Class of '60
April 2002

Dear Classmates,

This letter was first begun in January.  I thought it was sent electronically to the college shortly thereafter.  However, following our return from a winter trip south I became aware that I had not received a snail mail copy from the college.  My error (a senior moment) or the college’s or blame it on technology…all of this to say that this letter appears in two sections; the January one followed by my spring notes—all in one letter.

January Class News:

A rather nice paragraph about Paul Tidemann appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune “Faith and Values” section.  A weekly “Seekers Diary” by Tom Di Nanni reports on a different congregation and the visit that the author made there the previous Sunday.  Writing about St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Di Nanni writes, “ This was Lutheran worship at its best.  Traditional hymns are blended with African and African-American traditions.  Hispanic styles, as well as Native American and Asian tunes.  The Rev. Tidemann’s sermon was remarkable in its clarity, its eloquence and its substance.  He called for mercy, forgiveness and justice at a time far too many seek vengeance.”  Good ink for good work going on in St. Paul.

Bob and Lou (Eckman) Engstrom have retired from Elim Lutheran Church in Scandia.  Lou retirees from child-care and piano teaching!  The Engstroms are moving to Deltona, Florida…about 30 miles inland between Daytona and Orlando.  They will be close to Bob’s 94-year-old mother.  They will be back in Minnesota at Sand Lake for summers.  Had a chance to say goodbye at a small gathering at the end of November…

Count Mark and Roz (Johnson ’62) Anderson among new retirees.  Dr. Mark ended his dentist practice on the last day of December.  They have a place in Scottsdale, Arizona and will maintain their Minnesota lake place.  Saw them at a recent post-Christmas gathering of Gusties.  Needless to say, they are relaxed and looking forward to this next adventure.  Other Gusties we crossed paths with this holiday season included David and Karen (Westman ’61) Carlson, Judy Oberbeck Johnson, Jim and Diane (Hammargren ’63) Anderson, Roger and Nita (Swanson ’61) Anderson, Joel and Nancy (Anderson) Wiberg, Marilyn Wicklund Anderson and husband Buck, Steve and Brit Lundgren, and Harlan and Judy (Fairbanks ’61) Sandberg.  And I ran into Bill Shogren at a Westminster Town Hall Forum featuring Walter Mondale.  Shogie is a contributor to a new book entitled Trout Fishing near American Cities, published by Stackpole Books.  Bill says it is for the ‘itinerant fly angler.’  His portion is about where to find quality trout fishing a short distance from the Twin Cities.  The book will have national distribution.

Here are some “joy of retirement” quotes:

Nancy Dege Gerhard:  “Still retired but working as a mentor to new teachers and occasionally substituting.”  The Gerhards are planning a river cruise in Belgium and Netherlands in late March.

Carolyn Kvam Anderson:  “Retirement is a lot busier than I ever imagined.  I’ve been doing a lot of singing (chorus and solo work) at church and yacht club—which is a surprise.  Also, I helped start a community bible study in Charlotte County (Florida) this year.  Our boat, “Cheers,” has been on the lift all summer-fall as we rebuild a port diesel engine―ouch!$$$$”

Nate Lundgren:  “Doreen and I are happily retired to our new home on 'Grace Lake' (appropriate, isn’t it?) between Brainerd and Garrison, Minnesota.  Last August, I completed three years in Foley, serving Gustavus Adolphus and Gethsemane Lutheran churches.  Now, we are enjoying visits from our three Gustie daughters and four grandchildren.”

Ken Emerton:  “Not much new stuff, just enjoying the good life as I spend much time at the lake place in summer and enjoying shop otherwise.”

Not retired, and loving it, is Jan Jensen Eilers who is in her 8th year as principal at Lincoln High and Elementary in Hendricks, Minnesota.  This is her 11th year as a principal.

Dana Nobel Hesser and Jerry live on Collinwood Lake near Cokato in the summer and winter at Lake Chapala near Guadalajara, Mexico in the winter.  Hessers are involved as volunteers at a Boy’s Home nearby.

