Class of '57
April 2009

Dear Classmates,

Well, finally I am getting my act together.  It has been a tough winter for me, but I have managed to keep busy doing the things that Clem and I always did together and somehow, that has helped.  I even had Thanksgiving up at the lake for the whole family and the three older grandchildren wanted to go to the lake for New Years—so we went!  Thank goodness for family!

Enough about me.  Nancy and I went down to Gustavus for Christmas in Christ Chapel.  It was wonderful as usual.  And of course, I really lost it this year when we sang “O Come All Ye Faithful”—but it was wonderful.  Then, a few days later, I went down to Gustavus again for the St. Lucia Festival.  Author and storyteller, Kevin Kling ’79 gave the program.  He was absolutely delightful.  He had us in stitches listening to Christmases from his childhood.

The next event I am going to is Gustavus Library Associates’ Author Day.  This year we have two Minnesota Poets on our program.

Today, Nancy and I met at the Mall of America for lunch to plan our letter.  I’m sure I have forgotten what we decided I should do!  I do have some news that you have sent to Gustavus and they forwarded to me.  I will start with that.

Cubby DeCorsey was honored at the Minnesota Old Timers Football Hall of Fame Banquet back in September.  He was one of seven and Gary Gustafson was in charge of tickets.  Congratulations!!  Ellen Anderson Jacobson reports that husband, Weldon ’59, had triple by-pass surgery and a heart defibrillator implanted last year.  He is doing well now and in good health.  She told me that she had walked those same halls in St. Joe’s that I did.

Glenn Leaf is still serving churches as an interim pastor.  He is in International Falls at the moment.  Bet you have had a balmy winter up there Glenn!  Actually, you are serving a very important purpose.  Thank you.

Gale and Lois (Wicktor) Falk are in Bemidji.  Gale “Sook” received an award for being a registered official for 50 years!  He refs football, basketball and swimming.  That is a lot of running!  They took their twin granddaughters to Cancun for a vacation.  Lucky kids.

Lowell Madsen has retired from his flooring store.  I think that is right.  Barbara Churchill Stangler is the owner of Hometown Travel in St. Peter.  Ann Russell Johnson had a wonderful trip to China last summer.  Her daughter, Kim, and family have lived there for a couple of years.  Kim really gave her a great tour of China.  I wish I could write about it here, but you will have to ask Ann.

I got a wonderful newspaper article about Audrey Falk.  She is an artist that is world renowned and has had Muscular Dystrophy for 34 years.  She gets around her home in an electric wheelchair, and paints for a couple of hours every day.  These days she is using mostly watercolors.  She and her husband, Richard, live in Willmar.  As I look at the picture and read the article, I wonder if this could be our long lost Audrey Lee??  She is a very talented artist.

Arne Walker sent me some pictures that he took at our reunion.  They are great!  Thank you Arne.  He has been very busy since retiring from Our Saviour’s Lutheran.  They have been busy visiting their kids, traveling to the Holy Land, Alaska, Augsburg,Germany, and various places here in the states volunteering for many places.  He continues to write a public pulpit for the local newspaper―so he really keeps busy.

It seems as though our own John “Buddy Pete” Peterson has become a woodworker in his retirement years.  He is making easels of solid wood, and the display heights are adjustable.  They really look nice in the pictures on the brochure.

I went to the National Lutheran Choir concert of St. Matthew’s Passion last weekend.  I looked up and Judy (Lund) and Bob ’56 Erdman were sitting right in front of me.  Connie Wold Rome lives in Sun Lakes, AZ in the winter and Woodbury, MN in the summer.

Bill Johnson and his wife are living up at their lake place in Hackensack.  Bill is having some health problems, but manages to keep going every day.  The Gustavus Alumni Office sponsors a monthly “Come On You Gusties” breakfast and Barb Carlson Glensinski and Marian Hennix Gabel have gone a couple of times.  It sounds very interesting.

Phyllis Holmberg Olsson and husband, William, have had a nice trip to California this winter.  They spent some time with Pat Truhn Schumacher too.  Joyce (Kirkvold) and Gary Knoll live on Lake Benedict in northern Minnesota.  Their new “kid” is a yellow lab, Percy.  I have to tell you that your picture is on my cupboard and my granddaughter (age 1) loves to look at it and tries to say “woof.”  You are famous in my house!  Ha!

Roxanne McLaughlin Mellema and her husband, Dale, live in Walled Lake, MI.  They like to go to Texas for the winter months.  Barb Jungas Loewen and husband, Lee, still live in Mountain Lake.  They had a bumper crop of apples on their very own tree.  Marilyn (Johnson) and Roger Bertelsen got away from the winter cold to spend some time in Florida this year.  Ardell Waxlax Markitans and husband, Joe, spent the summer at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  (I had a cousin that did that and what a great deal that is!)  In August they took a trip to the Baltic Sea.  They extended their trip to Sweden and relatives in Göteborg.

