Class of '60
April 2007

Dear Classmates,

First and foremost, thanks to Steve Lundgren for his “very funny” class letter.  Steve, no good deed goes unpunished as I have had repeated requests that you take over this job permanently!  We’ll talk!

April and it is snowing!  Time for remembering southern climates and our winter vacations!  We were in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for two weeks with Gusties Paul and Ruth (Anderson) Tillquist ’63 ’63.  While there, we saw and had dinner with, Ted and Marietta (Bittrich) Johns ’61 ’63 and Dan ’59 and Jane Johns.  We also spent 10 days in Florida.  Those are great get-aways but it makes it hard to come back to winter.  But soon, and very soon, the snow will be gone and the glories of spring will be everywhere evident. 

Jim and Diane (Hammargren ’63) Anderson were also in Florida, but our paths did not cross.  While in a parking lot in Fort Myers, I saw a woman who looked very much like Jo Jensen Tollefson, same height, hair style and she was heading toward a car with a Minnesota license plate.  I jumped out of the car in which I was riding and called “Jo.”  The woman was startled, hastened to her car, got in, locked the doors, rolled up the windows, started the engine, backed out and then roared out of the parking lot.  The fear on the woman’s face haunted me for some time.  Jo, please write and tell me you weren’t the woman who feared me!

Arlan and Bev Burmeister of Owatonna travel to Puerto Vallarta in January and Arizona and California in February and March before returning home for the rest of the year.

Joe Wiberg escaped January in Minnesota to lead a trip to Tanzania.  Joe has had a long love affair with Africa and delights in introducing others to the people and culture.  He may do another one in the future.

Now to the mailbag:

Steve Carlson and Carol Hansen Johns ’59 spent a week in Tuscany Villa with Louie Bittrich ’59 and Craig Lawson and their spouses.  Steve and Carol also spent a week in Rome.  Ah, to be under the Tuscan sun!

Bob and Sandra Fenske have a grandson who is a first-year student at Gustavus.  Bob and Sandy live in Marshall where he is a Lyon County Commissioner.  Jeanette Flury Ziegler reports that her daughter and son-in-law adopted a beautiful baby girl.  Jeanette adds, “We are finally grandparents and are spoiling her.”  She writes from Mankato.

Paul Tidemann sent me an email alerting me to a picture of Orpah Jungclaus Johnson that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in conjunction with a story about persons with unusual names and how they feel about living with them.  The article does not mention Orpah, but there is a fine picture.  Thanks Paul!

David Carlson has always been a very good piano player and now, in retirement, has chosen to take lessons!  He drives to Northfield weekly for a piano lesson and is enjoying it tremendously.  That is what retirement is for; to polish those skills and do those things we have never had time to do.  David also serves on the board of trustees of our college.

As for me, I am retiring again.  I have been working for my former Gustie colleague, Craig Johnson ’69, who is the ELCA bishop in Minneapolis.  Now, I am going to hang that up at the end of June.  I will be “retiring” to the writing life.  I am now working on a “career-biography” of Esbj ’41.  It is an interesting project.  I am editing his papers, chapel talks, sermons in the attempt to glean “the best of Esbj” and to capsulate his thoughtful writings on religion and ethics.  I am hoping some of you will want a copy.  I hope to have it ready by next homecoming time.  Esbj is now in a nursing home in St. Peter.  He turned 89 this month and is still thinking about issues.  His story and the impact he had on students needs to be preserved and re-told.  I think the title of the book will simply be: “Esbj!”  Any profits will go to an Esbjornson fund at the college.

Has your name not appeared in our class letters lately?  Please remedy that by sending me a note at:


Alumni Awards Announced

The Alumni Association announces the following 2007 awards selected by the Alumni Board of Directors.  Greater Gustavus AwardGiven to those who, by deed, have notably advanced and aided Gustavus Adolphus College:  Russ and Jan (Ledin) Michaletz ’74 ’74

Distinguished Alumni CitationsRecognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement

Paul Peterson ’94, principal, St. Peter High School, Minnesota State High School Principal of the Year.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher ’90, house speaker, Minnesota House of Representatives.

First Decade AwardsRecognizes early professional achievement

Jennifer Pleuss Spande ’97, diplomat, Political and Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Alexander Hill ’97, senior scientist, Medtronic, Inc.

The Greater Gustavus Award and Distinguished Alumni Citations will be presented at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 26, and the First Decade Awards will be presented during Homecoming Weekend, October 13.