Tom and Eileen (Johnson) Delk are now living in Decorah, Iowa where Tom is chaplain at Aase Haugen Home.  Tom assumed this position following seven years in a parish in Flanagan, Illinois and after a one-year residency getting certified for chaplaincy.  Eileen is singing with “Northern Lights” and teaching piano.  They are two hours from family.

Mel Hammarberg is chair of the undergraduate program in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.  Mel and his wife, Hong, were married on Christmas Day one year ago.  They met during a group tour in Xian, China in1999.  At the time, she was vice general manager of the Xiamen Haiyu Tong Import-Export Company.  A long correspondence spurred the romance and one year later they were married.  Congratulations.

The Johnsons (Dennis and Carol) are now settled in Loring Green West in beautiful downtown Minneapolis, just in time to enjoy “Christmas time in the city…ring a ling, hear us sing…”  I have accepted an invitation from my former colleague at Gustavus, Bishop Craig Johnson ’69, to join his staff on a half-time basis.  I will be raising money for strengthening vital inner-city congregations through a program called “A Thousand Voices for Christ,” and assisting in a strategy of connecting all of the institutions of the Lutheran Church with the Synod in meeting the needs of the city.  A bigger challenge than I was looking for, but being stretched is good even at our age!?

In January we hosted a reception for new vice president for church relations, Jack Niemi ’68, at our place.  Jack, a Gustie grad, is a brother-in-law to Dan ’59 and Ted Johns ’61.  I have known him for years and am delighted that he will be in my old position.  Invitees to our gathering were present and past Association of Congregations board members, including Barbara Nordstrom Hanson, Joel Wiberg and Jo Olson Yock and spouses.  The same evening, David Johnson ’54, former Gustavus Dean, was hosting a gathering of Gusties from the early 50s.  David lives one floor above us, so the building saw an invasion of Gusties that evening.

That is all the news that is “fit to print.”  Remember, I can only do so much in making up the news about classmates…if you never see your name it is only because you didn’t send me any news.  I am gratified by classmates’ comments about their appreciation for news of others with whom they shared “the hill.”  We all seem to want to stay connected, so don’t be shy about sending a note about your “whereabouts and life events—major and mundane.”  You can contact me via email at

Was your name in the Gustavus donor directory recently sent out?  The presence of your name is both an endorsement of the education you received at Gustavus and an encouragement to others to add their support.  It also is a statement of your desire to help others have the same experience.  It is what we do for the next generation.  Mail that gift in today.

April 2002 Class News:

Friends, since the above was written, we have received news of three deaths of interest and concern to classmates.  First, our good friend from the class of 1959, John Erickson passed away this month.  John had been struggling with the effects of a lymphoma.  John was a brother-in-law to Steve Lundgren.  John’s wife and Steve’s sister, Linda Lundgren Erickson ’61, sadly, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and John was her chief caregiver.  Friends, including many of you, are involved with assisting in Linda’s care while more permanent arrangements are being made.  Our sympathy and concern for Steve and other members of the family.

We also have learned of the death of “Buck” Anderson, husband of Marilyn "Snooks" Wicklund Anderson this month.  Buck had also been fighting cancer for the last couple of years.  We saw Marilyn and Buck shortly after Christmas at gathering and Buck was in good spirits though he knew his long term prognosis was not good.

A copy of an obituary from the Princeton, Minnesota paper reports the death of Arlys Kurth Wessel who attended Gustavus and was in our class.  Arlys worked at the Princeton Hospital for 18 years.  She is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

So, friends, we cannot prevent life’s inevitabilities, but we can rally around those who are in the process of leaving us and around those who hurt.  This is the true meaning of friendship:  “being there.”

Other news:  Arlan Burmeister reports having retired three years ago and now spends his time golfing, traveling and "wrestling with grandchildren.”  Sounds great!  Arlan lives in Owatonna.

Bob Eidsvold writes a moving note (no pun intended):  “In the forty plus years since graduation from Gustavus, Jean and I are thankful for what can never be taken from us―a good education.  We are also thankful for good health, prosperity and the family we are blessed with—all of whom live near us:  three children and six grandchildren, with number seven due before year-end!"  (the note was written last October). 

