Class of '59
January 2007

Dear Class of 1959,

This is a difficult letter to begin.  The “spirit” of our class is no longer with us―but you can be certain he’s keeping track of all your exploits from up above.  I was not able to attend Wilt’s funeral, but I did visit him the day before he passed away.  I understand that at his funeral a list of 10 things that have changed in heaven since Wilt arrived were read which I think you will find interesting:

10)  Each morning everyone is awakened with trumpets playing the Gustie rouser.

9)   Everyone in heaven has been assigned to a Canasta, Whist or a 500 team.

8)   Signs have been posted proclaiming, “Kandiyohi County is where the lakes begin.”

7)   Every chariot has been outfitted with a brand new set of Firestone tires.

6)   Everyone in heaven is well aware that the Willmar High School Class of 1955 was the single

      greatest graduating class in the history of the world.

5)   Wilt was elected the president of Heaven’s chapter of Future Farmers of America.

4)   Angels no longer have to work on June 6th—Swedish National Day.

3)   Ice and coffee machines have been installed on every corner.

2)   There is NO limit on the number of Mulligans you can take in a round of golf.

1)   Every Sunday night the dinner menu includes lutefisk and buttermilk.  I would add to that―I am certain Wilt is in heaven arranging reunions of everyone there and has formed a welcoming committee as each of us arrives in the future.  We will all miss Wilt and his enthusiasm for life in general and Gustavus in particular!

Just two days before Wilt passed away, the Minnesota Business Finance Corporation established a scholarship in Wilt’s name.  This is in addition to a scholarship that the local Economic Development Corporation made in his name for Emerging Entrepreneurial Scholars.

On a happier note, Elaine Torrey Holmen, Lois  Madsen Allen, Marcia Hedberg Wallin and I helped Linda Lund Anderson celebrate her 69th birthday just before Christmas.  Look for a picture of us in the next Gustavian—we don’t think we look as old as 69ers should look!  (Maybe the fact that Bob Holmen took the picture had something to do with how well it turned out.)  That brings up another thought―this year most of us are turning that dreadful 70.  Somehow, I thought by this age, I’d start thinking like an old person, but it just hasn’t happened—for which I’m thankful.  Small facts I learned at this get together.  Lois uses cinnamon on everything—is that how she stays so thin?  Marcia has a new car and works at Panera Bread—she brought us some tasty holiday bread.  Elaine has trouble walking steadily—she took a nasty fall while attending St. Lucia Festival at Gustavus and ended up with a black eye among other facial beauty marks.  Bob also has a gimp in his get along.  We hope the doctor is able to come up with a cure.  Linda continues her jet-setting ways by flying to Arizona or California (wherever a certain man named Jim is at the time).

Now for other classmate news that I’ve received in the last few months.  Some of my news may be very old as I didn’t write in the fall issue.  Wilt and his wonderful wife, Betty handled that one all alone.

Jeanette Westberg Johnston and Cameron ’60 have moved from Wisconsin to Moscow, Idaho where their daughters and five grandchildren live.  They’re finding keeping up with the grandkids activities a little tiring so don’t feel completely “retired.”

Don Tiegs writes that he and his wife just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary—Congratulations!  Don also plays in 12 horseshoe tournaments around the Midwest every year―he won two last year.  They typically have 180 entrants in each tournament.

Ted and Janet (Sommers) Chell are still in Winnipeg along with their three sons and families.  The grandchildren range from 23 to 1 in age.  Janet and Ted traveled to Niagara Falls and Chatauqua, New York for the Augustana Heritage event.  Ben and Suzanne (Wasgatt ’60) Johnson and Herb and Nancy (Lindstrom ’61) Johnson were also there.  By now Janet and Ted are spending a week in SanFrancisco and another in San Diego before returning to their winter on the Canadian prairies.  I wonder if they’re having as mild a winter as we are in Winona?

Fritz Kilander called and left a message on my answering machine (a long time ago) in answer to my question in last spring’s letter.  It was Stu Anderson who had a car that transported many of us to Kansas City for the basketball tournament.

This is another really old note from Avis (Baldwin) and Bill Rill.  Avis recovered from her surgeries and was able to go to Arizona last winter.  Hopefully, they are there again.

Carol Hansen Johns emailed me last April hoping to connect with me while I was in Rome on an Elderhostel.  She and her husband, Steve Carlson ’60, Louie Bittrich and wife, Nancy, and Craig Lawson ’60 and wife, Alice, were in Rome and Tuscany last May.  We had hoped to meet at Trevi Fountain, but our schedules were a little off.  (Plus I had complications, which I’ll explain later.)  Before they left on their trip, they had lunch with Sunny and Sandie Anderson, Kay Carlson Gritton and Evy Hedman Ahlberg.

Liz Sandquist Brown emailed me last May about Bob Olson and Nancy visiting her in Las Vegas and at the same time surprising their former minister who now is Liz’s pastor in Las Vegas.

Betty Croonquist (she’s now an honorary member of our class) emailed me an article that appeared in the Willmar paper around Christmas.  It spoke of Owen Wallin: “Willmar’s forgotten star.”  Some of the quotes about him are:  “Owen was a raw-boned Norwegian with good hands, sharp elbows and an excellent shot.”  “Owen was just a nice guy, fun to be around with a beautiful jump shot.”  “At Gustavus he scored 800 points, shot 89 percent from the line, was all-MIAC and set a scoring record of 40 points in a game.”  “As a senior, he received the Sponberg Award for Scholarship, Leadership and Basketball Ability.”  We knew these things about Owen, but it is certainly nice to hear them repeated so many years later.

