Class of '60
November 2009

50-Year Reunion ― May 28-29, 2010

Greetings, Classmates:

It is my turn to send you the class letter you will be receiving each month leading up to our 50th reunion on Memorial Day weekend next May.  I hope that you are looking forward with as much enthusiasm as I am to our gathering next spring.  Besides news from the campus and updates from our classmates, this letter will include a message from Jim Anderson regarding our anniversary class opportunities for giving.  You all should have received a mailing from Alumni Relations on that subject and another mailing requesting the latest personal information for their files.  Prompt attention to these mailings would be greatly appreciated by the college and your reunion committee.

I am always impressed to learn of the wonderful activities in which members of the class of ’60 are involved.  Some of you are still employed full or part time, but most of you, like me, are retired.  The educational, business, religious and artistic contributions still being made by my Gustie classmates, whether in employment or by volunteering, inspire me, make me at once very proud to be a member of such a sterling group, and at the same time, a bit ashamed not to be doing all I might do to make the world a better place as so many of you are doing.

Anyway, after going through the latest from you who sent in news for this letter, I must admit that I am hoping to corral Mike Bentzen and find out if he has discovered any secrets to the universe that Fred Rogers hadn’t found years ago.  I am very impressed by the fantastic fish tales of monster sturgeon caught by Ron Jorgenson and Wayne Wirkkula…7 ½ feet long?!  I want to see some photos, guys. I would also love to hear more about rock climbing in a Jeep from Norm Wold.  Seeing the mountains in California from your porch in Havasu City I can understand, just don’t try telling us you can see, like, London Bridge, Norm.

In closing, I must say that I fervently hope you all will mark your calendars and plan to return to campus for Memorial Weekend next May 28 & 29.  It will be a grand party and you don’t want to miss it.

Steve Lundgren

1960 Guest Letter Writer


NORMA (JOHNSON) TALBERT is retired from teaching and loves her time with grand children.  They own a Delaware beach house on the Atlantic Ocean.

MIKE BENTZEN lives in Edina, Minnesota and gets out on some great fishing trips.  Mike has reconnected with several high school classmates which is something Mike greatly appreciates.  He says he is still studying the secrets of the universe.

HELEN HANNOVER JOHNSON with husband, Steve ’59, doing a lot of traveling including Alaska.  They often visit Gustavus classmates on their travels across U.S. and Canada.

RON JORGENSON lives in the state of Washington, fishes the Columbia River and has caught Sturgeon as large as seven and a half feet long.  The fish are amazing with leaps into the air more dramatic than Tarpon.

DON LIND is retired after 37 years as accountant for the federal government.

PAUL CHELL─We just received this word from Paul:  “I’m serving as the visitation pastor at our church, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Olympia, Washington.  I’m also on the event staff at Qwest Field and Event Center in Seattle, which means working all the Seahawks football games, the Seattle Sounders soccer games, as well as other concerts and shows.  It keeps me a bit on the run.  However, of major concern right now is that that my wife, Sheri (Swanson ’62), has terminal cancer.  It started with a melanoma on her leg and has now moved up into her lungs and liver.”

Let’s keep Sheri and Paul in our thoughts and prayers.

ROBERT “PIERRE” NORLIN is back on his home turf in Northern Wisconsin (Iron River) and spends a lot of time volunteering his time in the North Country Trail Association.  This trail will eventually go all the way across Michigan and perhaps all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.  The portion of the trail Bob works on is the 61.4 mile stretch that traverses through the Chequamegon National Park.

STEVE SMITH retired as a guidance counselor at Hopkins, Minnesota High School in 1996.  Steve works at the Chaska town golf course.  Perfect for an exceptional golfer like Steve.

WAYNE WIRKKULA lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa, but still gets to his home turf near International Falls, Minnesota to fish his “Home Waters” of Rainey Lake for walleyes, small mouth bass and believe it or not; occasionally a tackle busting Sturgeon of mythical size.

WARREN NELSON, Dennis Johnson reports that Warren died in August of 2009.  He is survived by wife, Fiona.  Warren had retired from Chevron.  Traveled a great deal and was an avid birder

VERNON WESTBERG and his wife, Janet, have a summer home at Nisswa, Minnesota.  Otherwise they live in Lincoln, Nebraska.

JOHN SCHROEPPEL has retired from the ministry, but he stays active writing in behalf of World Hunger Appeal and a variety of part time pastoral duties in the Hutchinson, Kansas area.

DUANE ERICKSON will leave for their Haines City, FL, residence early December.  They plan to be there and wonder what accommodations for overnight will be set up.

DONAL WARD, with two partners, bought an aluminum extruding firm, which they later sold to Alcoa.  He was the finance/accounting guy in the group, and he’s been retired since age 62, though he is doing some part-time work.  He hopes to visit his sisters in Minnesota and attend the reunion, too.

BILL NORDSTROM─Bill & Karin still have their summer place on North Shore of Lake Superior, and they will spend most of the winter in Tucson.  They have gotten into the habit of visiting Sweden once each year and volunteer to assist at Travelers Assistance at Minneapolis Saint Paul airport.