Other grandparent news comes from Bill and Carol (Hansen ’61) Benson in Kandiyohi who report the birth of Sydney Rose born a year ago last March.  And Jo Jensen Tollefson writes, “Enjoying life!  Seven grandchildren (five girls born in two and a half years).  Jo and spouse, Dean, joined David Johnson—former dean at Gustavus-in a trek to Norway last summer.  Craig and Alice Lawson were also on that trip.”

Rog Oster retired from American Express after 32 years in risk management.  Rog lives in Edina.  John Schroeppel retired from parish ministry last July.  He is doing some writing.  If all went according to schedule John and family went to Sydney, Australia last Christmas season to visit their son and brother who is studying there.  The Schroeppels will continue to live in Hutchinson, Kansas.  Dave Ehline writes from Castle Rock, Colorado:  “I’m in my third year as chaplain at the Christian Living Campus, a long-term care and retirement facility.  I have three grandsons—ages 2, 3 and 16.”  Another retirement announcement comes from Jan Davoux Jones who tells us that she will retire after this year and will be moving to Pueblo, Colorado.  Jan has been teaching for 40 years!  Most recently, her teaching is taking place at Front Range Community College in Speech and Communications.  Congratulations Jan!  Another classmate educator with plans to retire at the end of this school year is Gordon Larson.  After 42 years at Clarenceville, Michigan Public Schools teaching math, Gordie will retire!  Owen "Oke" and Judy (Magnuson ’63) Peterson have retired from their second careers as managers of an elderly housing unit in Menominee, Michigan.  Duane and Annabelle Erickson have a home in Florida, near Orlando, where they spend their winters.  Otherwise, they are at home in Detroit Lakes.

From the St. Peter Herald column with news about residents of Norseland-New Sweden: 

Fred and Judy Hanson were house guests of Don and JoAnn Hautala at Newbury, Michigan recently.  Don and Fred were roommates at Gustavus.”

Cameron "Scooter" Johnston remains as executive director of Family Service of Waukesha while Jeannette (Westberg ’59) is a substitute teacher for the public schools.  They swam with the dolphins last summer in Cancun.

Marilyn Hansen Ehline is director of Mental Health Services for Community Involvement Programs. On behalf of her organization, Marilyn received the annual community service award for her community.

Marna Colliander Reilly reports that a year ago, Andrea and Fred Rogers went with the Reillys to Tibet and China and that they were on Tibetan TV…Editor’s note:  Fred on TV in Tibet…do you suppose Freddie was selling Tibetans an investment program…?  It's always what is not in the note that I get curious about.  Marlyn Windedahl Franzen is retired, as is her husband Kermit.  They divide their time between Wisconsin and Tucson, Arizona.

Congratulations to Palmer Norling who was married on October 20.  Palmer continues as president of Norling Farms, Inc in Willmar.

Al and Carol (Magnuson ’61) Moberg continue with their photography studio in Tampa, Florida.  Al reports doing the official photograph of the dedication of the new Federal Building in Tampa.  He also was musing with the Gustie caller about his apprenticeship with Norman Lorhammer in St. Peter during his student days.  The occasion for the reminiscence was the recent death of Lorhammer.  If memory serves, Lorhammer took all of our senior photos.

That’s a wrap….

Dennis Johnson

1960 Class Agent

P. S.  Now for some news from campus, written by a current Gustavus student:

Campus News:

Hi!  This is Tracey Hanson again writing from the Alumni Office.  For those of you who haven’t previously heard from me, I am a senior double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I am a seasoned Alumni Office veteran, as this is my fourth (and final) year here.  After not having taken a J-Term class, spring semester and the homework it entails has been hitting me hard.  Contrary to popular belief, the “senior slacker” final semester has been just the opposite for me.  My time at Gustavus has flown by, especially this final year.  The fact that it is March and I am still without a job is beginning to be a constant thought in the back of my mind.  It also seems to be a constant thought in the minds of my parents, although it seems closer to the front of theirs!  Spring semester has also been the final opportunity to be all together with classmates, so much time has been spent socially with roommates and friends.

