Class of 1958

May 2014

Dear ʼ58ers,

Yes, it has been a looong winter for those of us in the northland. For the rest of you living in warmer climes, you must find other ways to become a better person.

Absence of news can cause delays in writing a class letter. Thus, several of us invented a subject for the May class letter.  “Several” means my working with ELLWOOD JOHNSON to develop a story on the military veterans in our class.  The class of 1958 may have been the last class to have a significant number of veterans, both from the Korean conflict, and the years after. By 1960, there were few veterans in the student body at Gustavus.

We identified veterans in our class by memory, hearsay and guesswork. So, expect some omissions and perhaps a mistaken addition.  We apologize in advance for any mistakes.

I asked several classmates to comment on their military experiences and how they chose to attend, or return to Gustavus.

ELLWOOD JOHNSON:  I graduated from Glenwood High School in 1949.  That fall I enrolled in pre-pharmacy at North Dakota Agricultural College in Fargo.  It was a learning experience.  My dorm was a large space under the football stadium with cement floors, military bunk beds, and picnic tables for desks, which was a really great environment for studying.  Needless to say, I became a one quarter alumnus of NDAC.  I then entered the work force until the fall quarter of 1950 and enrolled at North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton.  I really liked that school, but lurking in the background was the Draft Board looking for eager young Americans to help out at the Korean Conflict.  I was not too excited about trench warfare, so I enlisted in the Navy, as my brothers did during WWII.

So, on January 8, 1951, I joined the U.S. Navy.  I was stationed aboard the USS Sanborn—a troop ship—attended the Hospital Corps School attached to the Naval Hospital in Corpus Christie, TX and then attended the Fleet Marine School attached to the 2nd Medical Battalion of the 2nd Marine Division.  Then 3 years, 7 months and 19 days, I returned to NDSSS to resume my collegiate education.  After graduating with a pre-commerce degree in 1956, I moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota.  While there, I was working at my brother’s drug store in Coon Rapids about 30 hours a week.  I did not want to be in this time constraint position.

Someone mentioned that I might want to check out Mankato State and, since it was on the way, I might also want to check out Gustavus.  So, when I hit St Peter, I headed up the hill and somehow connected with Howard Holcomb ʼ49.  We ended up shooting the breeze for over two hours and I thought this might be the place want to attend.  Howard also knew that I was a service-connected disabled veteran, which meant the government sent the college the check, and they would not have to hound me to pay my school-related bills.  So, we had a good match.  The rest is history.

HERB LUNDEEN:  Sixty years ago, in the 1950’s, atmospheric testing of the atom bomb was very frequent.  Through the horror and beauty of those experiences, the results are as vivid for me today as if they happened yesterday.  To witness a nuclear explosion first hand is one of the most destructive yet beautiful sights ever seen by man.

Destructive power was the horror of the explosions.  The excessive heat and shock waves that are encountered are unbelievable.  Houses were built for testing purposes which included mannequins in various rooms.  After the blast, the houses along with the mannequins and everything within the house had disappeared.  There were also 30-ton blanks in the area and they were blown across the desert floor like toys.

The beauty was the fireball.  At detonation there was a hot white fireball.  As it cooled and rose into the atmosphere, the color changed from white to yellow, then red, lavender, purple, all colors of the rainbow.  At an even higher altitude, a brown ice cap formed over the large mushroom cloud.

Ellwood says the testing took place between 1951-57 in New Mexico and that Herb was an on-site witness in a foxhole.  Many veterans were concerned about the lack of protective material for those nearby; the government obviously knew about the dangers of radiation from the original bombing in 1945.

DARRELL LORSUNG:  I served in the USAF from August of 1950 to April of 1954.  My basic training was at an Antonio, TX (miserable experience), then to Cheyenne, WY for training in telecommunications (teletype operator) which was good as I excelled in it.  Upon completion of the course, I was assigned to Air Force Missile Testing Center in Cocoa, FL, and from there to Niigata, Japan for almost 28 months.  This was a small AF Base, located in the Sea of Japan, approximately 100 air miles from Vladivistok, Russia.  This was an air craft warning communications base (very little activity).  As is often true in the military, they train you for one thing and you wind up doing something else.  I was trained in teletype, which Niigata did not have so I ended up in administration.  No experience, no nothing, but all of a sudden administrative responsibilities.  Talk about a wake-up call!  In any event, it all went well even though I knew zilch about administration and I got promoted to S/SGT.

What did the military do for me?  Maturation!

Why did I choose Gustavus?  One person – George Torrey ʼ55 (brother of Elaine Torrey Holmen Magnuson ʼ59, who began in our class, worked for a year and graduated in 1959.)

