Class of '59
January 2008

Dear ’59ers,

After the September letter, I received an inquiry from one of our classmates, “Were there any males in our class?  The letter was filled with only female news.”  I have to admit that it was overloaded with women’s reports since we had all been together for our 70th birthday.  So―this letter will try to correct the imbalance.

Don and I just returned from a grand tour of most of the West and Southwest.  While driving, I did contact some classmates for news.  Here’s what I found.

Ken RockVam in New Ulm is retired from AMPI (Associated Milk Producers Inc.).  He is on New Ulm’s city council and has a hobby of folk art carving.  I’d sure like to see some of those― how about bringing them to the 50th reunion?

Bob Sandberg in Bountiful, UT wasn’t home.  I suspect he was out skiing in the Utah mountains.

Jim Stockdale, Henderson, NV, and I had a lively discussion on the upcoming elections.  Jim has been very active in politics—even taught courses on campaign management.  At this point he’s not sure whom he’s going to vote for.  I tried to reach Liz Sandquist Brown who lives in the same area.  She must have been out shopping or with her grandkids.

Jeanette Westberg Johnston, Moscow, ID, reports that she recovered from her surgery this fall and is enjoying being near all their grandchildren―some were just leaving as we were talking and I could hear them giggling in the background.  Both Jeanette and Ken RockVam reported on Anders Bjorling’s ’58 wife, Jan (Neidt ’58).  She had just died.

Larry and Deone (Nordquist) Cartford winter in Phoenix.  Larry is currently teaching a course on world religions at their local community college.  In Winona, we have a learning club—could you give the same lectures to us when you return north?  Later this winter, they will both take a trip to Central America.

Pat and Shirley (Zaske) Sweeney have moved permanently to Green Valley, AZ, but they do make two trips north each year.  Pat reported that he still could golf his age!  Pat said that Bob Koons is also in the Green Valley area.

In Albuquerque, NM, we had a long visit with Cliff and Diana Sroder Johnson.  They are about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in Belize, Mexico with their two children and their families.  Congratulations!  Cliff volunteers at the veteran’s administration and has helped build many Habitat homes.  Diana has taken up painting furniture and oil paintings in retirement.  She’s also taken up MahJong―maybe she could teach us all about it at the 50th reunion.

There were others I should have called, but simply ran out of time or didn’t have current phone numbers.  By the time we reached Albuquerque, the temperature was 22 degrees and we decided it was time to head home where it was 0 degrees.

Here is news gathered by the Alumni Office:

Barb Endersbe Wallin just celebrated 30 years as church secretary for Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth.

Lynette Street Flato hosted a party for twelve Bay Area Gustavus alums on September 30.

Paul Magnuson’s wife Sharon “Sadie” (Schultz ’60), passed away suddenly in October.  Sharon had many health problems over the years, but she never let them get her down.  She had a strong faith and believed that every day was a gift from God.  Even though she was not in our class, many of us felt she was a part of ours.

Wilt and Betty Croonquist are still making the news.  Betty was interviewed about the Hospice program in Willmar and reported in the West Central Tribune.  Wilt was reluctant to have hospice because he knew everyone would know he was dying.  But when he thought it would be a help to Betty, he agreed and their final days together were peaceful.

And now here’s news gathered through the grapevine:

Linda Lund Anderson’s children threw her a surprise birthday party.  Linda spends her time between St Paul, Carmel and Scottsdale—with a side trip to Germany and France―what a life!

Narese Dahl Dudley and husband have retired to a motor home and may show up in anyone’s location.

Bruce Heyl’s kids gave him a surprise 70th birthday party.  In attendance was Bim Moeglein who now lives part-time in Florida and the summers in Walker, MN.

Bill and Avis (Baldwin) Rill have moved again to Grapeview, WA.  We assume Bill has recovered from his surgery this fall.

D.L. Smith is in Palm Springs, CA playing golf, but will come home to snowmobile at Ten Mile Lake where he’ll see Fritz Kilander.

A number of us will be getting together on February 23rd at Mt. Olivet to begin planning our 50th reunion.  Start saving May 29-30, 2009 for the big event.  If you’ve not been asked to help, but have an interest, you’re welcome to attend.  Contact Kathy Erlandsen or Randall Stuckey ’83 in the Alumni Office to let them know you’ll come.