As I will be graduating in June, this will be the final time you receive updates from me.  I now will also move into the alum category and step into the real world.  I’m not sure I’m completely ready for the change, but I’m darn sure that I better get ready because it’ll be here before I know it!  Here is some news from Gustavus.

Hello Walk On-line Alumni Community ( has been launched and Gusties of all ages are invited to join this meeting place for anything from small talk to debate to caring conversations.  Hello Walk at Gustavus is the sidewalk running from Uhler Hall on the north side of campus past the front of Old Main to Pittman Hall on the south side, which, for decades, was the main “artery” and gathering point on campus.  Even though the campus landscape has changed, the spirit of Hello Walk continues with you joining the conversation on the virtual Hello Walk.  Associate professor of political science, Chris Gilbert, will guest host a discussion on politics for the months of May and June.  Check it out at

Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club and Class of 1952 is May 31 & June 1.  A schedule of events and registration material was sent in April.

Homecoming 2002 & All Sports Reunion Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Intercollegiate Athletics is September 21.  Homecoming Weekend will include reunion gatherings for classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002.  Class reunions will be held in Bloomington at the Radisson South Hotel Friday evening, and Homecoming events including class and all-sports reunion events will return to campus for activities Saturday.  A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August.  A schedule will be published in the summer and fall issues of the Quarterly.

It has been an extremely successful winter sports season at Gustavus.  Women’s hockey won the MIAC regular season championship with an undefeated record and advanced to the Frozen Four National Tournament, finishing third in the nation. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won MIAC titles, the first time in Gustavus history.  The women’s Nordic ski team won its first MIAC championship.  Men’s basketball placed second in the MIAC during the regular season and MIAC playoffs, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to number one ranked Carthage College.  Men’s hockey finished second in the MIAC regular season and playoffs.  Women’s basketball finished fourth in the MIAC and advanced to the conference playoff for the first time ever. The women’s indoor track team finished second and both the men’s Nordic ski team and men’s indoor track teams placed fourth in MIAC action.  The women’s gymnastics team advanced to the NCGA National Championships.  Five Gustavus coaches were named Coach of the Year in their respective sports – Jon Carlson (women’s swimming & diving), Mike Carroll (women’s hockey), Mickey Haller (women’s basketball), Scott Jerome (women’s Nordic skiing), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey).

G.I.V.E. – Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors is moving to the spring.  Work projects will happen in the Twin Cities on Saturday, April 27.  Register on-line at under the alumni events section.

The 22nd MAYDAY! Peace Conference, May 1 will address the topic "Sanctions and Beyond:  What is the Human Price?"  For conference information and reservations, call the Office of Public Affairs (507/933-7520).

Comprehensive Alumni Directory

The Alumni Directory being published for the Gustavus Alumni Association by Publishing Concepts is still in production.  Those who purchased directories should expect to receive their copy in September.  Orders for an alumni directory can still be taken by calling 800/982-1590.

Evelyn Sponberg Young’s 90th birthday celebration

The Twin Cities Chapter of the Alumni Association invites all Gusties and friends of former Gustavus food service director and 2002 Alumni Fund Chair Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 to her 90th birthday celebration on July 25, 2002 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. program.

Evelyn will be serving her famous Red Velvet Cake and all guests will receive a loaf of her famous Swedish rye bread. A book of remembrance will be compiled as a gift for Evelyn.  Please send remembrances and stories of Evelyn to Alumni Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Reservations should be made with the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at or visit our web site at, alumni, events.

NOBEL CONFERENCE® XXXVIII, The Nature of Nurture – The Early Years, will be held on campus October 1 & 2.  The conference will explore the forces that are most important in shaping a child’s personality, gender identity, and language acquisition and learning ability.  History, discoveries, research, and clinical studies will all be surveyed to draw a better understanding of biological forces and environmental influences on brain development.

For more news and information about Gustavus, check out the web site at