Class of '59
October 2004

Dear ’59ers,

If you were with us over the weekend of October 1 and 2, you may know all of this—but then again, if you were busy talking with friends, you may have missed some of this news.

Friday evening about 88 of us gathered at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington for drinks, dinner, conversation and reminiscing.  Then on Saturday many of the same plus a few more were on campus.  Those in attendance were:

  • Ralph Akermark
  • Duane Aldrich
  • Lois Madsen Allen
  • Anita Lien Anderson
  • Joyce Ford Anderson
  • Linda Lund Anderson
  • Sandra J. Anderson
  • Sonia G. Anderson
  • Stu Anderson
  • Hope Pluto Annexstad
  • Deloris Johnson Bergman
  • Joyce Miller Biagini
  • John Bold
  • Evelyn E. Bonander
  • Dean R. Brown
  • Jeanette Reinke Carlson
  • Wilt F. Croonquist
  • Elizabeth Johnson Dahl
  • David V. Eckman
  • Joyce Johnson Elvestrom
  • Harold M. Flolid
  • Kay Carlson Gritton
  • Susan E. Hansen
  • Ann M. Hendrickson
  • Carol Johnson Heyl
  • Jerry J. Hoffman
  • Bob Holmen
  • Elaine Torrey Holmen
  • Earl L. Jackson
  • Weldon M. Jacobson
  • Carol Hansen Johns
  • Ben Johnson
  • Dorothy Rylander Johnson
  • Ron N. Johnson
  • Stephen R. Johnson
  • Jeanette Westberg Johnston
  • Fritz Kilander
  • Bob N. Koons
  • Jeanne Turnquist Lindstrom
  • Paul A. Magnuson
  • Lynda Johnson Minnick
  • Malcolm Minnick, Jr.
  • Robert C. Moland
  • Dean D. Nelson
  • John L. Nelson
  • David G. Olson
  • Pat McLane Olson
  • Richard Olson
  • Robert L. Olson
  • Jocelyn Neufeld Palmer
  • Stanley Palmer
  • Marlo Putz
  • Marion Johnson Sansted
  • Sally Nordstrom Sarff
  • Beverly Nelson Schumacher
  • D. L. Smith
  • Peter T. Spell
  • Roxanne Rosendahl Steiner
  • Pat E. Sweeney
  • Shirley Zaske Sweeney
  • Robert A. Swenson
  • Karen Gaile Taylor
  • Paul Youngdahl

Rev. David Eckman led us in prayer before our delicious dinner.  Rev. Paul Youngdahl, our class president, had a greeting for everyone and then led us in a moment of prayer for our deceased classmates.  They are:  Russell Anderson, Clare Almen Annexstad, Sharon Olson Blenkush, Marjory Christianson, John Erickson, Buzz Johanson, Jr., Bob Kanne, Al Lewensten, Janice Nelson Mattke, Doris Olson McAnally, Sandra Chilstrom Mikalofsky, Mary Enstad Newman, Paul Petersen, Cal Raasch, Margaret Roberts Robinson, Bruce Rohlin, Myron Sattler, Owen Wallin, Raymond Wyland, and Donald Youngquist.

President Jim Peterson ’64 stopped by to greet us and to update us on developments at Gustavus.  They are continually striving to better Gustavus in areas of curriculum, professors, diversity, containing costs, and enhanced facilities.  Of particular interest is the new residence hall being built.  It will replace Wahlstrom that is beginning to have major maintenance problems.  And the football field will be moved to make room for a social science building.  All in all the campus looks beautiful and the students are as friendly as ever!

Our theme for the evening was “The Way We Were – The Way We Are.”  Several of our classmates gave brief talks about the way it was.  Dwayne Smith a.k.a. D.L. Smith gave quite a review of sports during our era.  He also revealed how much his Gustavus education had meant to him as he went on to advanced degrees.  John Bold told how he experienced Gustavus as a veteran.  Few of us realized how many veterans were in our midst, but there were at least six in attendance at the reunion.  Stu Anderson portrayed himself as the “Country Bumpkin” who was fortunate to have found true friendship at Gustavus.  Those friendships have been on going for 45 years!  Carol Hansen Johns reminded us of all the theatre productions we were privileged to enjoy during our four years there.  Pat Sweeney revealed what life in the “huts" (married housing) was like—especially on below zero winter nights.  Fritz Kilander thought he had gotten out of speaking by not being in attendance on Friday, but we got him to say a few words on Saturday and he confessed to a few pranks for which he and Stu were responsible.  Bob Olson told how he managed to earn some of his room and board by marking the football field with Wilt and also how they “job and bed shared” the summer they worked for Green Giant.  Lois Madsen Allen spoke about why she and Clyde have chosen to include Gustavus in their charitable giving plan and encouraged all of us to do likewise.  Tusa Johnson Bergman talked about being in choir and what really happened on those choir tours-—it wasn't all just music!  Elaine Torrey Holmen reviewed what at least the women learned while living in the dorms while Linda Lund Anderson finished the reminiscing with how we are today—faced with aches, vitamin choices, travel, lifestyles and all the choices we encounter.  We certainly are not acting our age of being 67 plus years old.

