Class of '60
September 2008

September 2008

Passing the torch........

Dear Classmates,

I am very pleased to announce that Paul Tidemann, our classmate and friend, has agreed to serve as our class agent.  Paul has already taken over the duties and represented us at class agent/volunteer day at Gustavus on September 13.  Paul will bring fresh energy and perspective to the letters and to the other tasks expected of a class agent.  This means that after 30 years I will no longer be your class agent.  It has been an honor to fill the role and I have profited and enjoyed it immensely.  However, I am steeped in the Gustavus story and I think it valuable if others have this same opportunity to come to know our college in greater depth.  My commitment to the class and the college remains and I want very much to be part of the planning for our 50th class reunion and the fund raising for the class gift that goes with it.  You can do two things for Paul.  Send him your news:, that is most important.  If your name hasn’t appeared in the class letter it is only because you have not sent the news in.  Secondly, volunteer to write a guest class letter for January or respond to any help he requests.  And, now, a great thanks to Paul for his willingness to step up and do the job.  Paul is a very busy person, which, of course, is the best kind to ask to take on more.

Dennis Johnson

1960 Former Class Agent

And now a word from (no - not your sponsor!):

Denny has done a magnificent job as our Class Agent.  We owe him years of thanks!  I am taking this on with the promise from Denny that he will assist me and all of us, especially since our 50th Reunion is coming up faster than we think.

When I was at the Leadership Day on September 13, our new President, Jack Ohle, who, by the way, comes off as an excellent communicator, told us all that when he was asked to be the Gustavus president he was told that he would be the 15th President of the college.  When he got into office he said he did some research and discovered that Dennis Johnson had actually been elected president, not interim president of Gustavus, so Denny was the 15th President and now Jack Ohle is the 16th President of Gustavus.  Dennis served as an exemplary president in 2002-2003.

(Let me add that Jim Peterson ‘64, who recently retired as Gustavus president, was a superb president and his spouse, Pastor M. Susan (Pepin ’65) Peterson, was a great ambassador with him.  She is senior pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, which is where I hang out now and sing in the choir, right next to Jim Peterson!)

OUR 50th REUNION: we need some planners!

It may seem far off, but planning for our 50th Anniversary Reunion is not that far away―May 28-29, 2010 as well as some kind of shindig in October 2010.  What I am looking for now are people who would consider being on the Reunion Committee.  I don’t have details yet, but if you have an inkling of interest in being a planner for this great event, send me an email to (or to my address below.)


Alumni Website

If you have computer access, go to the Gustavus alumni website ( and look around, you will find, among other things, access to an up-to-date directory of alumni of the college.  You can even search on a geographical area or just a first name, etc.  It’s great for finding classmates.

You should have received a card in the mail with your User Name and your Password and by going to the Alumni page of the Gustavus website; you can log in and get registered.  If you do not have your User Name and Password, send an email to and someone will get the info to you.  The first time you go on, you’ll need to register as an alumnus/ae.  It only takes a couple of minutes.  Check it out!

44th Nobel Conference Explores the Origins of Humans - October 7-8:

Who Were the First Humans?, the 44th Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College, Oct. 7-8, will trace human history from its origins in Africa to modern times.  Using modern genetic techniques as well as examinations of fossils and artifacts, world renowned scientists will explore how early humans spread around the world and how human behavior changed in the process.  More information about the conference, including additional information on each of the speakers and ticket information is available online at:

Remember Jeannette Larson?  Long Time Book Mark Manager Dies - Jeanette Larson, 92, of St. Peter, died Friday, Sept. 19 at Redeemer Residence in Minneapolis.  Larson managed the Book Mark, the Gustavus Adolphus College bookstore, for 35 years from 1948 until her retirement in 1983.  I knew her well, probably because I was such a book hound, and still am.  She was a kind, knowledgeable person.  God bless her.

Men's Soccer Defeats Saint John's 3-0 For Fourth Consecutive Victory - The Gustavus men's soccer moved to 2-0-0 in MIAC with an important 3-0 win over Saint John’s at the Gustavus Soccer Field.  More details at the website.  Soccer doesn’t get the hype that some of the so-called “major” sports do, but internationally it’s way up there.  Good for the Gusties!

