Class of '59
January 2006

Dear ’59 Classmates,

A month ago, we were driving home from Gustavus after attending Christmas in Christ Chapel.  As usual the performance was magnificent.  The choirs were beautiful, speakers eloquent, and the Chapel was draped in beautiful blue starry banners.  Each year is a new production and I always look forward to the next year.  As we drove home, we passed through Minnesota countryside covered with fresh snow.  The bare trees outlined the empty fields, showed where the valleys were, and surrounded the farm homes.  The quilter in me wished I could reproduce the scenes―but instead they’ll remain in my mind.  The whole weekend was a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season.

And now a month later, we have had two weeks of gray skies, no snow and lots of wind.  Now I know why some of you go to Florida, Arizona, Texas and California!  (We will be going to Hawaii in February—so don’t feel too sorry for me.)  On second thought, we have no hurricanes, torrential rains or earthquakes―so the good old Midwest is fine with me!

So what has gone on since Wilt wrote you in September?  The best news is that my month in Seattle was great and my son, Dan, is doing well with his chemotherapy.  While I was there, I took a ferry across Puget Sound to have a delightful dinner with Avis (Baldwin) and Bill Rill and Marian Fickes Borg and Paul Borg ’58.  Then, a week later, I took the same ferry to the Borg’s home and they had invited Muriel Doherty Haegele and her husband Lee.  If you ever get to Washington, be sure to look these couples up—they live in the most beautiful areas—woods, mountains, water and all just a ferry ride from an energetic city.

Now for the news from others:  Marion Johnson Sansted writes that she continues to enjoy her six grandchildren and travels from Fargo to Connecticut and Edina to see them. 

Elizabeth “Liz” Sandquist Brown keeps very active on several boards of directors and is queen of her Red Hat group.  Her church in Henderson, NV has just welcomed Dr. Mark Wickstrom from Mahtomedi, MN (whose dad was a Gustie) and an intern, Kevin Bergeson ’02.  They’re taking the Minnesota spirit to Nevada and especially her church.

Hope Pluto Annexstad and husband Glenn ’56 toured Japan and Korea this summer.  Hope also had a 50th high school reunion in Mankato.

Charles Lower reports that he and his 13-month-old grandson were a perfect match in England this past year.  His pace of crawling and stopping to touch everything in sight matched Charlie’s pace while wife, Martha, son and daughter-in-law explored castle walls, etc. Although he’s retired, he still teaches one adult evening course a week at the University of Georgia.

Muriel Doherty Haegele and husband have had one wonderful year.  February found them in Palm Desert, CA; March in Arizona; and May in Italy and Austria.  Then in July they were with kids and grandkids on Lake Chelan.

Ray Austin in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has a deal for Gusties.  He has an inexpensive room to rent out to anyone who wants to avoid crowds in PVR.  He suspects that many Gustavus tourists visit PVR but he has yet to meet any of them.  Ray has retired here to enjoy the warm climate and sunshine and to get away from the U.S. political scene.

From the Burnett County Sentinel in Grantsburg WI, we received a heartwarming story about two of our classmates.  Rad Reither’s grandson was having trouble with his legs and the doctor recommended he contact the Shriners to see if they could help.  Right away Rad realized he knew a Shriner.  It was his old Gustavus roommate “Sweet Tooth” Dick Faye.  At Christmas they were together for a Shriners party and I assume the grandson is getting the help he needs.

Lynda Johnson Minnick currently is resource developer for U.S. Tanzanian Education Partnership.  In the past she has worked with East Africa and the South Pacific in this same area. 

Lynette Street Flato “Lynner” answered an email and said her and Edwin’s home was safe from the rising Russian River.  They were trapped in their home for a few days as the road out was flooded and landslides blocked other areas.  For news, they depended on a battery-operated radio.  Having visited Lynner, I’m glad to know their house didn’t slide down the hill!

Through the grapevine, I hear that John ’58 and Liz Johnson Dahl have been in Boston with their daughter and family.  They went to Boston for Christmas and stayed into January to be at their granddaughter’s baptism.

Jerry Hoffman is moving into a new town home and while it’s being built, he and his wife, Joan (Miller ’61) are living in a very small one-bedroom apartment.  Does this remind you of being newly married?

Paul Magnuson spent about a week in December in Romania solving someone’s problem.

Linda Lund Anderson sent a Christmas card from Colorado where she was skiing with son, Carl.  She’s now reportedly somewhere in California.  We hope she’ll fill us in on her latest adventure.

Dave Eckman and wife, Jan (Erickson ’70), are spending the winter in the Fort Myers, Florida area.  Dave swims daily and has several golf opportunities.