Rest assured, around the Alexandria area, I encourage prospective students to consider Gustavus.  Go Gusties!

CHUCK MAJESKE: I was in the Army from September 1954 to August 1956.  After 8 weeks of basic training at the garden spot of the Ozarks, Fort Leonard Wood, I was already itching to get back to Gustavus.  After another 8 weeks of Military Police training, I was sent to Heidelberg, Germany and the 529 Military Police Company.  (In October 2013 we had a reunion in St. Louis, MO—I was the oldest one there.)  Our mission in Germany was to provide security for various bases and also security for General Anthony McAuliffe, the general who said nuts to the Nazis at the Battle of the Bulge.  It was also very interesting to see the generals who took part in the European theatre of operations during WWII.

It was a wonderful experience serving in this unit and I am still proud of that service.  I have attended four reunions and still find a high degree of esprit de corps among all the attendees.  I could go on and on, but I will keep this short.  I came back to Gustavus as a result of many conversations with military buddies.  One friend, Fred Sakal of Toledo, OH said go back to Gustavus.  Liberal arts build people, universities build technicians.

ELDON SATTER:  I was born in November 1932 and joined the army on my mother’s birthday in 1954.  I went to Fort Lewis, then to Seattle and then to Japan.  While stationed there, I spent a week in Korea, another week in the Philippines and was also able to visit Bangkok.  After my discharge, I worked in Rochester, but moved to Minneapolis in 1972.  I was married while at Gustavus.  I was in the Army Reserve for over 25 years and now live in Brainerd.

DALE NOYED:  I spent three years as a sergeant in the Army with the last two in Arlington, VA as a cryptographer.  We processed messages which originated in England.  I sang in the choir at Augustana Lutheran Church where Dr. Nelson was the pastor.  Ruth Youngdahl Nelson ʼ24 (Biz’s mother) often invited servicemen over for dinner after church.  She was the person who suggested that I attend Gustavus.  I am very grateful for Ruth’s recommendation to this day.

ROGER ROETTGER:  My experience was in the Army in the Army Security Agency.  Sounds very techy, but it wasn’t.  Did my time, got out and let them pay for my schooling.  It still was a good education.  Spent some time in Fort Devens, MA and Fort Hauchaua, AZ, most of the time going to Army type schooling.  Hot fighting in Korea was over so I didn’t have to do any time overseas.  Judy and I went to a fund raiser called Semper FI, and they had about six wounded warriors there and it was sad to see limbs blown off, blind, in wheel chairs and the many problems they had.  I was fortunate not to have gone through that.

Ellwood contributed to this project by also reviewing the GI Bill, originally signed by President Roosevelt on June 22, 1944. For those who served during our generation, a single veteran received an education benefit of up to $110 a month, out of which the veteran paid tuition, books, fees, supplies, etc.  If the person was a service connected disability veteran, the VA paid for all of the above plus room and board and a benefit of $75 per month.  It could be argued that the GI Bill was probably the most important influence to raise a major segment of our population to the middle class.  I wonder what direction I would have taken if it were not for the GI Bill and the opportunities it opened for me.

Many of the veterans in our class have passed away; CHUCK BUSCH, BOB PETERSON, LLOYD JOHNSON,WILLARD JOHNSON, VERNER JOHNSON, BOB ORTLOFF, LARRY RAY and JIM NOLD.  As I said earlier, there may have been others.

We do have some other news so will move on.  How many of you remember the Holiday House?  The membership supper club located just south of St Peter across the river, known for great food fun times and a gathering place for many Gusties.  We mention it because the founder, Jim Martell, passed away this winter.  He and his wife operated the Holiday House for 35 years.  I remember the membership fee was $5.  Appropriate for this letter, Jim was a decorated Army veteran receiving a Bronze star, two Purple Hearts and five Battle Stars.  He spent the winter of 1944 fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and helped liberate several slave labor camps.

Dr. Art Glass ʼ43 also passed away this spring.  Doc Glass taught biology at Gustavus for 37 years beginning in 1950.  He was a long time chair of the Department and served as a mentor to many science students.

MARY ELLEN YOUNG has again promised she would write something for the next class letter.  We are putting it in writing because she has made promises before.  She is very busy with her teaching, but wants you to know that her eternal mantra lives on “no human being is totally worthless.  They can always serve as a horrible example to others.”  We look forward to hearing from her.

JOYCE STRAND MARVEL is still in “cowtown Texas” caring for her grandchildren and thinking of someday moving to a larger city at the appropriate time.  She reminds us, only four more years to our 60th!

MARCIA (AMUNDSON) and CHET JANASZ are also grandchildren busy.  Summer means more time at the lake and to attend graduations, games and plays.

