for your constant presence in our lives,
and for this opportunity to “celebrate life.” Help us to keep on living and loving,
listening and learning, and laughing when we can.
Continue, O Lord, to bless Gustavus Adolphus College, its students, faculty
and administration that they may find here a haven of peace. Hold all of us
in your arms and help us receive your love and pass it on to others. Lord God,
in your holy name we pray. Amen
Here is some up-to-date info on the classmates who could not make the reunion at the last minute:
Jo Johnson Satter is staying with her daughter in Rosemount while husband, Einer ’55, makes steady progress at the Bethesda Rehabilitation Center in St. Paul after surgery (the night before our reunion) for a ruptured brain aneurysm. You can be updated on Einer’s progress and send greetings to him via: www.caringbridge.org―go to “visit” and then type in Einer Satter in all lowercase and do not include spaces (einersatter). Mary Andreen Carlson and husband, Paul ’55, stayed home in California to support and be with their daughter, Ann, at the time of her unexpected surgery. Ann is healing well and will be back teaching kindergarten this fall. Carole Kilander Griggs was deterred because of her catering business responsibility in Hackensack. Jack Colvard’s atrial fibrillation was acting up and he had to have it checked out at the Mayo Clinic. He is doing well now. Charles “Dewey” Parrish in Beaver Dam, WI, really wanted to be at the reunion but a hip operation prevented travel.
Greetings were sent verbally by some of our classmates who could not attend the reunion and we had two letters. Carl-Georg Martinson from Skarholmen, Sweden wrote that he retired on January 1, 2000 after having been teaching math, physics, chemistry and “even a lot of other subjects” mainly at two colleges―one in the north and one in the south part of Sweden. He spent “the last 27 years as president, which meant a lot of administration and economic responsibility.” He has also been active in church, politics and Adult Study Organization for about 40 years. Erland Nord sent his greetings from Edmonton, Canada. He is a retired pastor of an Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and now has a ministry of his own.
C. Harvey Davis wrote last April that he thanks Gustavus for a great experience and preparation for life. He gives thanks for “many great friends and in particular three wonderful roommates, Bob Gamm ’54, Dick Kumlin’55 and Jack Pearson. Bill Hammerlund ’57 and Don Swanson ’55 wanted to move in with us but we couldn’t afford to feed them!!”
Rayburn Norling continues as president of the Willmar Poultry Company and has the privilege of spending six months each year in the Phoenix area. He returned to Willmar in May after a great season of golf in Arizona.
Both Joan Krantz Braun and Janice Samuelson Olmanson have written that they will have granddaughters attending Gustavus this fall. Janice’s granddaughter, Sara, is in the class of 2008 and Joan’s granddaughter, Kaitlin, will be in the class of 2010.
Marlene Ibberson Satre has retired from teaching school and did enjoy traveling last winter which included a Caribbean cruise and also spent time in Mexico and Arizona.
Vonnie Anderson Casserly is now a resident of Friendship Village, a senior retirement community, located in Bloomington. She keeps in frequent contact with many Gustavus classmates.
Barbara Brunkow Avery Timmer has been doing some part time occupational therapy assistant work in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she and husband, Adrian, reside.
Carolyn and Jo have been honored by Gustavus as Class Agents of the Year! We have just had so much fun keeping in touch with all of you that we feel humble in having a special recognition for doing what we have loved to do! We’re together in Leavenworth, WA writing this letter. However, Jo and Dick ’55 will be moving from their log house on the Wenatchee River which they have enjoyed for 17 ½ years and will make their primary residence back in their beloved Hawaii.
We always enjoy hearing from you and getting up-dated on what is happening in your lives.
Carolyn Jens Brusseau JoAnn Johnson Lundborg
728 E. Belmont Lane 84 Pukihae Street #1206
St. Paul, MN 55117 Hilo, HI 96720
(651) 774-7381 (808) 933-2404