Class of '60
January 2004

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year to all.  Those who are living in sunny climes are about to be joined by a flock of northern "snow birds" who have or are about to trek south for a few weeks or months to escape ice and snow.  We hope to be among them, at least for a couple of weeks in March.

The January letter is normally to be written by a guest, and, though I will be writing the letter, I have asked Jo Jensen Tollefson to do a summary of the reunion of the "first Gustavus nursing class" who trained at Bethesda Hospital.  Her letter follows:

Gustavus Nursing Reunion

The Gustie nurses (1960) had a great reunion in Carefree, Arizona on October 16-18, 2003 where they celebrated 65th birthdays and retirements.  Being they were the first nursing class to graduate from Gustavus there has been a close bond between all the classmates.  Classmates came from Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.  There have been reunions in Atlanta, Georgia; Breezy Point, Minnesota; Durango, Colorado and now Carefree, AZ.  Some interesting statistics are:  of the eighteen that graduated, one is deceased, of the seventeen remaining fourteen attended the reunion; one nurse with a doctorate, five have master's and one nurse practioner; approximately 30% have written professional publications; 24% are parents of children who have graduated from Gustavus and lastly, 70% have retired.

As you all know, there are many avenues of nursing careers.  The following are some of the professional areas of this group:  nursing education, nursing administration, operating room, pediatrics, public health nursing, med-surgical, pediatric pulmonary specialist, dialysis, U.S. Army Nurse Corp., staff development, nursing consultant, nursing policy and procedure director, utilization/quality/case management, infection control, nurse massage therapist, clinic manager, woman's health, school nurse, cardiac care, anesthesia and psych nursing.  Information was compiled on each graduate of 1960.

Diane Fahlberg Anderson was the coordinator of the reunion as she and Ev live in Carefree, AZ.  They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren―all in Minnesota.

Maxine Jafvert Anton lives in Richfield, MN.  She has 2 children and 4 grandchildren.  She is semi-retired.

Arlys Folland Bjorke lives in Oro Valley, AZ.  She has 4 children and 7 grandchildren.  She is a machine quilter in Oro Valley.

Karen Olson Brown lives in Vadnais Heights, MN and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.  She loves being close to the grandchildren.

Margo Pinney Cotton lives in Durango, CO.  She was coordinator for the previous reunion.  She can hike, bike or ski faster than any one of us.

Karen Carlson Danielson lives in Eau Claire, WI.  She has 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.  Karen continues to travel throughout the USA giving lectures on nursing assessment.

Ruth Walfrid Dettor was welcomed back to the USA.  She and her husband have been living aboard their sailboat "Mattie Christian" for the past ten years.  They now live in New Berri, NC and have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.

Lois Swanson Johnson lives in Paynesville, MN on Lake Koronis.  She has 4 children and 8+ grandchildren.  She and Todd have golfed in every state in U.S. except Hawaii and they plan to get there in January 2004.

Rosemarie Anderson Kohler is the golfer of our class.  She lives in Vista, CA with her husband, Al.

Carolyn Anderson Kvam lives in Punta Gorda, FL.  She is singing and using her voice to bring joy to many people.  She has 3 beautiful granddaughters and one son on earth and one son in heaven.

Lois Lindall Miller just moved to Marine-on-St. Croix, MN.  She has 3children all living in Texas and 5 grandchildren.  She will be our next reunion coordinator, which will be held at Red Lodge, Montana in 2005.

Lois Anderson Nelson just recently moved to Alexandria, MN and resides on Lake Carlos.  Her son is a physician in Alexandria, MN and another son sells insurance in Arizona.  She has 2 grandchildren.

Char Benjamin Schoen lives in Hastings, MN.  She has 3 girls and 6 grandchildren and her son-in-law is a physician who specializes in orthopedics in the metro area.

Jo Jensen Tollefson lives in New Brighton and Crosslake (Lower Whitefish).  She has 4 children and 7+ grandchildren.

Carol Berg White lives in Roswell, GA.  She has 2 girls and 2+ grandchildren.  She is director of Distant Learning for the State of Georgia.

All of these women became members of the Red Hat Society. This small group of 17 Gustavus graduates have contributed significantly to nursing and the community through their professional careers and volunteer services. They have made a positive impact in the areas they have lived and worked. All of them look back on the wonderful years at GAC with thankfulness, for it gave them a solid foundation for productive careers and a meaningful life.

