Class of '59
April 2006

Dear ’59 Gusties,

Here in Winona, the first robin has been sighted, the first tow has come up river and now we’re waiting for the first turtle to stick his head above water.  Spring is really here and March Madness hit Winona in a big way.  It reminded me of when the Gustavus basketball team went to Kansas City in our freshman year.  I still can’t remember how we got there—who had a car?—where we stayed?—or any other particulars, but I do know a number of us went to Kansas City.  In case your newspapers didn’t carry the news, our Winona State Warriors are the NCAA II champions!  It has been great fun to see the whole city cheer for this team.

So enough reminiscing for the old days—on with the news.  Carol Miller Hammarberg is still raising money for KenCrest in Philadelphia.  For over 100 years KenCrest has served people with developmental disabilities—this past year 6,700 people.  Carol attended a wedding in Japan of a student who roomed at her home for four years.  She’s had a variety of student roomers that has allowed her to visit them in their many home countries.  In addition to this, she also visits her own children in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

David Matson writes an interesting item.  He and Astri live at Matson Point, Lake Lida (Pelican Rapids, MN) on land homesteaded by his grandfather, which was once mortgaged to William and Charles Mayo.

Lynette Street Flato, Forestville, CA, responded to many inquiries when floods threatened her Garden of Eden over New Year’s weekend.  She reported that they were surviving the Russian River flood although they were trapped in their home for a few days since the roads were impassable.

Floie Vane lives in Anacortes, WA, but did manage to get back to Minnesota in December.  She attended her first “Christmas in Christ Chapel” and was greatly impressed and moved.

Dan Johns in Eveleth, MN indicates that he is retired.  I didn’t think pastors ever really retired. 

Stan Jurgenson tried to retire but just couldn’t.  For a while he drove 470 miles to serve a poor church in Holbrook, AZ and then when gas prices jumped, he found a church closer to home in Las Vegas, NV.  He works 15 hours a week at the Holy Spirit Lutheran Church and loves it.  From his letter, he could be working for the Visitor’s Bureau.  He touts the attractions of the Hoover Dam, silver and gold mines, skiing, and beautiful scenery including the Grand Canyon.  One doesn’t have to gamble to enjoy Las Vegas.  His two children live in the area.  Daughter, Erica, is married to a Marine, and his son, Michael, married a Phillippino woman a year ago and they now have twins―one of each!

Barb Flueger Jackson has joined the retired ranks.  She was a medical technologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Cities.

John Nelson is semi-retired and living in Edina.

Linda Lund Anderson and I have been trying to find a mutual date to visit Wilt in Willmar, but so far it seems one of us is always on the go.  Linda likes to find the warmer climes of Florida and California—altho’ she won’t pass up a ski trip in Colorado.  As for me (Carol Johnson Heyl), we just returned from Hawaii and in May I’m going on an Elderhostel to Rome.

This will be the last letter before the end of this year’s fund drive.  If you haven’t given yet, please consider making a donation―large or small.  As of this writing, 99 of our classmates have given for a 45.8% participation rate.  We’re aiming for 50%.  So use the gold envelope included in this letter and mail in your contribution.  I am proud of my Gustavus heritage and someone else’s donation helped me years ago.  That’s one of the many reasons I always give.

Here’s the scoop from Wilt:

Jack Proeschel and his wife, Connie, have sold their family home in Lutz, Florida and are scheduled to move May 1 to Wesley Chapel, FL (also a suburb of Tampa) into a new villa/townhouse.  Jack was recently in Willmar to move his mother, Peg, age 97 from Pleasant View assisted living into the nursing home.  Proeschel’s have six wonderful grandchildren.

Wilt Croonquist received the Lion’s Helen Keller award for his service to the local Lion’s Club and the Willmar community.

Paul and Kathy Coffman Westgard, Carefree, AZ have taken up home remodeling and completed two bathrooms.  Paul went with their former priest, Gino, also a talented artist and woodworker, to the San Carlos Apache reservation.  Paul writes, “On one trip to the rez I told Gino that I would be available to help him on any woodworking projects he had.  Since last summer I have had about eight, three-day trips to work with him.  One of the projects was to rebuild donated pews so that they had more of the Native American feel to them.  I have so much fun working with Gino on these projects.  The rez is really like a third world country, yet is only 125 miles from our house.”

