Class of ’58
Dear ’58 classmates,
A special life has passed from our sight. HEATHER ANN PETERSON DAVIS-PEABODY died on Friday, September 3 at home after a two-plus year struggle with lung cancer and later with brain cancer. Heather faced her journey/death with courage, honesty and incredible strength, never asking “why me?” She would call me after her scans and radiation to tell me what worked and what were her next choices of radiation and chemo were. I asked her what I could do to help her and she said she would let me know and she did. In the last few months of her life, I was privileged to help her go through her very organized files and “pitch” what her son, Jon, wouldn’t need. We spent several pleasurable evenings last winter and spring at dinner and the Met operas shown in local theaters. We had great conversations on what life had given us. The answer to many prayers was that she had no serious pain (lots of neuropathy) until the last 36 hours. I spent most of the last Wednesdays with her and she was totally lucid, though she slept more. She loved her nut goodies, Culver’s malts, and computer solitaire right up to the last day. She lived her life with dignity and at peace, leaving her friends and family, her legacy of faith. Heather was blessed with many Gustie and high school friends, fellow teachers, work associates, church members and her dear friend of 17 years, Bob Lund, who loved her and took good care of her.
JOYCE STRAND MARVEL came to Minnesota in August to see Heather and had lunch with six of us. Joyce moved from St. Louis to Grapevine, TX to be near her three sons and their families. She bought a house with yard and pool for her exercise and their entertainment and would welcome any guests (817-488-8149).
JAN THOMAS PRITCHARD was a frequent “Heather helper” as a secretary writing notes and letters and bringing meals. Jan continues to teach piano to a few students. DOUG still works if he is not golfing!
BARB JOHNSON MORRIS joined us for lunch. She has a shoulder that is keeping her from the tennis she loves, but is very active in her church.
MARTHA BANKE CURTIS and LES brought many meals to Heather. They hope to travel to Texas and Arizona next month, hoping to see SONYA (HARBO) and SKIP TALUS and then off to California for two months next winter.
NORIE HEINE BECKER moves slowly, but gracefully, after knee replacements (at the same time). She is happiest in her art studio creating quilts and gift items.
“BJ” BARBARA JENSEN OLSON and Roy moved to a new condo where Roy (Parkinsons) has a daily caretaker with rehab facilities on the premises so Barb is freed up for her church activities and attending recitals and ball games for five grandchildren. Their new address is: 7155 Roswell Road, #61, Atlanta GA 30326. Phone: 770-394-1645.
MARY ELLEN YOUNG came back to Minnesota in July (after a year sabbatical for hip replacement) to play golf and attend her annual Battle Lake reunion and also spent some time with me at Ottertail Lake. She has many Lakewood College associates and golf friends that fill her “dance card” so she goes home exhausted. Mary Ellen is very active in Jacksonville with the Symphony Guild and is responsible for educating students and teachers before the theater’s live MET HD transmission from NYC. She is the most sought after golf partner on the links, earning big monies, like $20 to $25 gift certificates!
MIM ANDERSON OLSEN travels seasonally between Little Falls and Rockport, TX. She owns property in both places and says she is healthier than ever biking, hiking, swimming and, of course, reading. She is planning a trip to China in March.
BARB BENNETT CHRISTOPHERSON and Jim travel often and continue to raise money for MS in honor of a good friend she helps care for. They just returned from New England with a group from Stillwater, taking several hundred photos, making CD’s which they sell for $50 with the checks made out to MS. They did the same on a recent trip to Alaska. They are nearing $150,000 for MS, third among all contributors in 2009. Way to go−Barb and Jim!
With Heather’s illness, I renewed my contact with SUSAN MOTHERWELL GALE, who lives in God’s country (Door County, WI) where she enjoys the ongoing artists and musicians. She retired from sailboat racing on Lake Michigan, had a business of antiques and artwork and handles the publication of the late Sam Gale. She recently spent time on the annual fashion show that benefits cancer research.
I contribute money to a local Community Emergency Service and get a monthly report of heartfelt stories, including one from Jeff Noyed, the assistant director and son of DALE and Nancy NOYE.
And, so what about me, CAROLYN LUND SANDVIG, the co-class agent that you have been waiting to hear from! I have had a tough year, losing two very good friends to cancer and helping care for Gene’s 102 year-old, Aunt Thelma, for the last six months of her life. (She bought her first house at 85 and drove until she was 99.) Longevity is natural in Gene’s family with three cousins at or near 100. Gene ʼ57 and I help out daughter, Susan and Joel with two grandkids, 11 and 4, as they travel the world with their speedskating responsibilities as referee and “doping doctor.” I would like to get back to leading volunteer groups to developing countries, especially in Africa. My “boyfriend” is still Charlie Rose (10:30-11:30 p.m.), and since I don’t need a lot of sleep, I get a lot of reading done, mostly memoirs and poetry. We are off to Ann Arbor where our daughter, Sara ’81, is a pediatrician. Grandson, Eric, will be playing in the Michigan State High School tennis tournament. Pappa Mats is in Florida now playing in the National ʼ50s. Last year he went back to Sweden and won both the indoor and outdoor tourneys. He is a cancer researcher at the University of Michigan.