We received a news release just recently, which never made it into our latest letters—so we highlighted the news Friday evening, October 1.  Jeanette Reinke Carlson received the "Touch A Life" award from the Willmar Noon Kiwanis club.  This is an award to a Kandiyohi County resident for exceptional community service over an extended period of time.  Jeanette’s list is lengthy—church involvement, AAUW, co-founded "Art in the Schools," hosted foreign students as well as inner city Chicago students, was executive director of the United Way for the county, active in Business and Professional Women's club, began Wonder Camp in Willmar, board member of the Chamber of Commerce, co-chaired the 125th anniversary of Willmar, and was very involved in Habitat for Humanity.  We awarded her with a Martin Luther bobble head doll, which seemed to thrill her—especially since she and Al ’58 were leaving for Germany in a few days.  Saturday, October 2, Warren Woods, the super baseball collector, entertained us during lunch with a recording of “Do They Play Baseball in Heaven?” which was written by Warren.

Paul Magnuson gave us a very inspiring talk on Saturday about his experiences as a judge not only in Minnesota but also in international events.  He made us all feel hopeful that peace is a possibility as it is combined with faith.

For those of you who couldn’t be with us, we hope you’ll plan on attending our 50th anniversary.  It will be in May of 2009.  We tried to reach each of you by phone.  In doing so, we did gather some news.  Evie Peterson Nelson had to be at a wedding that weekend.  She and her husband have enjoyed many fishing trips to northern Minnesota.  Donna Olson Olson has a son in St Peter and daughter in Cottage Grove.

We attended Class Agents' Day on campus in September and have news to share about Gustavus.  The cost for one year at Gustavus covering tuition, fees, room, and meals is $28,765, which is about the same as St. Thomas, St. Benedict, and St. Johns.  Carleton, Macalaster and St. Olaf are higher.  Cost at Gustavus averages out to about $100 a day.  The food charges are lowest of the four-year colleges in the Minnesota Private College Council and the food is the best around.  Mrs. Young’s quality is still there.  Seventy percent of the Gustavus budget goes to salaries, benefits, grants and scholarships while 90% of income comes from tuition, room and board.  There are many categories of scholarships, but the one that interests us the most is the Alumni Scholarship.  Gustavus awards $1500 to each of the children and grandchildren of alumni who have a high school GPA of at least 3.5 or an ACT score of 26.  One-third of these scholarships are now being given to grandchildren.

Because we’ve been in contact with many of you this fall, we decided not to make Phonorama calls.  We hope you will still give generously.   Students may be calling you this fall.  We, and others, will finish up the calls this spring.

We are also looking for a ghostwriter for the January edition of the newsletter.  The newsletter can take any shape or form—it doesn’t have to be just like ours.  Think about what you might write to a friend you haven’t seen in years.  We, as class agents, along with the Alumni Office will provide with class news.

Carol Johnson Heyl is busy packing and unpacking boxes as she moves into her new home.  Her new address is:  152 Janet Marie Lane, Winona, MN 55987.  Her phone number and email remain the same.  Wilt Croonquist and his wife, Betty, are getting well settled into their new home.  Their new address is:  1201 23rd Street SE, Willmar, MN 56201.  Their new phone number is:  320-222-6440 and their new email is:

Bob Sandberg spent three weeks in Sweden this summer visiting the homeland sites of his ancestors.

Marcia Hedberg Wallin reports that son, Jason, will be getting married this October.  Marcia also reported that she had a great time at the reunion.

Sharon Booth Warmuth had no news to report but appreciated how Gustavus keeps track of its alums.

Peter Spell while in Houghton, Michigan was elected to the Sports Hall of Fame for his successful years of coaching.  Peter later taught school in the St. Paul suburbs, but continues to live in Minneapolis.

James Stockdale has asked for our prayers for the health of his wife, Kathleen.

Nancy Oman Ward continues to teach in the math department at a community college in California.

Arlys Rosenquist Spurlin, being an Iowa native, says they are super Iowa Hawkeye football fans.

Pat Dahlberg Stueland fills her time with volunteering, board positions and senior education classes.

Has Robert Proshek moved to his new home in Northern Minnesota?  Keep in mind, Robert, that Dan Johns could always use some new members.  People were expecting you at our reunion seeing you are now retired.

Earl Jackson combined a trip to the East coast to attend our 45th reunion.