Thanks Jo for that informative and fun letter to the entire class.

Let me now get to other class news, gleaned from our last phonorama.

John Bergstrom retired in December of 2002, but is now in an educational role, currently working one day a week on an academic curriculum project.  Dr. John and Marion live in Apache Junction, AZ…..John also sent a note about his appreciation for Gustavus' strong emphasis on "writing across the curriculum."  Another new retiree (we add them daily):  Marilyn Hallberg Griffin, after 33 years of teaching in public schools. "I love my new life style."

Congratulations to Lorna Chumley Berlin of Williamsburg, New York.  Lorna has a prize-winning painting in a traveling exhibit and it will be at the University of Minnesota-Morris.  It can be seen on the American Watercolor society web page.  Lorna, Jacques and entire family will be in England this month.  Last year, Lorna underwent open-heart surgery.  She has recovered well and is painting again!

Here is a note and an invitation from Dana Knobel Hesser, "We spend summers in Minnesota on Lake Collinwood and the cold months in Mexico.  However, this winter we are going to Arizona.  We have three boys; all of who are not more than 2 hours drive from here.  We also have 8 grandchildren...all the apple of my eye!  If you get to Parker, Arizona (south of Lake Havasu) come visit.  We will be there from December until April."  Thanks, Dana…everyone get your reservations in now.

Two who haven't retired:  Dr. David Carlson, still enjoying his work and finds no reason to stop and David Wold, who writes from Sweden, "I haven't retired yet, but live off retirement and my young wife.  What a way to go!" Linda Pierson Engebretson has retired as a "prevention worker and mentoring program director" in Alexandria.  Paul is still doing OB-GYN work and they both enjoy their lake home near Alexandria.

Encouraging news from Mel Hammarberg:  his cancer is in remission and energy has returned!  This enables him to carry a full teaching load at Penn U.  Every six months Mel undergoes four rounds of infusions of an immune system stimulant.  Keep at it friend.

Did you see the picture of 10 of our classmates in the last Quarterly?  They met in Chicago last June in an event organized by Mary McCreery Teppen.

Barb Nordstrom Hanson writes from Red Wing:  "Just returned from a two week cruise and land tour of Alaska—Awesome!  We went past Gustavus, Alaska on the ship!  Carol Schumacher Vamvakias lives in Fairfax, Virginia and works as a nurse case manager at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  LaVonne Risty Herbert lives in Bloomington and is a retired nurse.  LaVonne was able to enjoy the Gustavus Library Associates Royal Affair, the Nobel Conference and Christmas in Christ Chapel this year.  Five grandchildren, all future Gusties!"

Andrea (Noren) and Fred Rogers are still majorly involved in a financial corporation established several years ago (MAJR)…while still fully occupied they find time to travel and enjoy life.  Home is still Lakewood, Colorado.  Norm and Norma Wold live in Lake Havasu, AZ where Norm is retired and enjoying boating, four-wheel driving, swimming, and Las Vegas!

I learned that Bob Engstrom recently underwent by-pass surgery, but is recovering nicely.  Bob and Lulu (Lou Eckman) live in Florida.  Bob's life is filled with fishing, golfing and "yardening."  Lou reports spending time at her new "house of hope"―the GYM.  Summers are spent at Sand Lake, son lives nearby, but other offspring and their offspring are scattered from Minnesota and Wisconsin to Dusseldorf, Germany.

Finally, I regretfully and with sorrow report the death of Judy Oberbeck Johnson.  Here is a copy of a message sent by Alumni Director, Randall Stuckey '83 to all class agents:

Co-class agent Judith Oberbeck Johnson '60 died last Friday, November 28.  Judy had served as co-class agent last year with Jim Anderson while Dennis Johnson took a leave to serve Gustavus as Interim President, and was in partnership with Dennis this year.  She was class agent in 1975, 1976, and 1977.  Her obituary follows:

Judith Yvonne Johnson, of New Hope, passed away peacefully November 28, 2003 at the age of 65, surrounded by her three children.  Proceeded in death by parents, F.L. and Isabelle Oberbeck; husband, David; and sister, Diane.  Survived by children, Eric (Cindy), Kirby, Laura (Rob); and beloved grandchildren, Serena and Claire.  Judy's kind, loving nature touched the lives of countless people.  She strived to make a difference by dedicating time to many volunteer activities, including tutoring English to grade school students, advocating for battered women at Safe Journey and greeting new members at the Association of American University Women.  Judy also had a fine appreciation for music, the arts and education.  She continued studying religion and art throughout her life and loved to travel in the U.S. and abroad to museums, galleries and historical sites.  Judy's intelligence, sense of humor and compassionate outlook will be sadly missed by her family and many friends.  Service was Tuesday, Dec. 2, 11 AM at Holy Nativity Lutheran Church, 3900 Winnetka Ave. N. Interment Gethsemane Cemetery

Published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune from 11/29/2003 - 12/1/2003.

Jim Anderson and I had the privilege of being able to be at the service in her memory.  It was gratifying to see several classmates there.  Among them were:  Harlan and Judy (Fairbanks '61) Sandberg, Mary McCreery Teppen, Jackie McKenna Gimse, Marilyn Wiklund Anderson, and David Folkerds.  Sorry if I missed anyone.  I am grateful to Jean Hilding Stuart for giving me a personal call to tell me of Judy's passing.

Each has our own special memories of Judy, but one we all talked about was her "torch song" which she did at the Homecoming Variety Show, "Everybody loves my baby….." and, I might add, everybody loved Judy.  Judy co-emceed our last class reunion and was instrumental in the planning.  We shall miss her.  Peace to her memory.

Now, to some news from the Hill:

Building a Greater Gustavus Reaches Target

Gustavus celebrates reaching the $100 million target for the Building a Greater Gustavus capital campaign.  The campaign includes reconstruction projects following the 1998 tornados, the creation of the Center for Vocational Reflection, growth of the Christ Chapel Endowment, the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center, the Curtis and Arleen Carlson International Center, the Barbro Osher Svenska Huset (Swedish House), the new soccer and track complex, and more than 100 new scholarships.  Efforts continue to raise funds for campaign projects, such as Old Main renovation, Gustavus Alumni Fund, and further endowment growth.  Special thanks! goes to the volunteers and donors who contributed their resources to assist current and future Gusties. 

January Term

The theme for this January Term is "Undergraduate Research and Creativity," to promote course offerings and activities in all fields, not just natural sciences and fine arts.  In addition about 375 students are on travel programs abroad in such places as Europe, Australia, Malaysia, Fiji, and Israel.  Also, 180 students are participating in internships and career explorations, now so essential for many students in securing a job, no matter what career field. 

New Gustavus Video

Have you been to campus lately?  Can you remember your first time seeing Gustavus?  The Admission Office has created a new video/DVD for prospective students to take a look at the College.  Take a look online if you wish at <>.

Fine Arts

The Gustavus Symphonic Orchestra will take a 16-day concert tour to China performing in such places as Beijing, the Great Wall, and Tianjin.  The Gustavus Choir will take a 10-day concert tour to selected cities in North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota, and will also present a concert in the Twin Cities on Friday evening, January 30, 2004, 7:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in St. Paul.  The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, formerly the Gustavus Band, will tour during Spring Break.

Extraordinary People

Peter Krause '87 returned to Gustavus in November to meet and conduct workshops with students.  Krause has been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards for his role as Nate Fisher in the critically and commercially acclaimed HBO drama, "Six Feet Under."  With the hope that the day would focus more on the students than on his newfound fame, Krause spent the afternoon doing acting work with classes and theatre and dance majors.

Great Teaching

In case you missed the note in the Fall 2003 issue of the Gustavus Quarterly, we are asking alumni to send in short reminiscences, tributes, and anecdotes about professors who made a difference in their education - "the teachers and mentors who have made a lasting impression, who have imparted life lessons, whom you remember for their wit, or their mastery, or their encouragement, or their exacting standards . . . or their idiosyncrasies." We are planning to focus an upcoming issue of the Quarterly on "great teaching" and would like to hear from those who experienced the classes of those great professors.  Send your paragraphs and stories to either Randall Stuckey '83, director of alumni relations (, or Steve Waldhauser '70 (, managing editor of the Quarterly, or in the mail to the College.

Upcoming Chapter Events

  • Washington DC, Gustavus gathering - February 6
  • Atlanta, Georgia, Gustavus gathering - February 26
  • Tampa Bay, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 27
  • Naples, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 28
  • Vero Beach, Florida, Gustavus gathering - February 29
  • Sun City, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 20
  • Tucson, Arizona, Gustavus gathering - March 21

Dennis Johnson

1960 Class Agent