I invite all of you to write a few paragraphs about yourselves. Now, that I have done it, you can see how easy it is.
Carolyn Lund Sandvig
1958 Co-Class Agent
5901 Park Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55417
And now from the other half of your class agents with some old news and reports of the past year.
Wedding news! AARON MOEN and Claudette Nelson were married in Dassel, MN on July 9.
Congratulations! Aaron writes “Words cannot adequately express my feelings when my wife, Sharon, passed away so unexpectedly from a rare from of Leukemia in June, 2009 after 50 years of marriage. Knowing that life must go on in a positive way, I was blessed with the friendship of one of my high school students in my first teaching position in Dassel in 1958-60, after getting reacquainted at a high school reunion. A retired elementary teacher, Claudette Nelson, had never married. We both realized late last fall that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and were married at a private family ceremony. We are living in Dassel and at our home on Oneida Lake, east of Syracuse, NY for parts of each year.”
JIM EDMAN reports, “I’m slowly catching up after our Back Door Tour of Scandinavia with Rick Steves. We toured Sweden, Denmark and Norway with lots of knowledge about king Gustavus Adolphus. He might have been a lot of things, but his mighty warship, the Vassar, proved he was not a ship builder. Unfortunately, like often happens, many knew it would be a disaster, but were afraid to tell him. Ramona and I were the only birders in our group of 23 and our attention during outdoor walks got diverted when we saw or heard and interesting bird. The trip was an adventure and maybe my daily, cheerful I believe, approach to living is influenced more than I realize by recovery from our 2003 accident and the two weeks spent in the Hennepin County Trauma Center. Whatever it is, we just completed a 13 week course to become Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists and we’re very active in the development of a new 72 acre city park that will give kids a chance to connect with nature.”
MARLENE ISENSEE THOMAS and John have moved to Colorado Springs to be near their daughter. New address: 4532 Palisades Park View, Colorado Springs CO 80906. Phone: 719-355-3247 and email: email@example.com. She says, “The Springs has a large military presence with a major army base, Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Academy. We live at the bottom of Cheyenne Mountain which is the home of NORAD, so we are either very safe or a wonderful target!”
Recent sightings in St. Peter of LEE and Susan ANDERSON on their way to the Iowa State Fair, BARRY COULTER at the local grocery and ROLLIE and Mary HIRMAN at the Gustavus Leadership dinner on campus. And, of course, ANDERS BJORLING, who lives in St. Peter, but is seldom here as he travels to Sweden, Africa, and as I write, to Chile and Patagonia.
LYNN and JAN (CARLSON) STRAND continue to live in Bozeman, MT while wintering in Green Valley, AZ. Their children and grandchildren enjoy their cabin north of Grand Rapids.
ALJEAN VAN WINKLE LOVING volunteers at an elementary school and boys and girls club while tutoring one day a week. They visited eight of their 13 grandchildren in Tennessee this summer.
MARGE LUND KINNEY continues to live in the house they built 43 years ago with her church and family providing her support and her grandchildren keeping her entertained and laughing.
CHAR BUKKILA WESTRUM and Rod ʼ57 enjoy retirement in Park Rapids and the Villages in Florida.
MORNA PELL TRAFFAS retired last January.
PAUL BORG was in Minnesota in July for numerous family reunions, including one with his two brothers and also came to St Peter to visit BOB PETERSON.
DOROTHY PALM CHILKOTT attended the Augustana Heritage gathering at Augustana College in June.
CAROLE LAMBERT CAMERON says she needs a shoulder replacement, but it may have to do as she has been carved up enough, but she keeps busy with pitch and bridge, working out and her many church activities from ushering, and lecturing to being the president of WELCO.
DON and GINNY OLSON winter in Palm Desert. Don, his son, and Noel Estergren ’61 plan to walk down and back up the Grand Canyon in February.
We are sad to report the death of DICK SODERGREN on September 23 in Seattle. Dick retired in 2002 from his long career as a public health advisor for the Washington State Health Department. He is survived by his wife, Katherine, and two daughters.
HERBERT ANDERSON shared a note from Kathy saying that Dick had been diagnosed with metastatic cancer in August. The cancer began in his lungs (he never smoked) and spread to his lung, liver and spine. Dick was a special person for this class agent as he always was positive on Phonorama calls and I don’t believe he ever missed a year as a donor.
JERRY HESSER had surgery this summer for a herniated disk, which ended months of severe pain. My last report is several months old so I hope therapy has returned him to full strength.
VAHAN ASSADOURIAN was scheduled to have both knees replaced this summer, four months apart. I am hoping he is also fully recovered. More news from HERBERT ANDERSON, “I saw MARK and Anne (Kilty ʼ60) WIBERG in October with some other friends who worked at Camp Miller (near Moose Lake) in the summers while in college. Camp Miller was a summer employment location for many Gusties.
