Class of ’58

October 2012

55-Year Reunion ― May 31 – June 1, 2013

Dear ʼ58ers

Another year begins!  And, this is a special year as we celebrate our 55th anniversary with a class reunion on May 31 and June 1, 2013.  It will come quickly!

A planning committee has been formed and you will find the minutes of the first meeting later in this letter.  Marlys Johnson Johnson agreed to chair the reunion committee and she welcomes your ideas and suggestions.  We are very much in the beginning stage of planning a program for Friday evening and a breakfast on Saturday morning.  Other than enjoying each other’s company, what would you like to experience in a reunion?

Before we print some of our class news, let us thank you all for your great participation in the 2012 Annual Fund.  We again had tremendous support from the great class of 1958!  Our participation rate was 70%, second only to 1962, the 50th reunion class.  There are so many of you who are donors year after year.  Thank you!

Together our class raised a grand total of $98,468!  Awesome.  That total includes the annual Fund ($41,973), scholarships, special gifts like the Christ Chapel Accessibility, Library Associates, Linnaeus Arboretum, etc.  Thank you again!

Our scholarship endowment is now at $100,794 and the scholarship’s recipient, Liana Lien ’13 received a scholarship of $3,815 for this school year.

Class News

Jim McPherson has published his latest book War On The Waters, through the University of North Carolina Press.  “Although previously undervalued for their strategic impact because they represented only a small percentage of total forces, the Union and Confederate navies were crucial to the outcome of the Civil War.  In this new book, McPherson has crafted an enlightening, at times harrowing, and ultimately thrilling account of the war’s naval campaigns and their military leaders.”  And we will learn more at the reunion.

Joanne Nelson McCarthy, one of our world travelers, sent a nice note about Bob Peterson.  She spent a week in Cuba earlier in the summer and beginning in August traveled to central Asia, traveling by four-wheel drive through the Pamir Mountains with a small adventurous group, making sure not to drift across boundaries into Afghanistan or Pakistan.  She continued doing some hiking, going through Kyrgyzstan, a small portion of western China, then Tajikistan and finally ten days in Uzbekistan and home by Labor Day.

I wish Joanne would come to the reunion so we could meet this world traveler.

Jim and Barb (Bennett) Christopherson are major fund-raisers for the Minnesota Chapter of the MS Society, raising over $15,000 this year (and a 21 year total of $172,000) mainly through the annual TRAM ride.  This year the 270 mile-trip through northern Minnesota routed them through Bemidji, Walker, Park Rapids, Wadena, Fergus Falls and ending in Alexandria.  Among our former classmates, we know of Dave Wagner, Paul Radke and Jim Lundquist as MS victims.

Charles and Laverne Thompson sent a long note from their new summer residence in Fort Ransom, ND.  Charles and his sister bought an “older” home so that they might return to their native state.  They love it and this celebrated the first year anniversary of LaVerne’s return home after 100 days of rehab from cancer.

Charles also entered the local July 4th parade with his Allis Chalmers WD-45 tractor with a four bottom mounted plow.  You probably had to be there!  Charles has retired several times from teaching (LaGrange College) and preaching (Lutheran Church of Our Saviour in Albany, GA), but now is an adjunct professor in sociology at Andrew College in Cuthbert, GA and still is a temporary pastor at St. Andrew Church in Plains, GA, a congregation that goes back to 1870.  Another classmate with a unique story!Congratulations to Carol Lambert Cameron who was elected to the Hall of Fame at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver earlier this month.  She said “nice to be remembered twenty years after retirement.”  Our sympathies to Carole on the passing of her husband, Dick, on September 3 after a long health battle.

We discovered recently that Earl Boven passed away last year on November 22.  Also, sympathies to the family and friends of Jim Johansen, who passed away last week.  Jim spent two years with us at Gustavus and was the former owner/operator of Johansen Bus Service in Anoka.

Sonya (Harbo) and Duane Talus have moved to a new home in suburban Houston.  They spent the summer at their Minnesota home near Biwabik and made the trek back to Texas while visiting with members of their family.  We will expect to hear more in the next letter.

Roger and Judy Roettger spent the summer away from the heat in Florida with members of their family in Michigan.  Two of their 14 grandchildren graduated from high school this summer joining the three who are college graduates and two others in college.  Roger admits Judy beats him in golf!

Don Loomer continues to flirt with retirement.  He just accepted a second interim pastoral role that will probably take two to three years to complete.  He also mentors six younger pastors, serves as a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger with the National Forest Service, does volunteer work for the Nature Conservancy out on one of the Channel Islands and was recently asked to be the chaplain with the local police force.  Another classmate with a unique story!

