Class of '59
April 2004

Dear Classmates,

A sincere thank you to our guest writers, Linda Lund Anderson and Lynette Street Flato for the outstanding class letter they sent this past winter.  It has come to the attention of your two class agents that they had so much fun that they may become regular guest writers.

News Flash:

Stu Anderson finds his Gustavus class ring after 45 years.  It now fits on his little finger.  He will wear it to our 45th reunion on October 1 & 2.

Roger "R.B." Olson has been found!!  He was located in a Minnesota Interest Group food line in Sun City Grand, AZ.

Deone Nordquist Cartford and husband, Larry Cartford, hosted 40 Gusties at the second annual Arizona party at their home in Sun Lakes.  Another Arizona gathering is scheduled for March 2005.

Other Class Info: 

Harold "Buzz" Flolid is a retired educator and living in Shell Lake, Wisconsin.  He does a lot of traveling and is involved in many volunteer activities.  He has 10 grandchildren.  He is looking forward to our 45th reunion.

Carol Nelson Groseth, husband and two daughters spent four weeks in Norway and Sweden.  They attended family reunions and were able to locate the birthplace of all eight grandparents.

Carol Miller Hammarberg plans to meet up with fellow Cannon Falls native, Bev Duncan Anderson ’58 sometime this summer.

Minneapolis West High School has been closed for some time now but that hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of the class of 1955.  They are already planning their 50th class reunion.  Class honor student Dick Halvarson will serve as master of ceremonies.  Dick, you should be on the Gustavus class of ’59 planning committee to give us some reunion planning tips.  Dick is a retired teacher who also coached for 30 years.  He has two granddaughters in the nursing field.

Susan Hansen is back to work as a part-time medical transcriptionist with the Cheboygan Memorial Hospital in Cheboygan, MI.  She has a new grandson, bringing the total to eight grandchildren.

Now that Marcia Hedberg Wallin has helped her daughter move to England, she is ready to help with planning our 45th class reunion.

Dorothy Rylander Johnson is ready to return to Gibbon after a winter stay in Florida.  Her daughter, Nancy Johnson Dahl ’83, serves on the Gustavus Board of Trustees.

On Wilt Croonquist and wife, Betty’s trip to Arizona, they visited with Cliff and Diana (Sroder) Johnson in Albuquerque, NM.  They are the ultimate hosts and great tour guides.  Cliff had over 40 years service with Minnesota Rubber in many locations.  Not bad for a person who’s career path started out as a social worker.   Both Cliff and Diana are active volunteers and plan to attend the 45th get together.

Hot Off the Press:

We now have three confirmed speakers for our class reunion.  Namely Bill Rill, our first classmate to be inducted into the Gustavus Athletic Hall of Fame, who will talk about athletics while at Gustavus.  Shirley (Zaske) and Pat Sweeney will share their experiences of living in married housing behind the football stadium.  Stu Anderson will share what it was like to come to Gustavus as a freshman from out of state and knowing only one other person.  It should be very interesting.  The reunion committee is looking for other classmates who would be willing to share a short memory of their years as a Gustie.

Barb Endersbe Wallin has been the church secretary for 26 years at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth, MN.

Karen Walden Taylor has retired after 25 years with Alliance Capital.  She is a reunion committee volunteer.

Kay Carlson Gritton also a reunion volunteer has been busy with shows for her designer jewelry and as a volunteer at Jones Harrison, a retirement center.

Received a nice note from Bob Proshek.  He has retired after a long career in the U.S. Navy.  He plans to be at our 45th gathering.  He has purchased a lake home in northern Minnesota.  Perhaps he could work with Rev. Dan Johns on his new church.

Donna Bjerkstrand Gray reports that since her retirement from United Airlines that she has been busy visiting her eight grandchildren, traveling and spends summers at her Park Rapids home.

Ellen Svensson Marean and husband, Stanley, wintered in Hawaii.  They are selling off some cabins in Lopez Island, WA.   Ellen has two daughters who attended Gustavus.