Adam Lukes Touchdown Gives Football 450th Win as Gusties Defeat Hamline 21-14

On September 20 the Gustavus football team used a three-yard touchdown run from Adam Lukes (Sr., Watertown, Minn.) late in the fourth quarter to defeat Hamline University 21-14 for the program’s 450th win at Hollingsworth Field in St. Peter.

Presidential Inauguration Events Planned

Gustavus Adolphus College will inaugurate Jack R. Ohle as its 16th president at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 in Christ Chapel.  The public is invited to celebrate this event along with a reception on Eckman Mall that will follow the ceremony.  On Homecoming, Saturday, Oct. 4 Gustavus will celebrate with an Oktoberfest; buffet-style dinner immediately following the Homecoming football game in the Lund Center Forum.  Cost is $7 per person.  For more information about Inaugural Week events, contact the Office of College Relations at 507-933-7520. There are lots of details about President Ohle and the inauguration on the Gustavus website.  He most recently served as President of Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa.

Gustavus Exceeds Fundraising Goal (and how we did as the Class of 60):

Gustavus surpassed its fundraising goal for the fiscal year 2007-2008.  As of June 3, 2008, $12,078,048 had been raised, exceeding the college’s prior achievement of raising $11,870,000.  It’s a 17% increase over the last fiscal year.  Thanks goes to alumni, parents, friends, corporations and others.  How did our 1960 Class do?  We gave a total of $105,079.20.  In our Class there were 144 donors representing 65.1% of the class.  To give us a goal to reach, the 50th Anniversary Class THIS year, the class of ’58, gave a total of $1,048,506!  Owen Sammelson ’58 is their Class Agent!  You may remember him from the college office of admission.  Owen was honored as Class Agent of the Year!

How they are eating on campus!  Do you remember our first year at Gustavus when we were served Ma Young’s good food in the basement of Uhler Hall?  Well, I attended a fascinating session with Steve Kjellgren, ‘86, Director of the Award Winning Gustavus Dining Service.  Many of you have experienced the Marketplace dining service where you can go to various places to find the particular kind of food you want.  They serve 7,000 meals a day!  The dining service is open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.  Some years back students paid a flat food service fee and they could eat as much as they wanted―the “all you can eat mode.”  A lot of food was thrown away.  It also was not healthy for many students in terms of food quantity eaten.  They changed that to make it a little bit like it was for us with meal coupons. Now you buy a food card at one of three levels depending on how much you think you will eat and you pay for what you pick out for the meal.  There is a Gustavus Green bunch on campus that has been working on issues of waste.  Now less than 20% of Gustavus waste goes to the landfill.  One big issue was that students like to take their food back to their living quarters.  After lots of experiments, Steve and his folks have found a Nordic Ware product that can be reused.  They urge students to bring the containers back, but there are containers in the dorms to put them to be brought back, washed and used again.  Gustavus is in the top ten of college food services, but costs are less than half of most other colleges!  Way to go Steve Kjellgren and food service colleagues.

CLASS NEWS:  I had to send out an SOS to everybody with email, because had almost no news, but thanks to several who responded.  You can send news to me anytime to my email or postal mail, or send it with your gift to Gustavus to the Alumni Office.  Now, here goes:

Dick Loomer writes: “both Diane (Kolander ’62) and I have the good fortune to hold jobs which we enjoy very much and from which we aren’t likely to be fired so we’re still working―me part time and Diane full time.  I still do orthopedic consults, some surgery, and teach orthopedics at the University of British Columbia.  My hobbies are outdoor activities―my favorite being the sole caretaker of an island nature preserve in the Fraser River delta.  This requires weekly kayak trips to and from (300 feet each way).  The island belongs to the Nature Conservancy so my main jobs are to try to control the non-native plants and plant and encourage native trees.  Diane is the shining light―having evolved into one of Canada’s leading choral conductors.  She has two championship choirs (I sing in the men’s) and travels all over North America teaching and guest conducting.  She will be in Minnesota in February 2009 conducting the Minnesota High School Men’s Honor Choir.  I also run a choral music publishing Company (for Diane).  Check out our website (I’m the old guy with white hair) (Paul says:  It’s a fantastic website.  Congrats to both Diane and Dick!)  We recently started a new choir exclusively for folks over the age of 55 called “EnChor.”  If any Gusties are in the area and free on Friday at 10:00 AM drop in for a rehearsal.

