Class of ’60
50-Year Reunion― May 28-29, 2010
Our wonderful 50th reunion committee leader Reverend Paul Tidemann has given me the honor of writing the class newsletter this month. Things are really firing up as we near our reunion on campus May 28 & 29. Wow, it’s shaping up to be a great attendance! St. Peter motels and hotels are filled, but Mankato has space and of course the on campus dorms are available. A registration brochure is coming very soon with all of the details of our reunion – don’t delay in getting your reservations in.
Our list is growing longer – will you be attending? These people are planning on it:
Diane Fahlberg Anderson
Marilyn Wiklund Anderson
Norma Urbach Anderson
Virginia Nelson Anderson
Karen Olson Brown
Jule Carlson Cameron
Carol Nelson Coburn
Margo Pinney Cotton
Ruth Ann Shervheim Danger
Karen Carlson Danielson
Ruth Walfrid Dettor
Barbara Seastrand Eder
Marilyn Hansen Ehline
Jan Jensen Eilers
Ruth Grandstrand Engdahl
Linda Pierson Engebretson
Marlyn Windedahl Franzen
Marilyn Hallberg Gaffin
Nancy Dege Gerhard
Jackie McKenna Gimse
Barb Nordstrom Hanson
LaVonne Risty Herbert
Dana Knobel Hesser
Sonja Alvheim Hirsch
Helen Hannover Johnson
Lois Swanson Johnson
Orpah Jungclaus Johnson
Suzanne Wasgatt Johnson
Sue Appelquist Jorgensen
Sandra Idstrom Lindberg
Joanne Hedlof Merta
Donna Freeberg Mertens
Lois Lindall Miller
Martha Jonson Miller
Bev Lingwall Mooney
Dee Anne Nygren Najjar
Joanne Bjorkquist Nelson
Lois Anderson Nelson
Karen Schendel Nybo
Marge Day Philipson
Andrea Noren Rogers
Charlotte Benjamin Schoen
Lois Sundberg Smedstad
Jean Hilding Stuart
Jo Jensen Tollefson
Carol Schumacher Vamvakias
Patricia Skalbeck Wharton
Carol Berg White
Anne Kilty Wiberg
Nancy Anderson Wiberg
Jo Olson Yock
These are difficult days financially for many. Pundits say that we are the last generation who will have, financially, a better living than our parents. We have been and are blest! In gratitude for that blessing, we really need to step up and build a better life for our children and grandkids. Including Gustavus in our charitable giving and wills is a good first step in constructing that better life! We are especially hoping for additional gifts to our class endowed scholarship which we want to get up to $30,000 and to the Annual Fund for which we have a goal of $105,000! The enclosed card regarding your estate planning is worth the read. Thank you to all classmates listed below, who’ve already made a donation to Gustavus!
James Anderson Marilyn Wiklund Anderson Mark Anderson
Marshall Anderson Roger Anderson Ann Muesing Behning
Robert Bellig Tucki Lund Bellig John Bergstrom
Karen Olson Brown Daniel Buendorf Arlan Burmeister
Kent Carlander David Carlson Keith Carlson
Paul Chell Margo Pinney Cotton Karen Carlson Danielson
Eileen Johnson Delk Terry Denley Ruth Walfrid Dettor
James Diede James Donicht Marilyn Hansen Ehline
Janice Jensen Eilers Ruth Grandstrand Engdahl Linda Pierson Engebretson
Louise Eckman Engstrom Robert Engstrom Robert Erickson
Robert Fenske David Folkerds Marilyn Hallberg Gaffin
Nancy Dege Gerhard Jackie McKenna Gimse Gary Hagen
Marjorie Lind Halvorson Melvyn Hammarberg Rolland Hanks
Barbara Nordstrom Hanson Fred Hanson Kenneth Happ
Donald Hautala Byron Helgeson Dorothy Lind Hiebert
Sonja Alvheim Hirsch Richard Hostin Arne Johnson
Charles Johnson Dennis Johnson Lois Swanson Johnson
Orpah Jungclaus Johnson Richard Johnson Suzanne Wasgatt Johnson
Susan Appelquist Jorgensen John Karrow Robert Krause
James Krueger Carolyn Anderson Kvam-Hansman Karen Dahlberg Landro
Gordon Larson Richard Loomer Gary Mau
Stephen McCann Clayton McCoy Joanne Hedlof Merta
Donna Freeberg Mertens Lois Lindall Miller Beverly Lingwall Mooney
Lois Anderson Nelson William Nordstrom Karen Schendel Nybo
Robert Nybo Peter Nyhus John Petersen
Owen Peterson Margery Day Philipson Harlan Sandberg
Charlotte Benjamin Schoen Marcia Johnson Shaw William Shogren
David Silseth Lois Sundberg Smedstad Steven Smith
John Soll Jean Hilding Stuart Richard Sundberg
Robert Swiggum Mary McCreery Teppen Gerald Thrall
Paul Tidemann Josephine Jensen Tollefson Thomas Weston
Joel Wiberg Nancy Anderson Wiberg Glen Wilson
David Wold Jeanette Flury Ziegler
“God loves a cheerful giver - give it all you’ve got!”