Attention – Class Reunion Committee:

The next committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Minnesota Valley Country Club (Valley Room) at 6300 Auto Club Road, Bloomington; 952-884-2409.  Take 494 to Normandale Road South.  Normandale Road becomes Auto Club Road.  All classmates are invited to participate.

Ron Hawkinson is retired and lives in Center City, MN.  His son, Tim, is a 1982 Gustie graduate.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Ken Rockvam and members of the famous Gustie Pep Band would perform at our reunion? 

Joanne Swenson Iverson’s son-in-law has been stationed in Kosovo.  Joanne is retired and living in St. Louis, MO.

Mark Bjorkman has built a new home in the North Port, Florida area.

Wilt, while in Sun City Grand, had a great phone conversation with Carol Anderson Larson.   Carol is a retired teacher in Superior, WI and her husband is a retired administrator of a Superior medical clinic.  They split their time between their home in Tower, MN and Arizona.  The Larson’s have two sons living in Arizona.

A. John Pearson is still working at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS as director of archives and sports information.  His son, Clay, is a Gustie from the class of 1990.  As you classmates may know, the Swedish roots run deep in Lindsborg.

Guest writer, Lynette Street Flato has taken up quilting in her retirement.  Her first quilt is a picture of the Kato Ballroom where she perfected the famous ball and the jack!!   She also has done some landscaping.

Jack Arthur is a retired elementary school teacher in Lake Nebagamen, WI.  He and his wife, Carol, have a son in Seattle, a daughter in Corvalis, OR and a daughter in San Jose, CA with a new grandchild.

Another avid quilter in retirement is Allegra Nelson Olson who lives in San Diego, CA.

REMINDERThe 45th Class Reunion will start on Friday, October 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Bloomington.  The theme is “The Way We Were – The Way We Are.”   Mark your calendars NOW!

Duane Aldrich by-passed his Arizona connections and spent time in Palm Desert, CA, this winter.

Hope Pluto Annexstad missed the gala Gustie party at Sun Lakes as she and her husband, Glenn, were jeeping in the Arizona mountains.  However class agent, Wilt, caught up with her at the “Meet the President, (Gustavus President Peterson) luncheon in Sun City West.  They have a winter home in Scottsdale.  She is a good candidate for a guest writer.

Karl Johnson is retired and living in Highland, CA.

The ’59ers attending the Arizona get-together held in Sun Lakes were: Bill and Avis (Baldwin) Rill, Bob Koons, Larry and Deone (Nordquist) Cartford, Wilt Croonquist, Joyce Johnson Elvestrom, Bob Olson, and Pat and Shirley (Zaske) Sweeney.

Judy Omtvedt Rapinac, the former Gustie from Keewatin, now lives in Gold Canyon, AZ.  We were unable to connect with her.

Is Radford Reither still working?  We need to hear from him.

Robert Swenson still lives in Janesville, WI and enjoys traveling.  His hobby is languages.  He attended a convention in Sweden and visited family and friends in Norway while there.

Carol Johnson Heyl is off touring the eastern USA but will be home in time for the reunion meeting.  Carol is busy helping plan a southeastern Minnesota/southwestern Wisconsin Gustie get-together, which will be held in Winona at the JC Pavilion on July 25.

Betty Watson Peterson is retired and living the good life in Silver Bay, MN on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior.

James Vanasek, the New Prague junk ball pitcher, has participated in a baseball tourney in Arizona for athletes 65 years and older.  At this tourney his team finished in first place.  Could your team have used Chuck “Buckshot” Johnson?

Dean Hillman is still employed at New York University Medical Center as a professor of physiology and otolaryngology.

LaVonne Kyrklund Olsen of Nicollet is the owner of Vonnie’s Gift Cupboard.  She reports that things are well and has three granddaughters that live nearby.

Bruce Heyl is still practicing psychiatry in Menasha, WI with no plans to retire.