Send news!  Send ideas for the reunion!  Send money (Ok…you can do that later).

Best to all of you!


Owen Sammelson

1958 Co-Class President

Carolyn Sandvig

1958 Co-Class President

5901 Park Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN  55417

Marlys Johnson Johnson

1958 VP/Reunion Chair

Campus News

The Royal Visit

On Friday, October 5, their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden visited Gustavus in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.  Look for photos in the next issue of the Quarterly.

Hall of Fame

On September 29, the Gustavus Athletics Department inducted nine new individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees included:  Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football), Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country), Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field), Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball), Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis), Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey), Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

November 21 – Donald Ostrom – November elections

December 19 – Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium

January 16 – Kathy Lund Dean – Distinguished Endowed chair in Leadership and Ethics

February 20 – Philip Brunelle – Artistic Director, VocalEssence

Upcoming Chapter Gatherings

National Chapter events for alumni, parents and friends are scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and will focus on the College’s pillar of “Teaching and Learning.”  Please save the date for the event in your area.  Time and location details will be forthcoming

Nov. 8 – New York City

Nov. 10 – Boston

Nov. 10 – Dallas

Nov. 11 – Houston

Nov. 13 – Washington, DC

Jan. 29 – Phoenix

Jan. 31 – Tucson

Feb. 3 – Los Angeles

Feb. 4 - Palm Springs

Feb 13 – Tampa

Feb. 15 – Naples

Feb. 28 – Seattle

Mar. 2 – San Francisco

Mar. 9 – Madison

Mar. 12 – Denver

Mar. 14 – Chicago

Apr. 11 – Atlanta

Gustavus Class of 1958

55th Reunion Committee Minutes

October 12, 2012

Committee MembersAnders Bjorling, Carole Lambert Cameron, Jim Edman, Rollie Hirman, John Johnson, Lois Walfrid Johnson, Marlys Johnson Johnson (Chair), Marge Lund Kinney, Stan Larson, Carolyn Lund Sandvig, Owen Sammelson, Sonya Harbo Talus, Mary Ellen Young

Committee Members Present: Bjorling, M. Johnson, Kinney, Larson, Sandvig, and Sammelson

  • The Committee met for the first time in the St. Peter Room at Gustavus Adolphus College.  After a brief welcome, Committee members provided a personal update   – in three sentences or less!
  • The following ideas for the 55th were selected, among a host of possibilities, as the most likely to be of interest to class members:
  •  The College’s tentative calendar for reunion weekend was reviewed to determine how our plans might mesh with those already established.  Committee members agreed to start our formal time together with Friday night dinner, followed by Saturday morning breakfast, and then allow class members to participate in events planned specifically by the College including seminars, tours, services, and so forth.  We will formally close our activities with the Alumni Luncheon for the 50 Year Club.
  • Friday evening dinner at Gustavus (time to be determined after talking with dining services).
    • Begin with a cash bar (beer and wine) for a casual reception.  The bar will stay open through and after dinner to allow more time for interaction among participants.  Owen and Marlys will check with GAC dining services to review options.
    • During dinner, each table will be provided with one or more provocative (?) statements or questions about our Class to provide an interesting, focused table conversation.  Each table will provide a BRIEF report during dessert!
    • The Committee solicits alternative ideas.  What would you like to do if you are coming to Gustavus from a distance?  What will contribute to your going home with a sense that your trip was definitely worth the time and effort?  Send to either Marlys ( or Owen (
  • Saturday morning breakfast at Gustavus at 8:00 A.M.
    • A class member will be invited to give an invocation and recognize those class members who have died since our 50th reunion.
    • At our 50th, we had a memorable program about Katie Luther presented by Carole Cameron.  Will any of you volunteer to give a short presentation around a topic of interest to you – or suggest another class member who has a particular talent and might be willing to share it with us?  Again, contact either Marlys or Owen.  For example, Anders comes immediately to mind as he has traveled to extraordinary places for extraordinary photographs; however, he will highlight his experiences in one of the all-class seminars offered in the morning/afternoon.
  • Fund-raising opportunities
    • The Committee agreed to focus our attention on participation rather than contributions.  However, while our class project for funds raised during the reunion will be designated for the’58 Endowment Scholarship Fund, gifts to the Annual Fund and other special funds are also welcome!  The current status of our endowment is $100,794.

Our next meeting is scheduled for December 6 at Gustavus immediately following the St. Lucia brunch.  All members are encouraged to attend both!  Exact time to be announced.

Respectfully submitted:

Marlys C. Johnson

1958 Reunion Chair