Barbara Seastrand Eder and husband, Joe, moved from Forest Lake, Minnesota to Philipsburg, Montana. They built a log home in the mountains at about 6,000 feet. Barbara does a lot of volunteering at the Thrift store in town, attends book club and does proof reading. She is hoping to come to the reunion.
Sandra Idstrom Lindberg is very involved with music at her church, especially choir and Prime Time singers. They have 10 grandchildren. Their son, Paul ’85 who lives in the Twin Cities, does mission work for Partners in Africa in Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Gerry ’58 and Dana (Knobel) Hesser spend six months in Lake Havasu, Arizona and six months at their lake home near Cokato, Minnesota on Lake Collinwood. She is a part time docent at the Railroad Museum in the Delano area in the summer. Their three sons live in the Twin Cities area although one is currently deployed to Afghanistan. Dana loves to do beading projects.
Marilyn Hansen Ehline was visiting recently in Florida, lives in Saginaw, Michigan and enjoys spending time with her grandkids.
Roger Ilstrup is currently in an assisted living facility.
Ruth Walfrid Dettor lives in North Carolina. They have two daughters who live on the east coast as well.
Gary Hagen’s grandson, Matthew, is a first year Gustie. They winter in Arizona (Phoenix area).
Dewayne Tuma retired in 2003 as vice president in insurance and marketing for TC Field Company─has lived in Ohio, Georgia and Minnesota. They have a cabin near Carlton, Minnesota─one daughter and one grandchild.
Willis Swenson worked 36 years for Minnesota Malting in Cannon Falls in quality control. When company went bankrupt five years ago, Willie retired. He works now part-time with an auctioneer setting up auctions. They have 3 children: 2 daughters live nearby and a son is working on a Ph.D. in Idaho. They have 5 grandchildren.
Richard Rood is living in an assisted living facility.
Craig Lawson was recently skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado. Craig has worked a lot with the oil wells of Texas and has been hiking in Norway.
Jule Carlson Cameron is looking forward to seeing our classmates. She and Alan have been married 46 years. She will be going on a trip to Alaska, the last of the 50 states to visit. She and Alan (who will be a walker in the Boston Marathon) are raising funds for cancer research for the Dana Farber Cancer Research Center.
Sharon Quest Becker lives in Arizona six months of the year, plays a lot of golf. She has seven grandchildren. Sharon met a fellow this winter at a gathering in Arizona and talked about Gustavus. Wahlstrom Hall was named after his uncle. (Paul Tidemann addition: Wahlstrom Hall was named for Matthias Wahlstrom, President of Gustavus from 1881-1904. Sadly (maybe), it was torn down in 2005. Women classmates will remember its small rooms!)
Joanne Olson Yock just returned from six weeks in Arizona with her daughter and her new granddaughter!
Fred Hanson plans to attend the May 28-29 fun. He says, “My wife, Judy, and I still farm in Nicollet County, Minnesota where Judy is still a county commissioner (for 16 years) – that keeps her busy (less honey-do jobs for me). We try to do some traveling mostly weekends. So far life is good.
Tom Weston: “After graduate school I worked 32 years for The Boeing Company in Seattle, developing electronics and communications systems and technology. For a number of years we, Carol (Villesvik ’61) and I, organized alumni gatherings in the area, and enjoyed meeting all the presidents. We are both active in our churches, and enjoy singing in the choirs.
I have a couple of anecdotes about Professor Kohák, one of my favorite people. Kohák was a displaced person after WWII, and enlisted the U.S. Army to gain early citizenship. While at Gustavus he was also a master sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard. He was more than a bit unhappy when he was put on active duty for a few weeks when the Guard was called out to restore order during the strike against the Austin meat packing plants.
Milt Gustafson ’61 and I restarted the Young Democratic Club, but were told every organization on campus had to have a faculty advisor. We recruited the GAC’s only radical faculty member (Kohák), and convinced Hubert Humphrey to make a campaign speech on campus.
Carol and I plan to attend the 50th reunion.”
Kent Carlander lives in Santa Barbara, California. We received info that he was involved in the annual Phoenix of Santa Barbara beach picnic last September. Phoenix is a mental health treatment program that Kent has been associated with. They had a hula contest, an egg and spoon race, and Kent organized a group painting project.