CLASS REUNION NEWSSaturday, October 2, we will be on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.  Activities start at 10:00 a.m. with the following schedule:

10:00 a.m. - Morning praise and memorial service at Christ Chapel

10:30 a.m. - Homecoming Parade on Campus Drive

11:00 a.m. - Luncheon, Jackson Campus Center, Banquet Room

  1:00 p.m. - Homecoming football game, Hollingsworth Field

  3:00 p.m. - 100th anniversary of the Reds Fraternity, which will include a picnic at

        Minnesota Park (what we called Swede Park).  More info on this later.

Nancy Anderson Guber is retired and spends the winter months in Las Vegas, NV close to her triplet granddaughters.  She is hoping to play golf after hip surgery.

Rev. Ben Johnson is the pastor of Christina Lake Church, Evansville, MN, one of the earliest Lutheran Churches in west central Minnesota.

More on Stu Anderson and his wife, Judy:  They run a large cattle (Black Angus) feeding operation at their beautiful farm site near Axtell, NE.  They have several acres of corn that they irrigate on their farm.  Instead of herding the cattle with horses, they use Dodge trucks, which they have several of, parked in a grove near their homestead.  They have five boys, but only their son, Tom, is in the farming business.  The Andersons are looking forward to reconnecting with many friends at the October class reunion.

THIS JUST INRumor has it; Bob Olson is a finalist for four free tickets for a Nebraska home football game.  If he wins he will be the guest of the governor of Nebraska. 

At the Gustie Arizona party, Pat Sweeney was talking about how proud he was of his “A” in Christianity class taught by Dr. Richard Reusch.

Lisa Dever, Buzz Johanson’s wife, wanted to thank all the Gusties who called, sent cards or memorials following Buzz’s death.

Muriel Doherty Haegele writes from Federal Way, WA that she is a retired elementary education teacher and like many others has vacationed in Europe.

Jack Proeschel and wife, Connie, are busy with the grandkids in Tampa, FL.  Jack’s mother just celebrated her 95th birthday.

Jeanette Reinke Carlson is currently serving as interim director of the West Central Area Habitat for Humanity. 

Betty and Wilt Croonquist, as you may have guessed, spent the winter months of February and March in Sun City Grand, AZ.  They enjoyed connecting with many Gusties while living in the Valley of the Sun.  Wilt and Betty, along with Wilt’s twin brother, Willy and his wife, Rita, will spend three weeks touring Sweden, Norway and Denmark starting May 20th.  Wilt calls this a visit to the Mother Land.

Bob Koons and wife, Lorrie, are still downhill skiers and plan to continue this great sport.  We wish them good luck.  They live in Green Valley, AZ.

Dave Eckman and wife, Jan (Erickson ’70), have just completed a major addition and remodeling to their Sand Lake home, near Moose Lake, MN.  Dave stays busy helping deliver Meals on Wheels.

Wasn’t that a great story in the last Quarterly (Spring 2004, pg. 52) about classmate U.S. District Judge, Paul Magnuson and his work assisting other countries looking to overhaul or re-establish independent ethical judiciaries?

We will be talking to many of you during Phonorama, which begins April 25 at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis.

Please remember that this will be the last class letter that you will receive prior to this year's Alumni Fund Drive, which ends on May 31.  As a 45-year reunion class we hope that you will continue to support Gustavus and its students with a generous contribution.  At the present time the Class of 1959 has 119 donors in the amount of $20,875.00Our goal is 142 donors, so we need all of you to make a gift in order to reach that goal.  Thank you for continued support!!

More information will be forthcoming regarding our 45th class reunion.  So stay tuned.  We need news from each and every one of you.  PLEASE e-mail, mail or call Carol or Wilt with all the latest news so it can be included in our next class letter.


·        Class Reunion Planning Meeting

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 - 10:30 a.m.

Minnesota Valley Country Club, Valley Room

6300 Auto Club Road, Bloomington


(take 494 to Normandale Rd. South. Normandale Rd. becomes Auto Club Rd.)

All classmates welcome!

·        45th Class Reunion

Friday, October 1, 2004 – 5:30 p.m.

Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, Bloomington


Saturday, October 2, 2004 – starts at 10:00 a.m.

Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter

All classmates expected!

Gustavianly yours,

Wilt Croonquist

931 County Road 8 SE

Kandiyohi, MN 56251


Carol Johnson Heyl

1702 Valley View Drive

Winona, MN  55987


Campus News:

President Peterson to be inaugurated

Dr. James Peterson ’64 will be inaugurated during a ceremony in Christ Chapel on Friday, April 16.  Other inaugural events scheduled April 15-18 include a symposium featuring Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, tree dedication, Gustavus Association of Congregations meeting, G.I.V.E. community service day in St. Peter, music concert, art exhibition, and an alumni reception preceding the Nobel Symphony Concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  A complete schedule of events is posted on the Gustavus web site.

50th Anniversary Alumni Fund Closes May 31

The 2004 Alumni Fund will close May 31 with a goal of 50 percent alumni participation. Thanks to everyone who has already participated with a gift.  If you haven’t given, please think about sending a gift along with your news in the enclosed gold envelope. Gustavus alumni have a long tradition of strong alumni participation.  Help maintain our national ranking by participating in the 50th anniversary year of the Alumni Fund.

Scholarships and financial assistance at Gustavus

Did you know that scholarships and financial assistance for Gustavus students totals $18M, almost 25 percent of Gustavus’ annual budget?  Alumni Fund gifts, including designated and unrestricted gifts, help enable students to receive a Gustavus education.  Gustavus offers two types of scholarships to students -- merit awards given to recognize academic achievement, and tuition grants are used to assist students with recognized financial need.  Endowed scholarships are an important part of the Gustavus grant program and currently nine percent of scholarship funds come from the endowment.

Alumni survey

An alumni survey was sent to 2,000 members of reunion classes.  Approximately 600 have responded as of April 1.  Questions on the survey consist of how well Gustavus prepared them for employment and graduate education, activities involved in while at Gustavus, personal growth skills, alumni events and services, and overall satisfaction with the College.  Results of the survey will be included in the Fall Quarterly.

Winter sports summary

Women’s basketball finished third in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Men’s basketball won the MIAC regular season and playoff championship titles before losing to eventual national champion UW-Stevens Point in the NCAA national tournament. Men’s hockey posted a third-place finish in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs. Women’s hockey finished second in regular-season MIAC play, but won the post-season tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Men’s swimming won its third consecutive MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships. Women’s swimming won the MIAC championship and completed their season by finishing 13th at the NCAA championships. Men’s Nordic skiing won its first-ever MIAC championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Central Region meet. Women’s Nordic skiing claimed their third consecutive MIAC title and completed their season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Central Region meet. Gymnastics posted a 6–1 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) West Regional. The women’s indoor track and field team finished second and the men fifth at the MIAC championships. 

Did you know …

  • Nearly 80% of Gustavus students graduate in four years, compared with 56% of students from other Minnesota Private colleges; the national average is 17%.
  • There are seven choral ensembles and 23 instrumental ensembles, two jazz, four woodwind and three brass ensembles.
  • More than 40 percent of Gustavus students volunteer through the Gustavus community service center on a regular basis.
  • For student safety, the campus is well-lit, there is 24-hour Safety and Security patrol and escort service, residence halls are locked 24 hours a day, and there are blue light emergency phones throughout campus linked directly to Safety and Security.
  • And looking back -- during the college’s early years, students were awakened by a bell at 5:45 a.m. and all lights had to be out by 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming events

  • President Jim Peterson ’64 Inauguration – April 16
  • Association of Congregations Meeting – April 17
  • G.I.V.E Community Service Day – April 17
  • Reception for President Peterson and Nobel Symphony Concert in Minneapolis - April 18
  • Phonorama - April 25-29, Central Lutheran Church
  • Cec Eckhoff Society Reception – May 1
  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunions – May 28 & 29
  • Commencement – May 30
  • Alumni Fund closes – May 31
  • Class reunions on Homecoming & Family Weekend – October 1 & 2