Duane Aldrich and his wife, Barb, vacationed in Florida and Arizona this past winter and enjoyed seeing many Gusties.  Duane recently completed his 3-year term on the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA Board of Directors.  Under Duane’s and the Board’s leadership the “Y” now has over 6,000 members.

In a phone conversation with John Bold, he wants all the classmates to know that he is recovering nicely from his heart bypass surgery.  John is thrilled that his granddaughter has selected Gustavus as her college for this fall.

Bill and Avis Baldwin Rill had a nice visit with Barb and Duane Aldrich when they were in Arizona this past winter.  The Rill’s have been busy remodeling their Arizona home.  They painted the inside of the house and have added a front courtyard patio.  They are taking their kids and grandkids on a cruise in early April and leaving for Washington in late April.  Avis continues to enjoy good health.

Paul and Sadie (Schultz ’60) Magnuson says that things are kind of busy in Lake Elmo.  Paul has had a bunch of trials this winter.  He spent a few days in Rome and then went on to Albania.  In Rome a group of Americans (mostly Catholics) went on to the Vatican to meet with a group of leaders from Iran.  It turned out the Iranians wouldn’t discuss politics at all, but they would talk about religion, particularly how religion plays out in the workplace.  Paul said, “It was interesting!  He went on to say, in Albania it sounded like they had a real constitutional crisis involving their judiciary.  He would hate to see the country fall apart again.  They have come so far from so far back.  He hopes that cooler heads prevail.

Lynette Street Flato reports in from California that she has spent the majority of the winter grand parenting.  She is thoroughly enjoying spoiling all of them.

Elaine (Torrey) and Bob Holmen send their greetings to all, as do Elizabeth Johnson Dahl and her husband, John ’58,

Lois Madsen Allen and her husband, Clyde ’56, enjoyed the Nordic Thanksgiving Breakfast at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel where they saw classmate, Jerry Hoffman and his wife, Joan (Miller ’61).

We recently had the privilege to have coffee with Paul Youngdahl and his wife, Nancy.  Their nephew was a member of the Gustavus soccer team that finished second in national competition.  Nancy and their daughter, Kristi ’86, recently returned home from a trip to the Holy Land.  The Youngdahls basked in the sun while in Mexico for a month this past winter.

Dave Eckman and wife, Jan (Erickson ’70), have spent the winter in Leigh Acres in Florida, which is close to Fort Meyers.  Dave spends his days golfing and swimming.

Jeanette Reinke Carlson and husband, Alan ’58, spent two weeks in the San Diego area visiting relatives and attending a nephew’s wedding.

Clyde Rensted and wife, Audrey, have made two trips to Florida looking for investment property.

Tusa Johnson Bergman and hubby, Dick ’56, send their greetings to all.

Ken “Butch” RockVam sends a big hello from New Ulm, MN.  Butch taught English for 15 years, worked in the commodity business for two years and spent 26 years selling dairy products for Associated Milk Producers, Inc. out of New Ulm.  He retired on his 65th birthday in 2002.  Since then he has taken up woodcarving and does some Scandinavian folk characters.  He also enjoys reading, spending time with his grandchildren and day trips with his wife, Pat, around the area.  Butch and Pat come to Willmar and like to stop at the House of Jacob gift shop where they usually buy lefse, flatbread and other ‘collectibles.’  Then they like to stop in New London to visit the quilt shop, the yarn shop, and the general mercantile store and stop by the Arts Center.

As some of you may know, on the first of November, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer with some metastases to my lower spine.  I have had 38 radiation treatments and am currently under going chemotherapy every other week.  Due to the outstanding support I have received from family and friends, plus the assistance of wonderful medical professionals, my latest scans show the cancer has shrunk by 1/3.  We continue to pray for improvements.  Thanks for all your support and especially your prayers.  Keep them coming, we can feel the power of the Almighty!

We are sure by now that you have received information about the new football complex, which will replace Hollingsworth Field.  We would encourage you to consider a pledge to help this fine facility become a reality.  If you have access to the Internet, you can view this project online at:

A Final Word From Carol:

About a week ago, I sent my first draft of the letter to Wilt so he could add a paragraph on how he was doing.  Apparently, his ear has been closer to the ground than mine and he’s come up with more news than I have.  I’m really happy to hear how Wilt’s treatments have been going―he’ll be around for our 50th!  The latest findings that prayer doesn’t help is a lot of baloney.  I firmly believe that our prayers have and will help Wilt and anyone else who needs our support.