Energy Wars

Minnesota colleges and universities competed during February in the Campus Energy Wars.  The Campus Energy Wars challenge was to see which campus conserved the most energy throughout the month.  Gustavus students and faculty made a concerted effort to change their behaviors by turning off unused lights in their dorm rooms or classrooms, unplugging appliances, and lowering thermostats to reduce energy consumption.  The culminating event was a campus competition to pedal stationary bicycles to see who could pump the most energy into an electrical generator supplied by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Linnaeus Symposium Celebrates Birth of Carl Linnaeus

In celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who established genus/species used today, Gustavus will host its second Linnaeus Symposium: Linnaeus @ 300 on Wednesday, April 25, 2007.  The daylong conference will feature presentations by ethnobotanists, Mark Plotkin and Paul Alan Cox, Linnaean scholar and impersonator Hans Odoo, and author Paula Robbins, who has written about Pehr Kalm, one of Linnaeus’s “apostles” to America.  The day will also include tours of Linnaeus Arboretum, a special photography exhibition by Anders Bjorling ’58, music, dance, and a Scandinavian feast.  The festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m., so save the date and join us at Gustavus this spring.  For more information, go to <> or call 507/933-6181.

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Linnaeus Symposium - April 25
  • Gustavus Association of Congregations – April 28
  • MAYDAY! Peace Conference: Community Food Security - May 2
  • Celebrating 75 years of the Gustavus Choir - May 5
  • Celebrating 75 years of Theatre Reunion  - May 11-12 <>
  • Class of 1962 - 45th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • Class of 1957 - 50th Anniversary Reunion – May 25 & 26
  • 50 Year Club Reunion – May 26

Hey, friends, now comes the pitch!  Our college can only be as good as our alumni want it to be.  Your vote comes in each year in your response to the annual fund.  Do it now!  Today.  Take the envelope provided and send it in.  I have already done so.  Here is who has given to date:

  • Jim Anderson
  • Marilyn Wiklund Anderson
  • Mark A. Anderson
  • Marshall Anderson
  • Norma Urbach Anderson
  • Ann Muesing Behning
  • Robert Bellig
  • Tucki Lund Bellig
  • William H. Benson
  • John Bergstrom
  • Lorna Chumley Berlin
  • Daniel D. Buendorf
  • Arlan Burmeister
  • Judy Sand Burmeister
  • Dave Carlson
  • Keith Carlson
  • L. Thomas Carlson
  • Stephen A. Carlson
  • Carol Nelson Coburn
  • Margo Pinney Cotton
  • Yvonne Harvey Daily
  • Ruth Ann Shervheim Danger
  • Eileen Johnson Delk
  • Ruth Walfrid Dettor
  • Jim Diede
  • Jim D. Donicht
  • David A. Ehline
  • Marilyn Hansen Ehline
  • Bob H. Eidsvold Jr.
  • Ruth Grandstrand Engdahl
  • Louise Eckman Engstrom
  • Bob A. Engstrom
  • Duane A. Erickson
  • R. Sandy Erickson
  • Robert W. Fenske
  • Marlyn Windedahl Franzen
  • Marilyn Hallberg Gaffin
  • Jackie McKenna Gimse
  • Elaine Ruesch Greiner
  • Marjorie Lind Halvorson
  • Melvyn Hammarberg
  • Rollie Hanks
  • Barb Nordstrom Hanson
  • Fred C. Hanson
  • Don J. Hautala
  • Janice Person Helgerson
  • Byron Helgeson
  • LaVonne Risty Herbert
  • Dana Knobel Hesser
  • Dorothy Lind Hiebert
  • Sonja Alvheim Hirsch
  • Kathleen Tuominen Holmes
  • Dennis Johnson
  • Lois Swanson Johnson
  • Orpah Jungclaus Johnson
  • Dick M. Johnson
  • Cameron Johnston
  • John Karrow
  • Darwin Knochenmus
  • Jean Knutson
  • Rob W. Krause
  • Carolyn A. Kron
  • Bob Krough
  • James A. Krueger
  • Carolyn Kvam-Hansman
  • Ann Goodwin LaVoy
  • Karen Dahlberg Landro
  • Don Lind
  • Dick L. Loomer
  • Nathan G. Lundgren
  • Sharon Schultz Magnuson
  • Marian Nelson McCollum
  • Clay McCoy, Jr.
  • Donna Freeberg Mertens
  • Allan C. Moberg
  • Beverly Lingwall Mooney
  • Dee Anne Nygren Najjar
  • Lois Anderson Nelson
  • William G. Nordstrom
  • Peter A. Nyhus
  • James J. Olson
  • Ray C. Olson
  • John H. Petersen
  • Owen E. Peterson
  • Sally Henderson Provenzano
  • Andrea Noren Rogers
  • Fred V. Rogers Jr
  • Harlan J. Sandberg
  • John E. Schroeppel
  • Marcia Johnson Shaw
  • Lois Sundberg Smedstad
  • Charles A. Smith
  • John R. Soll
  • Peter J. Strand
  • Jean Hilding Stuart
  • Robert R. Swiggum
  • Jerry L. Thrall
  • Jo Jensen Tollefson
  • Martha Larson Warehime
  • Patricia Skalbeck Wharton
  • Carol Berg White
  • Joel Wiberg
  • Nancy Anderson Wiberg
  • B. Glen Wilson
  • Wayne Wirkkula
  • David E. Wold
  • Jo Olson Yock
  • Jeanette Flury Ziegler

Get your name on the final list to be published in our next letter.

Have a great summer,

Denny Johnson

1960 Class Letter