Duane Aldrich and his wife, Barb, are in the traveling mode.  Presently they are in Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs and Tampa, Florida.  In February, they will spend time in Sun City West and Sun City Grand, Arizona, enjoying the Valley of the Sun.

Bob Olson recently visited an uncle in Iowa on his 100th birthday.  If that side of the Olson family has the longevity genes, Ole has a great future health wise in front of him.

For anyone totally out of the loop for news---Wahlstrom Hall is no longer there and a new Southwest Hall is up on the hill.  Also, Mrs. Young ’33 passed away this fall—but her tradition of excellent food will carry on for the campus.

As each year goes by, we add another year onto our chronological age and unfortunately with age come aches, pains and some illness.  I find that I need to report on our classmates who have had or are experiencing difficulties.  Bob Holmen had heart related surgery this summer and is now doing very well.  Paul Youngdahl spent some time at Mayo last mid-summer, but is back to preaching and is currently vacationing in Mexico.  Tusa Johnson Bergman is dealing with more chemo treatments.  Her energy and good spirits keep her going.  We’re all amazed at her positive outlook.  Avis Baldwin Rill had a benign tumor removed from her brain this spring and is back to playing bridge and golf.  Co-class agent, Wilt Croonquist, was diagnosed November 1 with bladder cancer.  Since that time he has gone through extensive radiation treatments.  He now will begin chemotherapy treatments.  He wants to thank all the Gusties for their support and prayers.  Wilt’s wife, Betty, says he is one tough Swede and determined to conquer this bump in the road.  For all of our classmates experiencing difficulty, we ask for your prayers.  And we hope the rest of you remain in good health. (I don’t want to write these kinds of reports again!)

I was not able to phone anyone this fall for Phonorama so I’ll make my appeal now.  If you’ve already given, I thank you!  If you’ve not given, please consider a gift in any dollar amount before May 31.  Every day, I am thankful for the education Gustavus afforded me and I feel it our duty to make these opportunities available to the younger generation.  I just re-read the latest Quarterly, and I’m constantly impressed with the quality of education offered at Gustavus and the accomplishments of our alumni.

And now I’ll send this on to Gustavus for their addition of campus news.

Study Abroad Leader

Gustavus continues to be a leading institution for the number of students studying abroad, according to an annual ranking recently released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Consistent with its mission of giving students an education that is international in perspective, Gustavus was ranked seventh in the "Top 20 Baccalaureate Institutions" list of the institute’s "Open Doors 2005" report.  Gustavus was one of four Minnesota private colleges to make the list of 20.  The report was based on study abroad statistics from the 2003-04 academic year.  Gustavus students engage in international learning through various programs in more than 100 locations throughout the world, ranging from Australia to India and Ecuador to Sweden.  In recent years, 50 percent of Gustavus graduates have participated in at least one study-abroad experience.

Gustavus to Perform at Orchestra Hall

The Gustavus Music Showcase will be Sunday, March 12, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  The Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and Gustavus Wind Orchestra will perform.  This is a unique opportunity to hear three premier ensembles from Gustavus in one concert.  This showcase also allows prospective students, parents, and alumni from the area to meet and connect.  For tickets, call the Orchestra Hall box office at 800/292-4141.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students 18 and under.


Two big stories from the fall sports are that Hailey Harren won the national NCAA Division III cross country title and the men’s soccer team became the first MIAC school to play in the national championship game and finished second, losing 1-0 to defending national champion Messiah.  For the second consecutive year, men's soccer coach Larry Zelenz has been named Coach of the Year in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas NCAA Division III West Region.  The men's hockey team is unbeaten in conference play, outscoring their opponents 28-5 in four games.

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra will tour Eastern Europe Jan. 14-30.  Performances are scheduled for Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Jan. 27-Feb. 11 (see schedule below), with performances in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel will tour during Spring Semester.

Gustavus Choir Tour Schedule

  • January 27 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 28 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
  • January 29 at Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, 8:30 a.m. morning service
  • January 29 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Duluth, 3 p.m.
  • January 30 at Bemidji High School Auditorium, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
  • January 31 at First Lutheran Church, Morris, 7 p.m.
  • February 2 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Marshfield, WI, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 3 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Brainerd, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 4 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona, 7 p.m.
  • February 5 at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona, 8 a.m. morning service
  • February 5 at First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 p.m.
  • February 11 at Christ Chapel, Saint Peter, 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Tucson, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 10
  • Phoenix, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 11
  • Sun City, AZ Gustie Gathering - February 12
  • Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall - March 12
  • Atlanta, GA Gustie Gathering - March 26

Gustavianly yours,

Carol Johnson Heyl

Wilt Croonquist

1959 Co-class Agents