William “Bim” Moeglein sends Christmas greetings from Florida.

That’s all the news I’ve received from classmates.  And now I need your help.  I’d really love it if someone would volunteer to be my co-class agent.  The work is not hard—in fact it’s a lot of fun gathering news and writing a letter three times a year.  With technology, it’s very simple.  Gustavus supplies us with some class news and then Wilt and I would send the letter back and forth for additions and finally email it to Gustavus.  They add in campus news and send it on to the class.  If you can’t volunteer in this regard―then at least feed me information about what you’re doing, the joys, sorrows, triumphs and challenges in your life.  You can email me at or snail mail me at:  152 Janet Marie Lane, Winona, MN 55987 or call me at 507-454-5543.  Also, be thinking ahead to 2009 when we will be celebrating our 50th reunion.  What can we do as a class to show Gustavus how much our education has meant to us?  The class of 1955 donated $2.4 million and the class of 1956 gave $1.8 million through gifts, pledges, future estate plans etc.

Earlier in this letter, I said I’d fill you in on my Elderhostel experience.  A girl friend and I signed up for an Elderhostel program in Rome in May.  After dinner on our second night, our leader announced that we would be taking a walk up the hill to overlook Rome at night.  The walk was LONG but well worth it.  On the way down the same hill, my foot slipped on loose pavement and I went flying.  Immediately, I knew something was not right with my left arm.  When I finally was able to stand, my left arm jutted out at a 45-degree angle.  The walk down the hill seemed even LONGER.  At the base of the hill, we hailed a cab that took us to the Vatican Hospital emergency room.  It didn’t look anything like U.S. hospitals but the doctors seemed to know what to do—and spoke a little English.  To make a long story short―I had dislocated my shoulder, but I was able to finish out the 10-day trip with my arm strapped to my body.  Back home, I’ve been in physical therapy and have almost total mobility.  The interesting part of this tale is that the ER visit, two sets of X-rays, anesthesia in the operating room, all the bandages they wrapped me in, and an overnight stay cost me $280!  (I do wish the Pope had come to call on me.)  The Elderhostel was a great experience and I would definitely go on another one.

Of course the more important news is that Don Stone and I did get married on September 9th.  I’m still Carol Heyl though, because there are too many places to change my name― and I have three wonderful children with the Heyl name.

As I send this on to Gustavus for their input, I have one final request.  The annual fund drive is in full swing and we are looking for your support.  If you have always given, I thank you.  If you have never given or maybe just once in awhile, please consider giving this year to the alumni fund in memory of Wilt.

As Wilt always signed off―Gustavianly yours,

Carol Johnson Heyl

152 Janet Marie Lane

Winona, MN 55987


Campus News

Alumni Starring in The Cherry Orchard

The Department of Theatre and Dance is celebrating 75 years of theatre at Gustavus this year with two featured events:  Theatre Reunion May 11-12 and a gala performance of The Cherry Orchard followed by admission to the cast party on February 10.  The Cherry Orchard will be Professor Rob Gardner’s final directing work before retirement.  A cast of professional theatre alumni will join the student actors for this very special production.  The alumni cast includes:  Peter Breitmayer ’87, Karen Esbjornson ’80, Kevin Kling ’79, Scott Novotny ’75, and Michael Glenn (Waldhauser) ’97.  A sold-out performance is expected for this unique celebration, so order your tickets soon.  For more information and to order tickets, go to the Cherry Orchard site from <>.

Gustie Pages

Looking for a dentist, doctor, lawyer, pastor, Realtor, or other professional?  Make it a Gustie!  Look in the Gustie Pages, 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 become your customers.  Go to the Gustie Pages at the alumni website at:  <>.

Give Every Year to Gustavus?

Do you give to Gustavus every year and plan to give every year in the future?  Then you should become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society.  Members of the Cec Eckhoff Society simply make the public commitment that they plan to give financially to Gustavus every year.  It does not matter how much you give and this is not a formal pledge for a certain amount of money.  Cec Eckhoff ’56 led the alumni office from 1963-1994.  Cec believed that part of being an alum of Gustavus was to give monetarily each year to the College.  To become a member of the Cec Eckhoff Society, please call The Gustavus Fund office toll-free at 866/487-3863 or e-mail <>.  Thank you for your support of Gustavus!

Upcoming Music Tours

This year nearly 300 students will participate in music tours as members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Choir, Gustavus String Orchestra, Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and Choir of Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir will tour Spain and Portugal January 11-30.  Performances are scheduled for Lisbon, Seville, Malaga, Grenada, and Madrid.  The Wind Orchestra will tour Minnesota, Madison and Milwaukee, WI and Chicago.  The String Orchestra will be in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • The Cherry Orchard Gala Performance – February 10
  • Orlando Gustie Gathering – February 13
  • Tampa Bay Gustie Gathering – February 15
  • Naples/Marco Island Gustie Gathering – February 17
  • Tucson Gustie Gathering – March 16
  • Phoenix Gustie Gathering – March 17
  • Sun City Gustie Gathering – March 18
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion – May 11-12