Class of '57
September 2001 B

Dear Classmates,

I had planned to write this letter yesterday, but my heart wasn’t in it.  I was, as I’m sure you were, glued to the TV set—just stunned at the events unfolding in New York City and Washington DC.  I emailed Bev Bloomquist Todaro.  I was worried about her.  She lives very close to the CIA grounds.  If I had know the email address of Carol Swanson Minor and Jean Bernard Johnson, I would have contacted them too as well as Carolyn Erickson Townsend who lives in New York City. I pray everything is OK with them.

I went down to Gustavus last Saturday for the annual Class Agents Meeting.  Judy Lund Erdman was there too.  I know you are getting a letter from her too, but I really wanted to write this one to remind you of two things.  The first one is to remember to put September 20 and 21 of next year on your calendar.  We will celebrate our 45th class reunion Friday night in the Twin Cities, and Saturday at Gustavus for a lunch and the football game, etc.  I can’t believe that it has really been that long, but it has.  I hope all will make an effort to come.  We have lost a few of our class members and sometimes that is hard to realize.  Let the rest of us keep in touch and remember those wonderful carefree years.

The second thing I want to remind you of, is the Gustavus Library Associates sponsored ROYAL AFFAIR.  If you have not been to one before, it is a wonderful party.  We have hundreds of items on a silent auction and a few on a live auction.  We have great entertainment and great food.  Best of all, we raise $$$ for the endowment for the Folke Bernadotte Library.  If you think the party may be too “swell” for you, have no fear.  Yes, we do see a few tuxedos and some glitzy gowns, but Clem wouldn’t go if it required a tux and I feel the same about a fancy dress.  A sport coat is fine for guys and we even see pantsuits on women.  It is NOT a formal affair unless you want it to be.  This year, the date is Saturday, November 17, at the Radisson South Hotel.  When you see it in the Quarterly, send for an invitation and come.  It is really fun.

I heard that Buddy Peterson is making a lawn chair for the auction.  I always make some candy and a few other things, Vada Peterson Carlson has upon occasion given us some needlepoint.  If you have something to donate, the deadline is September 28, so let me know now.

I have seen Phyllis Holmberg Olsson a few times this summer.  She said Sandy Clark Vollan had been in and they had lunch.  Pat Truhn Schumacher was here this summer so all three of us were together.  Pat lost her husband, Robert, in February and this was the first time we had seen her since then.

I have a couple more deaths to report.  Gayle Peterson died in April, and Robert Wyttonhove died in July.  God bless the families they left behind.

Clem and I went to a St. Paul Alumni Area Picnic that was held at Como Park in August.  We felt we should go because we have both complained about everything being held in Bloomington, Wayzata, and other suburbs of Minneapolis and nothing even close to St. Paul.  Well, we went, and had a wonderful time.  We sat with a young fellow and his wife who told us that his grandfather was the very first student at Gustavus.  Then, we learned more about that last Saturday.

It seems that our founder, Pastor Eric Norelius of Red Wing/Vasa area, thought that the church needed an institute of higher learning.  His parishioners collected $20 and Gustavus was born.  The first student, Jonas Magne, paid $1 tuition, $.75 per month board, and room was free.  That was in 1862.  Times have really changed.  Everything costs $$$ now.  That is why we have the Alumni Fund.  It has many different names, but it all goes to help the students at Gustavus in some way.  We can even designate which area we want our $$$ to go to.  As I looked at our giving, I realized that some of us have not contributed for a long time.  Pretend that you are going to a movie—then put the cost of your ticket and popcorn, etc. into an envelope, then send it to the Alumni Fund.  Every contribution counts—and a lot when combined with everyone elses’ contribution.  If we could get every class member to contribute something, just think what we could do.  One hundred percent participation is a dream I have, but I really think it can become a reality.

I have some class news that was forwarded to me.  I will pass it along to you now.  The Hutchinson Leader had a wonderful article in it’s February 8 edition titled “A Man For All Swimming Seasons”  It was about our own Jerry Carlson.  I wish I could print the whole article.  Jerry has retired from teaching, but still is the swim coach in Hutchinson.  Lucky kids.

Shirlee "Shi" Roland Lawter is retired and living in Winter Haven, FL.  She fell in January and shattered her right shoulder bone.  Sounds painful.  She welcomes all Gusties. 

Mary Ellen Schulke Downes lives in Los Angeles, CA.  She and Pat Truhn Schmacher get together now and then.  She also sees Ann Hanson Jackson who is retired and living in Costa Mesa, CA.  She sees Ginny Field in the Denver area too.  Mary Ellen says she is too busy and wonders when she had time to work.  (I think many who retire express the same concern!  Ha!)

Eve Orfanidou Wincel lives in Indianapolis, IN.  She is retired and has a son, daughter and granddaughter who keep her busy.

Clem Carlson is living in Five Counties Nursing Home in Lemmon, SD.  He has Parkinson’s Disease and that has slowed him down.

Glenn Leaf is a great soul—serving congregations in transition as an interim pastor in southeast Minnesota, east central Wisconsin and northeastern Iowa.  Those congregations are lucky!

Sandy Rader Howell lives in Riverton, WY.  She is retired and spending much time on the golf course.  She would love to see any Gusties going that way.

I just can’t get myself to turn off the TV set.  Things just keep happening so fast!  If this letter doesn’t hang together, that is the reason!  I will try to do better next time.

By the way, here are a few easy ways to be an Involved Gustie Alumn:

  1. Submit information for the Gustavus Quarterly.
  2. Put a Gustavus sticker on your car.
  3. Talk to anyone wearing any Gustie clothing or a class ring.
  4. Recruit future Gusties (give names to the Admission Office).
  5. Come to your class reunion.
  6. Occasionally burst into the Gustie Rouser, just to keep it fresh.
  7. Attend a chapter event.
  8. Call at Phonorama.
  9. If you move, let the Alumni Office know your new address and phone number.
  10. Check out the Gustavus Home Page on the web at
  11. Know that you are a part of the great Gustavus family!!!

My email address is and would love to hear from you.

Go Gusties!

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-class Agent