And now for a bit of news—remember you read this first in our newsletter.  After 20 years of courtship, Don Stone has asked me to marry him.  I immediately answered, “YES!”  We’ll be married on September 9th with all our families around us.  Later, we’ll have a party for all the people we’ve associated with in the last 20 years.  Dreams do come true.

And one final note…If you’ve not given to the annual fund, you have until May 31 to send in your donation in the gold envelope that you will find in this letter.  You can help someone’s dream come true, too.

Gustavianly yours,

Wilt Croonquist                                           Carol Johnson Heyl

1201 23rd Street SE                                    152 Janet Marie Lane

Willmar, MN 56201                                      Winona, MN 55987

320-222-6440                                               507-454-5543                            

P. S.  The Alumni Office will add some campus news here:

Campus News

The Alumni Board met on campus in February and made the final selection for the Alumni Awards:

Greater Gustavus Award:  Gustavus Library Associates, for providing financial resources for Folke Bernadotte Library, and engaging and introducing alumni and friends in the mission of the College.

Distinguished Alumni Citations:  Karen Bossart Rusthoven ’66, St. Paul, MN, founder and principal of Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul; Susan Semple-Rowland ’77, Gainesville, FL, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida and director, Neuroscience IDP Graduate Program; and Magnus Ranstorp ’85, St. Andrews, Scotland, chief scientist at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College; and a Senior Honorary Research Associate and former Director of Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

First Decade Awards:  Rebecca Konrad ’96, Washington, DC, investment officer, global transaction team, The World Bank International Finance Corporation; and Milo Martin ’96, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 

The awards will be presented on Commencement Weekend or Homecoming Weekend depending on the recipient’s schedule.

Gustavus Alumni Directory

The 2006 Gustavus Alumni Directory will be published soon and our goal is to represent your information as accurately as possible in the printed edition.  PCI:  the data company, is publishing our directory and a short phone call will update or verify your information.  Call toll free:  1-800-982-1589, Monday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST, and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. CST.  International callers dial:  1-972-386-0100, Monday-Friday CST.

Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.)

Gusties love to serve while they are students and after they graduate.  Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.), the annual day of community service, will focus in the Twin Cities’ Phillips Neighborhood.  This 1.6 square mile section of Minneapolis has 3,100 families, and 31 percent of those families live below the poverty level.  This neighborhood also is home to the American Swedish Institute.  Come out to help make the community a little better.  To learn more about G.I.V.E. Day and to register, go to

MAYDAY! Peace Conference:  "AIDS + Africa, the Unfolding Crisis"

The 26th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference will be held on Wednesday, April 19.  This year's topic is AIDS in Africa.  The conference will feature a keynote address by Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the HIV virus, and Marjorie Mbilinyi, social activist and professor in Tanzania.  The AIDS Memorial Quilt will also be on campus for viewing.  Robert Gallo is spending time on campus during March and April sponsored by the Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell Distinguished Professorship, a residency program for Nobel Laureates and similarly distinguished scholars.  For more information, go to

Gusties Gather!

Gusties around the world are called to gather on Sunday, August 6!  The Alumni Board is designating this day as a way for Gusties to stay connected with each other.  In research among alumni, we know that Gusties already stay in contact with many alumni, and we know that Gusties have a strong interest in staying connected with other Gusties and with the College.  Ever think you want to do more to be connected with Gustavus?  Now is your chance, signup to host a Gusties Gather! event.  Complete event checklist, host kit, and details will be provided.  Sign-up via e-mail at <> or call 800/487-8437.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference on AIDS – April 19
  • Rydell Distinguished Professorship lecture by Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of HIV virus, professor and director of the Institute of Human Virology – April 20
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations Meeting, keynote address, "Discipleship in Today's World:  Religion and Ecology," by Larry Rasmussen – April 22
  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) Day of Community Service in Minneapolis – April 29
  • Gustavus Library Associates Author Day with Robert Alexander – May 3
  • Reunion for Class of 1956 and 50-Year Club – May 26-27
  • Commencement – May 28
  • Gusties Gather! – August 6
  • Reunions for the classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 – October 6-8
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend – October 7 & 8