PATRICIA MILLER PETERSON, now a resident of Arizona, was back in Minnesota for six weeks last summer.  Part of the time we took a cruise on the Great Lakes, all five of them, starting in Duluth and ending in Toronto.  It seemed like college as we had “classes” in the evening by a historian and ship wreck expert to prepare us for the next day.  We are off to Ireland in May/June, sailing up the coast to Newfoundland and then across to Ireland.

LARS LOFGREN and HERBERT ANDERSON will be in St Peter this week to celebrate the WEDDING (!!!) of ANDERS BJORLING and his beautiful Judith this Saturday.  CONGRATULATIONS FROM ALL OF US!

DON and Beverly LOOMER will be moving soon to be closer to their children in Santa Barbara, CA.

NOEL BEHNE is involved in so many things that I can probably only list about half of them.  Most of his time is volunteering in various community non-profits in the Greater Albuquerque area.  He has been involved with most of them for over 20 years, including Albuquerque Rescue Mission, Better Business Bureau, Enchanted Land Certified Development Corporation, Duke City Citivan Club, and University of New Mexico Lobo Club plus Santa Ana Hospitality Corporation – a for profit governing a four-star resort on Indian Land.  He and Fran have been married for 52 years.

A teacher friend told us they no longer teach cursive writing in Minnesota and students who cannot write it have trouble reading cursive writing as well.  Now, I know that those of you who receive my written thank you notes wish I would print, but my printing is even less readable!  I once received a note written by MARTHA BANKE CURTIS and her writing is a work of art!

The Advancement Office reports that the market value of the Class of 1958 Scholarship Endowment Fund stands at $127,411 as of November 13.  Only one class, 1962, has a larger endowment.  Great going classmates!  We hope you will continue to support this scholarship.  Heidi Vanderpan ʼ15, a sophomore, is the current recipient of our scholarship.

This is a good time to thank classmates who have made a contribution to Gustavus since the January class letter.



There are 32 classmates who give every year, but have not sent a gift this year.  May 31 is rapidly coming!  You have given every year!

There are 15 classmates who give most years, but not yet this year.  May 31 is approaching!

There are 18 classmates who have some time in the past, but not this year.  This could be the year!  Postmarked by May 31 is the key.

There are 22 classmates who can only surprise us!

Happy spring!

Owen Sammelson

618 West Nassau

Saint Peter, MN 56082


Carolyn Lund Sandvig

5901 Park Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN  55417



Sonya Harbo Talus

18 Wrenfield Place

The Woodlands, TX  77384



Campus News

Rebecca M. Bergman Named 17th President of Gustavus Adolphus College

The Board of Trustees of Gustavus Adolphus College has elected Rebecca M. Bergman to be the College’s 17th president.  Bergman is the first woman in the 152-year history of the College to be named president and will succeed Jack R. Ohle, who is retiring after serving as president of the College since July 2008.  Bergman will officially take office July 1, 2014.

Bergman, who has served on the College’s Board of Trustees since 2007, has spent the past 26 years at Medtronic, Inc., including the last 14 years as a senior executive.  She currently serves as Vice President of Research, Technology, and Therapy Delivery Systems for the company’s Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM) business, where she leads a research and development team of scientists and engineers.

Travel with Gustavus - Exploring Luther’s Reformation – Oct. 4-16

Journey on an educational tour focused on Luther’s Reformation with prominent Lutheran scholar, Gustavus professor emeritus of Religion Rev. Dr. Darrell Jodock.  Travel to Germany and Poland from October 4 to 16, 2014 to learn about the life and teachings of Martin Luther, along with the ongoing significance of his theology.  The trip is open to Gustavus alumni, parents, friends, and non-Gusties.  For more information, please visit or email Professor Jodock at  Registration deadline is May 31.

Upcoming Events

May 21 – Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast with Dan Mollner

May 30-31 – Reunion Weekend

June 1 - Commencement

Gustavus Summer Smorgasbords

The Alumni and Parent Engagement Team is “on the road” this summer, and we are road tripping to see all the Gusties across Minnesota!  You will have a chance to meet the new Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, Glen Lloyd, and hear what is new on campus and what is next for Alumni and Parent Engagement in the 2014–15 academic year.  There is no cost for these events.  The Engagement Team will provide brats, beverages, and paper goods – and in good smörgåsbord fashion, we ask that all attendees bring their favorite dish to pass.  The dates and locations include:

July 15 – Grand Rapids, MN

July 17 – Duluth, MN

July 22 – Brainerd, MN

July 24 – Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN

July 29 – St. Cloud, MN

July 31 – Willmar, MN

August 5 – Mankato, MN

August 7 – Rochester, MN