Bill Shogren sent some interesting news:  The only bit I have about me is that my wife and I hosted folks from Ibaraki, Japan in June as part of the The Minneapolis Sister City friendship/cultural exchange.  We all had a wonderful time and learned a lot.  The woman who’s in charge of the Japanese exchange for the Sister City program in Minneapolis is Lois Sonstegard.  Lois is a St. Olaf grad and daughter of missionaries to Japan.  She lived in Japan until sixteen and knows the culture very well.  Where in Japan she was raised escapes me.  Lois is married to Dr. Lou Sonstegard ’68 who hails from Marshall, MN and a Gustie in his pre-medical years.  My experience in Japan is only Ibaraki, Osaka and Kyoto.  It has been a wonderful experience.

Cameron “Scooter” and Jeannette (Westberg ’59) Johnston actually wrote to Gustavus:  “We are now living in Moscow, Idaho.  We moved here almost three years ago to be close to our two daughters, Siri and Mia, and our five beautiful and active grandchildren―ages 7-13.  Our son, Eric, lives in Bozeman, Montana.  We do like Moscow with the endless opportunities at the University of Idaho and Washington State University across the border.  With those two (Jeanette says), I should at least learn to use the computer.  Then again I could go to the senior center or library or Scooter could teach me.  We tried that, but it doesn’t work.  (Paul adds―Scooter sends out great email stories and commentaries on life fairly often.)  We have found a church home here in Moscow.  It’s an ELCA Lutheran with some liberals, some conservatives.  It is relevant and most of the people, some of the time let God work in their lives.  Maybe I should study theology or just continue reading “Esbj” (the book Dennis Johnson co-wrote with Bob Esbjornson ’41 before Bob died).”

Dave Silseth wrote to say that Ruth, and I are just starting a two week stay in Spain spending a week near Malaga and then will drive to Madrid from where we fly to Bilbao for three days and a train back to Madrid before returning to our home in Leesburg, FL.  Retirement is treating us well thus far.

Steve Smith retired from Hopkins Schools in 1996 and lives in Fort Myers, Florida from November thru April.  He is a staff member with Callaway Golf in Fort Myers and works at the Chaska Town Course in Chaska, Minnesota.

Gordon “Gordy” Larson writes:  “I always appreciate the work that it is done to keep all of us Gusties grads informed even though our geographical location doesn’t bring us into contact with very many Gusties.

(We) did have a pleasant surprise, however, when we moved to Shelby Township, Michigan last November.  We visited four of the six Lutheran churches within a five-mile radius of us when we ran across a Gustie grad, Ben Sandin ’99, pastoring at King of Kings Lutheran church.  His church was very accepting of a Lutheran/Catholic couple.  It is interesting that not all Lutheran churches allow nonmembers to receive communion just as the Catholic church only allows Catholics to receive communion.  When Ben invites those in attendance to communion he states ‘anyone who believes Christ died for our sins is invited to participate in receiving communion.’  When I look back at my Gustavus education I find it difficult to understand how little progress has been made in unifying all of the various religious groups that call themselves Christian.

We haven’t been able to visit Minnesota as frequently as we would like but we are praying that our health will enable us to attend our 50th class reunion.  My last trip to Minnesota was to my 50th high school reunion in Madison where I sat at the same table as Gustie classmates Pete Nyhus and Paul Nesvold ’61.  Once again, thanks for all that you do and I am looking forward to renewing friendships with Gusties I haven’t seen for fifty years.”