ARNE JOHNSON reports all is well with him and Carol.  They are looking forward to being at the reunion.ROSS DICKIE─Ross and Joan spend winter in Arizona and some of the summer at their Minnesota cabin near Lake Mille Lacs.  They still work with foster children as well and are generally enjoying life.

CAROLYN JOHNSON TALBERT gets together with Gustie friends.  She is retired as an admission counselor at Brown Institute in Minneapolis.

FRED and ANDREA NOREN ROGERS are both class members and will be attending the reunion.

JACKIE MCKENNA GIMSE─Contacted by email, Jackie’s husband, Mac, had this to share.  “Jackie has had two hip replacements and one knee replaced and needs the other knee done, too.  When she finishes all of that, nobody in town will be able to catch her!  Actually this has prevented her from participating in as many 50th anniversary events as she would like, but her love for Gustavus is strong, so we hope to be with you next spring.  She talked with Elsa Cornell a week ago and caught up on some news.”

TUCKI LUND BELLIG was on a cruise with her daughters in the Caribbean, BOB is hunting this fall.

TERRY DENLEY just returned from cruise to Amsterdam, Basil and Paris.  He has a son living in Switzerland.

LOUISE (ECKMAN) and BOB ENGSTROM─Bob has some health concerns but enjoys spending time at Sand Lake.

R. OWEN NELSEN has been a psychologist for years in forensic psychological work, and is not fully retired.  He is working as a consultant for people with mental disabilities that need help with their social security benefits.  He plays golf and has three daughters and four grandchildren.

JO OLSON YOCK is undecided as to planning to attend the reunion.  She raises sheep and enjoys spinning the wool.

KAREN OLSON BROWN says that the 1960 class nurses will have a retreat in Paynesville, Minnesota.

NORMA URBACH ANDERSON says their kids live in the Twin Cities area so they can enjoy their grandkids.

NORMAN WOLD is moving to a new home soon.  He initially retired from the insurance/brokerage business, later returned to the work force as a security guard and substitute teacher, but is now fully retired.  He enjoys Jeeping (which is essentially rock-climbing in a Jeep) and boating.  Lives in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, which is on the Arizona/California border; Norm looks out on the California mountains from his home.  Norm expects to be in Minnesota for his mother’s 100th birthday in April 2010.  Returning for the reunion would be an extra trip, but he’d like to see the campus again.

PAUL SERENIUS─Paul and wife, Kay (Dahlquist) live in the Dayton, OH area.  After being retired for five years, life for Paul centers around family, church and golf.  Paul and Kathryn were caring for two great-grandkids when they were called on the phone, just following the birth of a third great grandchild.

STEPHEN CARLSON - with wife Carol (Hansen Johns’59), recently returned from an eastern Mediterranean cruise, plus a week in Rome.  They will winter in Florida beginning in early December, and look forward to spending some time with Britt and STEVE LUNDGREN while there.

An extra note from PAUL TIDEMANN:  I visited JIM ADAMS at his house in Edina.  Jim was in our class during the first three years and some of us were in the same section in Uhler Hall in our freshman year.  Jim left Gustavus and eventually went into the Army and spent a lot of time in Germany.  He returned some years later and went back and finished his degree in sociology at Gustavus, graduating in 1966.  He worked for Honeywell in computer work for years and then for the State of Minnesota.  It’s good to touch base with him again!

Thanks for sharing your news, now a message from JIM ANDERSON:

My dad and mom brought Tom ’63 and me to St. Peter and Gustavus in l946.  Dr. Ted Conrad ’25 who was the interim pastor of First Lutheran Church had asked my dad to head up a campaign for Lutheran World Relief.  Dr. Conrad only had one concern and it had to do with my parents’ ability to give a lead gift to the campaign.  My dad said to Dr. Conrad, “Don’t worry.  We’ve already been to the bank to borrow the money.”

I’m not suggesting that we go down to the bank to give Gustavus a reunion gift.  As David Carlson so eloquently stated last month, many of us are still reeling from the down-turn in the economy.  We do hope however, that our class will raise Gustavus to a high priority.  Many of us have wonderful memories of the hill, of our classmates and professors, the people who have remained for many of us, lifetime friends.

Our goals are simple:

We hope all who can, will attend the reunion May 28-29, 2010.

We have set a class goal of 85% participation rate in giving to the Gustavus Annual Fund.

We would also like everyone to participate by giving a gift to the 1960 Class Endowed Scholarship.  We are recommending that our class aim for an initial goal of $35,000 so that we may activate it this year.

Please give generously so that Gustavus will continue to move forward.

This September our granddaughter, Alissa Fahrenz, Gustavus 2013, began her journey as a Gustie.  I’m sure she felt many of the emotions we felt in the fall of l956.  I’m sure she will have her ups and downs as we did, but I’m also convinced that she will grow to love Gustavus as much as many of us do.  Hope to see you in May!


Upcoming Events

  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – December 4-6, 2009
  • Festival of St. Lucia – December 10, 2009
  • Farewell for Steve and Barb Wilkinson, Minneapolis Hyatt - December 12
  • Stockholm area Gustie gathering – Nedre Manilla – December 12