News from Gustavus indicates we’ll have a new President soon.  Six candidates were interviewed in the Twin Cities last week and the finalists will be on campus in February.

As always, I’ll put in a plug for the Alumni Fund.  I finally just sent mine in!  As of today, the class of 1959 has had 88 donors for a total of $41,975.  That’s a 41.9% participation rate—we’re hoping for 50%.  Fifty years ago, we were benefactors of others’ gifts—whether we realized it or not.  Many of our parents paid our way, but without gifts, the quality of teaching and the total atmosphere of Gustavus would not have been the same.  So―if you’ve already given, thank you!  If you’re a procrastinator, you still have until May 31st to join the crowd.

That’s all the news from chilly Winona. (I hope that the male/female imbalance has been corrected somewhat.  Men, don’t hesitate to call, email or send me your news.)  I’ll send this on to Gustavus so they can add campus news.

Gustavianly yours,

Carol Johnson Heyl

152 Janet Marie Lane

Winona, MN 55987

Campus News

Forensics Team Continues Excellence

The Gustavus forensics team continues the tradition of excellence, with major team and individual wins this season.  Last season the team ranked in the top 20, which is impressive since 14 of the top 20 schools are “Division I” schools that have more funding and more coaching staff.  While many schools have several full-time forensics coaches, the Gustavus coach also is a full-time professor.  So a unique aspect of the Gustavus program is the team meets weekly for peer coaching, a technique the team has found to be very successful. 

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a once-a-month morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100), 8:00-9:30 a.m., $10 per person.  Reserve by calling Don Swanson ’55 at 763/533-9083.  Upcoming speakers:

  • February 20 – Hank Toutain, Dean of Students
  • March 19 – Mary Morton, Provost and vice President of Academic Affairs
  • April 16 – Cindy Johnson-Groh, Executive Director, Linneaus Arboretum
  • May 21 – Tim Kennedy, Sports Information Director

Gustavus Dancing With the Profs

Inspired by the popular television show Dancing with the Stars, a standing room only crowd of students, faculty, and St. Peter community members filled Alumni Hall on November 2 to watch Gustavus students and faculty/staff members swing dance to raise money for the St. Peter United Way.  The event, “Dancing with the Profs 2,” featured six teams of one Gustavus student and one faculty/staff member.  In preparation for the evening competition, the Gustavus Swing Club gave the teams dance lessons, while members of GAC-TV documented the learning to provide a video showcase on each couple.

Alumni Insurance Programs

The Alumni Association sponsors insurance products for alumni, spouses, children, and parents.  Products include life insurance, auto, home and renters insurance, and short-term medical insurance to fill temporary needs of new alumni without insurance after graduation and others who may have gaps due to unemployment.  For information about life and short-term medical insurance, call 800-635-7801.  For information about auto, home, and renters insurance, call:  800-524-9400, (800-328-0705, ext. 552 in the Greater Twin Cities area).

Gustavus Music Showcase

The three international touring music ensembles at Gustavus Adolphus College — The Gustavus Choir, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra —  will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.  Tickets for the concert are on sale through the Orchestra Hall box office and may be purchased in-person, online at:, and via fax or phone at 612-371-5656.  Tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for children ages 6-18 and current Gustavus students with a valid I.D.

College Relations blog

Gustavus College Relations staff has introduced a new blog that will offer commentary and news on a variety of topics pertinent to the campus community as well as some photography, video, and audio content.  During the month of January the blog will feature the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra’s China tour and observations on several January Interim classes.  The new blog can be read at:


Men's tennis coach Steve Wilkinson has been named the national winner of the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Campus Recreation Award.  This awards program, which began in 2003, was open to more than 2,000 ITA head and assistant coaches at the NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA and junior/community college levels.  Senior goaltender Trevor Brown became the first men's soccer player in Gustavus history to be named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Men’s Soccer Team as released by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast – February 20
  • Music Showcase – March 9
  • Breakfast with the Easter Bunny – March 8

For more information on alumni events, go to: