Class of ’59

October 2012

Hello- Let’s Talk!


One of our fond memories is the Gustavus tradition to say “hello” to everyone we meet on “hello” walk.  Although we are not on the walk, we want to share some talk about our classmates and news from the campus.

In late August Carol Johnson Heyl and Jerry Hoffman attended the Gustavus Class Officers meeting at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.  ASI has expanded its facilities with the addition of the Nelson Cultural Center which includes the presence of a Gustavus office and staff.  During the energetic gathering we heard a variety of ways Gustavians are continuing and renewing treasured relationships.

Put May 30-31, 2014 on your calendar.  These are the dates for our 55th Class Reunion.

Lynda Johnson Tidemann Minnick lives in a town home in Chicago with her husband “Mac.”  She is a certified master gardener and is very involved with the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  Lynda spreads her passion for global missions to people in their congregation.  She sponsors mission trips.  The next one will be to Ghana.  She is an avid reader.  One of her book recommendations is Natasha’s Dance which relates to the building of St. Petersburg.  One of the movies she encourages others to see is “Moonrise Kingdom.”  Don’t be surprised to find her in the Twin Cities as she comes back often to visit her two sons who live there.

Pat McLane Olson and her husband Richard ’58 live in the Lyndon Hills area of Minneapolis.  She was sorry she missed the 50th Class reunion.   She was diagnosed with esophageal cancer three years ago, but is now cancer free.  Their daughter, Roxanne, is married to a Philip Marty ʼ79, a GA Graduate.  A son who graduated from the University of Minnesota works for Best Buy.  Their oldest son, Dan, at age 16, was out running and was fatally hit by a car.  Pat was cheerful and thankful for her many Gustavus friends and for Paul Youngdahl and his ministry at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.

Mark Thorsell and his wife Kathy Bunde Thorsell ’60 have lived in their same home since 1966 and have no plans to leave there.  Their “exit strategy” is to alleviate their three sons and daughter from any unnecessary tasks.  Aside from enjoying “handyman” activities, Mark tends his flower gardens by feeding them Viagara.  They also delight in their granddaughter who lives in North Carolina.

Sheila Ice Olson and her husband Ray ʼ60 have moved to White Bear Lake, MN.  She was a paraprofessional educator for the Senior High in the Anoka-Hennepin County school system.  Six years ago she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  They have a grandson, Samuel, who is a junior at Gustavus and an active swimmer.  Sheila and Ray married while they were at Gustavus and lived in the married student housing close to the football field.  She remembers their hut as really cold in the winter and how much they appreciated the cans of tuna fish that their parents would bring them.

Paul and Linda (Pierson ʼ60) Engebretson celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary last December and continue to live in Alexandria, MN except for a few months in Sunset West, Arizona.  They raised five children, one of whom, Susan, was killed in a car accident and have nine grandchildren.  Paul became a medical doctor, spent time in the Army, including a year in Viet Nam, settled in Alexandria and eventually became an OBGYN physician.  After retiring in 2005, he spent six months in OBGYN at the Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania, Australia.  While at Gustavus, Paul played the clarinet in the Gustie Band and the saxophone for the Collegians.  His interest in music has continued through the years and his passion has been caught by his family.  Mark, their oldest son, is associate professor of composition and electronic music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Another son, John ʼ91, went to Gustavus and is the director of the Bloomington Jefferson Band.  He regularly travels to Gustavus where he serves as an adjunct faculty member giving saxophone lessons.  In Alexandria, Paul is a leader of a band with 13 pieces which plays the “Glenn Miller” type music.  In Arizona, he started and leads the Big Band at Lord of Life Lutheran in Sun City West.

Carol Nelson Groseth, Proctor, celebrated her 50th anniversary with her husband, Gordy, with a complete cruise of the Panama Canal in April.  The trip was more interesting as they were able to see new construction on the canal.

Darrell Erickson, LeSueur, passed away in early July.  His memorial/celebration of life service was held at the Arboretum at Gustavus.  Marilyn Espeseth Erickson said it was such an appropriate place for this service.

Liz Sandquist Brown, Henderson, NV, thought she was meeting school teacher friends for lunch in Red Wing in August only to be surprised that her Flea sisters—Elaine Torrey Holmen Magnuson, Lois Madsen Allen, Linda Lund Anderson and Carol Johnson Heyl were also there.

John Bold, Eden Prairie, and Cherrie had just returned from their cabin when I called.  In September, they were headed to New York City and a cruise in eastern Canada.  Last year they took a cruise in the Mediterranean which they highly recommend.  John and Cherrie were given a Sesquicentennial Award by Gustavus for all their generous gifts to the school.  I don’t think you can find anyone more enthusiastic about Gustavus than John.  Their granddaughter graduated from Gustavus this spring and is working for IBM.  John also mentioned that Peter Spell’s brother passed away this spring.  He didn’t attend Gustavus, but there may be some who knew him.

Jean Turnquist Lindstrom, Bloomington, reported that she and Ernie have 13 grandchildren.  #1 grandson attends school in North Dakota and #2 granddaughter just started Gustavus this fall.  That leaves 11 more opportunities for GA to have a Lindstrom!

Joyce Johnson Elvestrom and Don ’58 spend six months in Lutsen and then six months in Arizona.  Their oldest grandson is a sophomore at Gustavus this year.  Joyce is still active with the Gustavus Library Associates.

Hope Pluto Annexstad and husband, Glenn, adventured to Croatia, Venice and Montenegro a year ago.  They have two children and four grandsons.

A delightful phone visit with Jane Wells Behrhorst didn’t produce a whole lot of news.  We talked about a lot of things but nothing to put in the letter!  Jane is an avid reader with many interests.  She and her husband, Rod, have three children and five grandchildren—and expecting one more before the end of the year.  Jane keeps in touch with Bev Lingwall Mooney ’60.

Carol Miller Hammarberg toured southern France with the mother of one of her former tenants of her home in Philadelphia.  They were on the French Riviera, Marseille and Saint Trope.  Carol learned that every small town has a chocolate factory, a florist and a bakery as it is custom to bring a gift of one of these items to your hostess.  Carol’s hostess and her son own the town’s chocolate factory!

A call to Warren Woods, Fridley, found him very upbeat.  He is still in a writing class and is active in his church.  Warren has an interesting ongoing correspondence with Bud Selig and occasionally writes to other former ball players.

An email from Elaine Torrey Holmen Magnuson said that she and Paul had been in Russia for a meeting and from there were on their way to Denmark and Sweden.

Karen Walden Taylor said she hibernated the whole month of July where she did a lot of reading.  Some of her recommendations are:  Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, The Postmistress and Behind the Beautiful Forevers.  Karen will spend the month of February with her husband in Jamaica.

Karen Hanson Shogren and husband, Bob ’58 are both retired—Karen from nursing at the Veteran’s Administration and Bob from Lockheed Martin.  Both their children—Jackie and David also graduated from Gustavus in 80 and 81.  Their granddaughter visited GA with her confirmation class and would like to make Gustavus a three generation college.  The extent of their travels is to Hastings to watch soccer games with their grandchildren.

Betty Croonquist’s daughter Pam has returned to teaching kindergarten after her bout with cancer.  Betty’s sister had been living with her while recuperating from five hip surgeries!  She is now living just two buildings away—Betty is happy to have her so near.

Dan Johns still enjoys living on a huge lake north of Tower, MN but spends the colder months in Palm Springs.  He was also at the Augustana gathering at Gustavus this summer.

While remembering the times we had there, become aware of potential Gustavians.  They may be a grandson or daughter, neighbors, children of friends, members of your congregation.  If they want to “Make Their Life Count” Gustavus is a school for them to consider.  President Ohle told me, “If someone is a good fit for Gustavus, we will find a way for them to attend.”

Gustavus offers smaller classes, close relationships with faculty, multiple opportunities to be engaged in service to others, intramural athletics and more.  Ninety percent of those who graduated last spring with a business degree have a job.  One of the reasons is an effective mentoring program.

Mentors are important to Gustavus students because they provide another voice that stresses the importance of a strong work ethic, a professional attitude, qualities leadership, and work/life balance.  A good mentor will offer perspectives on long-term planning and the vocational journey.  Mentors show the ropes.  They encourage students to watch them in action, learn how to develop relationships with others, and contribute to their community.  If you have interest in being a mentor, contact Amy Gerber Pehrson ʼ91 at:  507-933-7169 or

This past week the Office of Institutional Advancement sent an Endowment Fund report for the Class of 1959 Scholarship.  Remember at our 50th reunion funds were pledged and given to begin the Fund.  Gifts have been received since that time and the Market value as of May 31st was $18,052.  The fund will become active when gifts given to the fund reach $25,000.  When you are planning to make a gift to Gustavus, remember the Scholarship Fund and make an extra gift.  This Fund has the potential to help dedicated young people achieve their dreams.  A gift to this fund in memory of a deceased classmate would be a great way to remember them.

Do you remember the directory we had with everyone’s picture and where they were from and where they were on campus?  Well now, there’s the GRIBLY.  It’s an online directory of students as well as alumni.  Access it by going to and log in located in the upper right hand corner.  If you do not know your user name and password, contact the Alumni Office at or 1-800-487-8437.

Sweden’s King and Queen were at Gustavus on October 5.  Their majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia helped to commemorate the Sesquicentennial at Gustavus and the opening of the new Nelson Cultural Center at American Swedish Institute.

Nobel Conference 48 – October 2 & 3, 2012

The oceans have long been a source of fascination, from the tales of Sinbad to the popular Blue Planet documentary. This conference examined “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.

The last Quarterly had so much news that we have been asked to cut back on the Quarterly news and feature more news in our class letters.  You’ll see a shortened version of this news in the winter Quarterly.  Carol’s news gathering slowed this summer as she dealt with her husband’s death.  Expect to receive more phone calls from her or contact her yourself by email or phone.  You can send your news to both the Alumni Office and your Class Officers by emailing: or you can contact them individually at:

Jerry Hoffman, Class President, 612-788-1300

Carol Johnson Heyl, Communications Chair, 507-454-5543

Carol Miller Hammarberg, Annual Fund Chair, 215-473-4924

Unofficial Officers (We look to them for advice and inspiration!)

Elaine Torrey Magnuson,

Lois Madsen Allen,

Linda Lund Anderson,