Jane Wells Behrhorst stated that she does not do reunions.  Hopefully Stu Anderson will her tell what a great time she missed.

Evie Bonander made the trip to the reunion from Cambridge, MA.

Stan Palmer came for the reunion from Steilacoom, WA to his hometown of St. Peter, MN.

The winemaker, Robert Moland, attended the special two-day reunion from Calgary, Alberta.

Ron Johnson came for the reunion all the way from Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.

Ann Hendrickson, a reunion attendee, postponed foot surgery until after the gala event.  We understand that she is recovering nicely.

Jim Vanasek – we need your phone number so we can contact you for special events.

Lynn Street Flato plans to join other Gusties in Arizona this winter.  She may be joined by Linda Lund Anderson.  Don’t forget the Arizona Gustie winter party will take place sometime in March at Sun Lakes, AZ.  January - March, call Wilt on his cell phone (320-295-1361) for more details.

Wilt and Betty Croonquist recently had the pleasure of having dinner with Kay Carlson Gritton while she was visiting her cousin in Willmar.

D.L. Smith reports that he has sold his financial investment business and is enjoying his retirement role.

Paul Youngdahl called to say he appreciated all the well wishes he has received regarding his career change as head basketball coach at Stillwater State Prison.  Paul’s wife, Nancy just returned from an exciting African safari where she and their son, Aaron, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Our congrats to you both for this wonderful accomplishment!!

A very special thank you to Sandra and Sonia Anderson and Kay Carlson Gritton for their creative original designed gifts that they donated as reunion door prizes.  Kay, a jewelry artist, has her own one-of-a-kind business known as K Original.  Kay can be contacted at:  952-928-0628.

Thank you for your help in locating Nancy Olander Johanson.  She is living in San Antonio, TX.  We hope to hear from her soon.

Now we need to locate Penni Pitzel Boyd so we can reconnect with her.  Your help would be greatly appreciated.

This is all the news that we were able to gather at the reunion.  So now, we need some more news in order to send out the next class letter.  Let us hear from you SOON.

We want to thank you for your contributions last year.  The great class of 1959 had a record 145 donors with 66.8% participation.

Again thanks for your support.  It is a pleasure to work with such talented and caring people in the great class of 1959.

May you all have a very blessed holiday season!

Gustavianly yours,

Wilt Croonquist

1201 23rd Street SE

Willmar, MN 56201


Carol Johnson Heyl

152 Janet Marie Lane

Winona, MN 55987


Campus News

143rd Academic Year Begins

Classes began Sept. 8 with 657 first-year Gustavus students and 2,500 in all.  Long-standing orientation traditions such as the Square Dance and President’s Banquet have been joined by newer traditions like Gustie Greeter Orientation Groups and the Reading in Common program.  These newer programs were created to provide a more meaningful transition and to encourage students to meet others outside their residence hall.

Nobel Conference, The Science of Aging

The 40th Anniversary of the Nobel Conference was on the Science of Aging.  The campus hosted over 6,000 guests October 5-6 to learn about the research molecular biologist are conducting on longevity, Alzheimer’s, and delaying debilitating disease and how this impacts life expectancy, the economy, and the health-care system.

New Residence Hall

Work crews have been busy this summer and fall constructing a new residence hall on campus.  The goal is to have the building enclosed before winter.  The building, located southwest of the football field will house 200 students in suites and apartments and is scheduled to open for fall 2005.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, realtor, and much more?  Make it a Gustie!  The Gustie Pages is an online database of Gusties who have submitted information about their profession.  Use the Gustavus network to meet your needs or submit your professional information if you would like other Gusties to be your customers.

Athletics Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has chosen eight individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2004 inductees include Lori Allen ’88 (golf), Jim Chalin ’76 (basketball), Bruce Edwards ’77 (ice hockey), Barb Jaeger ’88 (soccer), Dean Kraus ’89 (football), Pachi Lopez ’71 (soccer), Greg Peterson ’88 (golf), and Gary Reinholtz (long-time athletic trainer, benefactor).  This group was honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which was Saturday, October 16.

Extraordinary Place

Gustavus is once again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings.  Gustavus is one of five Minnesota colleges in the top 100 national liberal arts colleges for overall quality (Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf, Gustavus, St. John’s).  The ranking groups schools into categories based on a national educational classification that includes national liberal arts colleges, national doctoral universities (University of Minnesota, St. Thomas), regional master's degree-granting universities (Hamline, St. Catherine’s, Bethel, Augsburg), and comprehensive regional colleges (Concordia-St Paul).

Upcoming Events

  • Charlotte Area Gustavus Gathering – October 30
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel: “Seasons of Promise” – December 3-5
  • St. Lucia Festival – December 9
  • Class of 1954 and 50-Year Club Reunion – May 27-28