That about wraps it up for me.  Nancy will be writing too, so till next time―don’t forget good old GAC.

Marlys Mattson Nelson

1957 Co-class Agent

5644 Heather Ridge Court

Shoreview, MN  55126



Dear Classmates,

I have very little news to add to Marlys’ letter.  Unfortunately, the only news I have is from my Christmas cards.  Even then, some of you only sign your names!  How about adding a few words next year.

Marlys baby-sits her year-old granddaughter several days a week.  She has more stamina than I do.  She and her sons (and family) are going on a Mediterranean cruise the last part of June.  They’ll be hitting ports in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and several of the Greek Isles.  It sounds like a wonderful way to do “togetherness.”  Beverly Bloomquist Todaro and husband, Joe, moved into a new home in Lacey, Washington last May.  Remarkably she found new tennis partners and a piano duet partner right away.  She and Joe went to Amsterdam to see friends in September and she and Marcy Rhyne Herr journeyed to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia in January.  This is the same trip that Vada Peterson Carlson and I have taken twice.  It’s a great trip.

Carol Rylander Farrell made her annual trip to St. Paul from Littleton, Colorado, last summer.  She, like many of us, attended her 55-year high school reunion.  She’s a graduate of Johnson High School so there were many other Gusties there, too.  I always enjoy her Christmas card because it is always a reproduction of one of her watercolors.  She is a very successful artist in the Denver area.  Phyllis Fox Paulson and husband, Don, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking their two daughters and families to Disney World.  In October, they went to Tanzania on a mission trip and worked in a secondary school in Bomalang’ombe.

Susan Soldin Thorsheim spends her days chauffeuring grandchildren, entertaining family, playing bridge and mah jong and participating in a book club.  Dennis Carlson had abdominal aorta aneurysm surgery in 2008 and has fully recovered.  In November I attended the Bar Mitzvah of Vada and Denny’s third grandchild, Seth, in the Boston area.  In February Vada Peterson Carlson spent a month in India touring the country.  Jean Bernard Johnson’s husband, Ben Wimberly, passed away in December.  Judy Lund Erdman spent a month in Paris last April and this April is going to Israel.

I just returned from 10 days in France.  Of course, I was the oldest in the group (by six years) and huffed and puffed my way through a rigorous schedule.  One fellow had a pedometer and one day we walked eight miles and another nine miles.  Otherwise, we only did five miles a day.  Believe it or not, we also did 900 steps one place and 345 at another.  That doesn’t even count the steps in the subways.  I had shin splints from walking up the stairs and cramps in my calves from walking down the stairs.  But, I managed to do it!

Just a reminder that the Annual Fund closes on May 31.  If you haven’t sent in your pledge, do it now!  Hope all is well with everyone and send us some news.

Nancy Reiter Grimes

1957 Co-class Agent

Campus News

Update on Commission Gustavus 150

Recently posted to the Commission website is a summary of the common issues and “big ideas” discussed at the first nine National Summit meetings regarding the College’s five core values (Excellence, Faith, Justice, Service, and Community).  The participants were asked how the College might ensure that the core values would be lived out in the lives of alumni, faculty, staff, and students.  The summary is being shared with all members of the eight task forces of Commission Gustavus 150.  The common issues and big ideas will help shape the recommendations made by the Task Forces to the Gustavus Board of Trustees and ultimately form the basis for the College’s long-range strategic plan.

Forensics Team Update

Congratulations to the Gustavus Adolphus College Forensics Team, which won its second straight Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Gustavus finished with 446 points to beat out Minnesota State University, Mankato (408 points) and Concordia College, Moorhead (213 points).  Gustavus placed first in 6 of 13 events and placed four individuals in the top seven of the individual sweepstakes standings.  First-year student, Chloe Radcliffe, placed first in the individual sweepstakes and senior, Tasha Carlson, will represent Minnesota at the 2009 Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest―the oldest speaking competition in the country―on April 25 in Oxford, Mississippi.

“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast

Join us for a cup of coffee, breakfast, and great conversation.  This month our featured presenter is Steve Wilkinson, men’s tennis coach.  All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, Wednesday, April 15, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard.  Cost is $10 at the door.  Reserve your spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763-533-9083.

Linnaeus Symposium

The Linnaeus Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2009 and will include Dr. Margaret Lowman, a tree ecologist and Gustavus alumnus, Gail Johnson Speckmann ’73, whose water color art display will premier during the conference; and there will be a special choreographed dance production on the theme of trees.

MayDay!  Peace Conference

“Tiananmen + 20 Years” is the topic of Gustavus Adolphus College’s 29th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference to be held Wednesday, April 29, 2009 on the college campus.