It was good to see Pete Nyhus at the Leadership Day recently.  Pete is just starting a three year term on the Gustavus Alumni Board.  He lives in Park Rapids, Minnesota and is a retired senior vice-president of American Funds Distributors, Inc.  Congrats on being elected to the Alumni Board, Pete!

Dave Ehline:  After five years as half-time chaplain at a long-term care facility, I fully retired in June, although I still do pulpit supply.  My three offspring and five grandchildren live in Saginaw, MI; Omaha, NE; and San Francisco, CA.  My wife and I have enjoyed travel to five European countries, the Hawaiian Islands, the Bahamas, and a dozen or more of the states.  This fall we’ll be making a five week road trip to the East Coast.  I spend a good bit of at-home time in my garage wood shop, and have also been writing my autobiography.  I was a volunteer for the Democratic National Convention in Denver.  We live only a couple of hours from well-known mountain destinations, and we extend a warm invitation to you classmates to stay at our home when visiting the Rocky Mountains.

Dan Buendorf:  Don’t have much to offer, but Sandra (Luedtke ’62) and I did move to St. Peter last November as our second move in retirement.  Found the Twin City suburbs to be too dangerous―was hit four times and totaled two cars.  Much more peaceful here in St. Peter.  We are enjoying the lectures, book reads, chapel, sporting events, students, and dining experiences at GAC.  Excellent coffee shops here and Mankato is close if we need the mall fix and chain restaurants.  Have been doing some supply preaching and am just beginning to use my Hospice Chaplain training here with unchurched people who are dying.  We are living in the Windsor Ponds patio homes addition to St. Peter and love the ground level floor plan and garage.  Their new address:  Dan & Sandy Buendorf, 809 Edgerton Street St. Peter, MN 56082, 507-934-4171.

Nate Lundgren and his wife, Doreen, live in the beautiful home-that-Nate-built just outside of Brainerd, Minnesota on Grave Lake Road.  (That could seem a little spooky!)  Nate says that he has volunteered to do homebound visits to members of First Lutheran in Brainerd and he does a good bit of supply preaching from time to time.

Some of you may remember our late classmate Dennis Holmberg.  Denny was an excellent and skilled urban pastor in the ELCA and died several years ago as the result of a break-in and attack, on him and his son, Tim, in Chicago.  Tim died right away and Denny lived on for some time.  I talked with his former wife, Barbara, recently who was visiting their son, Eric and family in Chicago.  Barb lives in Pennsylvania.

As for me, Paul Tidemann, I am busy in retirement as president and French horn player of the Northeast Orchestra in the metro area, coordinating the Guyana Mission Network providing support and information for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana (where I served from 1974-78).  See our new website at:  I’m also on a planning team for the St. Paul Interfaith Network working with Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Baha’i folks.  And in my spare time I have been having a ball doing family genealogy on all sides of the family including a whole bunch of Tidemann third cousins who live in Queensland, Australia.  And I am an avid Minnesota Twins supporter, partial-season ticket holder!

Some of you will remember Prof. Richard Reusch, whose middle name was Gustavovich!  My spouse, Janet (Ryan ’63) and I were at Gustavus this spring for her 45th Reunion and heard another Gustie, Daniel H. Johnson ’64, discuss his new book on the life of Dr. Reusch.  It’s a biography called “Loyalty.”  Some of you may have had him in class with his significant Russian-German accent.  Reusch spent a lot of his life in Tanzania, east Africa.  We were especially interested because Janet and her former husband, Dale Bosch ’61, lived in Reusch’s house on the side of Mount Kilimanjaro (which Janet climbed when she was about 23!  Dr. Reusch climbed it something like 100 times and one peak is named in his honor.)  Daniel Johnson spent about 15 years traveling all over the world researching this book.  It’s worth reading.  The Gustavus Book Mark has it available.

Hey, we will see how this all goes.  Holler at me if this seems too much, not enough, or off the track!

Gustavus live long!  (I had thought of using a sign-off of “Our Phalanx is Strong!” but figured many of us would not know what a Phalanx is!)

Paul Tidemann

1960 Class Agent

1079 Goodrich Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55105-3135