DON LOOMER may be one of the most active people I know. He is currently starting a new church plant in the area (Santa Paula, CA) that has a very non-traditional feel and focus, volunteering as wilderness ranger spending 2-4 days a month on trail maintenance and other things, being part (along with Bev) of a local Citizens’s Patrol which is a volunteer part of the local police department, treasurer for our local “America in Bloom,” doing clean-up projects and planting and mentoring five different pastors and three layman in their area. And all of this after he retired from formal pastoral ministry in 2007!
Thanks to those of you who responded to our Annual Fund appeals in the last month of the fiscal year. At the risk of missing someone, here is the list I have: BEVERLY DUNCAN ANDERSON, HERBERT ANDERSON, WESTEN ANDERSON, VAHAN ASSADOURIAN, BOB BAUGH, PAUL BORG, DOROTHY PALM CHILKOTT, CHARLES CLEMENTS, JIM CONE, MARTHA BANKE CURTIS, JOHN DAHL, LOREN ECKBERG, MARGO PETTERSEN FOHS, CAROL LUND GARONE, MYRTICE JOSTAD HANEY, JERRY HESSER, MARGE LUND KINNEY, DON LOOMER, ALJEAN VAN WINKLE LOVING, RUTH PEIKERT MADDOX, JOYCE STRAND MARVEL, JIM MC PHERSON, DON OLSON, RICHARD OLSON, PATRICIA MILLER PETERSON, JAN (THOMAS) and DOUG PRITCHARD, HELEN MAGNUSON SCHULZ, MARLENE ISENSEE THOMAS, CHAR BUKKILA WESTRUM, MARY ELLEN YOUNG and MARLENE HAUGEN WIDMARK. And to all the rest of you who contributed earlier in the year, THANKS!
The class of 1958 had another outstanding year in the Annual Fund. We had 123 donors for a participation rate of 69.1! Of graduating classes of more than 100, only the 50th anniversary class, 1960, had a higher participation rate (71.2%) than we did. You are one great group of alumni!
Our total gift for the year to the College was $134,167, another great record. We have now raised $90,088 for the class of 1958 scholarship and are on our way to cross the $100,000 mark. We have also raised $45,675 for the Christ Chapel Accessibility Project, another great achievement.
And, of course, we are ready to start another year of fund-raising! In fact, as of a month ago, a dozen of you have already made a gift to the College. Thanks!
A special thanks to Carolyn for her contribution to this letter! Keep your news coming.
Best to all of you!
1958 Co-class Agent
618 West Nassau
St. Peter, MN 56082
The Gustavus Alumni Association is bringing together about 25,000 Gusties to celebrate the College’s 150th anniversary. In partnership with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI), Gustavus will produce the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Alumni Directory. Over the next couple of months, PCI will be contacting Gustavus alumni via phone, mail, and e-mail to request that you update your information. We know you don’t want to provide your information to just anyone, so we want you to be aware of this project and encourage your participation. For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.
What is Good Food? The Nobel Conference® 46, Making Food Good, was held Oct. 5-6. It explored the many levels of this question. From our seven distinguished panelists we considered varied and various conceptions of goodness and the challenges involved with the way they intersect with each other. Contemporary food issues like community food security; the local foods movement; food crops as fuel crops; school lunches; genetic modification of food plants and animals; molecular gastronomy; and protecting genetic diversity of plants and animals were considered. You can hear the talks online at: http://gustavus.edu/events/nobelconference/2010/.
Athletics Hall of Fame
Gustavus inducted new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame at a banquet on Sat., Oct. 9. Inductees for 2010 are: Evie Cieslar Erdman ’73, benefactor; Duke Paluch ’84, tennis; Erik Allen ’92, basketball; Peter Anderson ’92, golf; Leigh Stocker Berger ’92, volleyball; Angela White Vick ’92, track and field; Heidi Rostberg Carlson ’93, tennis; Erik Hendrikson ’94, hockey, football; Paige Tierney Sullivan ’95, soccer; and the Hall of Fame Moment−1990 Women’s Tennis National championship.
Alumni Art Show
Over 60 alumni will participate in an Alumni Art Show in the Hillstrom Museum, November 22 through the end of the semester. A reception will take place on Monday, November 22, 7 p.m. This will be the first alumni art showing in the Hillstrom Museum.
“Come on You Gusties” Breakfast
Once a month, Gusties gather for coffee, breakfast, and great conversation along with a campus speaker. All Gusties are welcomed and invited to the breakfast, third Wednesday of the month, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard. Cost is $10 at the door. Upcoming breakfasts include Jim Dontje, Oct. 20, with a recap of the Nobel Conference; Jeff Stocco, dean of students, on Nov. 17; Neal Hagberg ’81 and Leandra Peak ’83, musicians, on Dec. 15; and the winter sports coaches on Jan. 19.
Tickets for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2010 will be available on Monday, Oct. 18 at noon. Service dates are Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 each and available online via credit card at: www.gustavustickets.com. If you do not have access to the Internet, tickets are available by calling the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.