This past fall Sonja Alvheim Hirsch, Ruth Ann Shervheim Danger, Ruth Grandstrand Engdahl, Pat Skalbeck Wharton, Marge Lind Halvorson, Karen Dahlberg Landro and Dorothy Lind Hiebert attended the Festival of St. Lucia and they plan to attend the reunion.
Ruth Ann Shervheim Danger lives in St. James, Minnesota. She and her husband, Charles, enjoy time with their children and six grandchildren. They also enjoy their lake cabin.
Ruth Grandstrand Engdahl lives in Plymouth, MN.
Marge Lind Halvorson and husband, Stanley, after many years living in St. Peter, MN moved to Minnetonka last May. Their son was married in the Gustavus Arboretum in August. Pretty neat, eh?
Pat Skalbeck Wharton lives in Mounds View, MN and has had opportunities to travel to Texas, Arkansas and Florida in the last year.
Barbara Lundholm Peppers lives in Omaha and is busy with church and community activities.
Carole Engstrom Shoquist and husband, Loren ’59, (married in ‘59) live in California and are world travelers fulfilling their commitments to the Gideon’s.
Lois Sundberg Smedstad and husband, David, live in Moorhead, MN.
Here are two who left Gustavus after two years. Beth Wray Anderson lives in Overland Park, Kansas and recently retired as a church secretary. Kay Kemp Salo lives in Duluth and had breakfast with Virginia Nelson Anderson in Superior, reminiscing about living together in Wahlstrom Hall.
Dear Class of ’60,
We are 60 days away from a wonderful 50-year Reunion! I am glad to turn over the reflections on our time at Gustavus to a great guy who is on our Reunion Committee and has been a stalwart supporter of our alma mater─Bill "Shogie" Shogren, who lives nearby in Eden Prairie, Minnesota!
THOSE WERE THE DAYS. . .
When some scooted out to Swan Lake before, between and after classes for a duck shoot. After class some of us jumped on the fender of a car to hunt the gravel roads for pheasants, occasionally bagging a bird sitting in a ditch.
I remember a gang barreling up to Lake Superior for the Smelt run. They returned with milk cans full and arranged with some small downtown establishment to put on a Smelt fry.
“Now there’s an English professor,” was my thought the first time I set eyes on a small gent with big strides walking down Hello Walk smoking a calabas pipe with the most wonderful aroma. I asked a guy who he was and he said, “Oh that’s J. Luke Creel an English Prof.; he hails from Kentucky.” What a neat name-Creel, I thought, and he looked so British with his tweedy look. The trout fisherman in me thought of wicker creel. This colorful character was the perfect prof to teach about the eponymous Odysseus of Ithaca who was sooooo full of himself. Andy Noren Rogers and I talked once of how his class was one of our favorites. I simply loved the way he rolled out the end of the word Ithaca. He dragged the “a” with his “Odysseus of Itacaaaaaaaaaaa.” I couldn’t wait for him to say it again. Rev. Jim Anderson told me J. Luke returned every year to his beloved Kentucky for a squirrel hunt with his friends. Imagine that. Me thinks he mail ordered his pipe tobacco straight from his bluegrass state.
More About Classmates
Last year at this time for four Sundays in a row my wife, Jean, and I visited Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, MN to hear author Wm. Paul Young talk about his best seller, The Shack. To our good fortune we were met with a big smile by Jerry Thrall and wife, Dorie. Jerry (I think of him as Mr. Smooth) with his well known cordial manners made us feel as if it was old home week. Another Calvary couple is Karen Dahlberg Landro and husband, Ken. I know Ken from Senior Tennis Players Club. Believe me, Ken is a top flight tennis player and a calm comes over me when he’s my doubles partner and not my opponent. The Landro’s celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past summer. Karen is a world class gardener. She amazes with her huge garden, wonderful variety and sumptuousness-real major league.
A few weeks ago I got a call from Byron Helgeson, Mark Anderson, Jerry Thrall and Jon Nymo, who is a St. Olaf friend of all three. These guys have met for forty-one years to golf at either Byron’s condo in Vero Beach, Florida or Mark’s in Arizona. Usually they hit the week of the pro golf tour, seeing it on Sunday and golfing the previous two days. Byron states that they feel blessed with health and ability to continue the tradition. How great is that?
I read Jerry Thorson’s book, A Brief Biography of a Too-Brief Life. You’ll recall his book requiring many years of research, about Jerry’s heart felt tribute to his brother, Harold, who was shot down in a fighter plane near the end of WWll in the South Pacific Negroes Island.
Mike Bentzen works part time at a mortgage company and fishes Canadian lakes every summer.
By the way, I’m entertaining the thought of hiking the Superior Hiking Trail between Two Harbors, MN and Thunder Bay, Canada. The S.H.T. is 240 miles long and reputed to be the most scenic hiking trail in the United States. This would be a two year project, hiking intermittently. Anybody interested contact me at 18719 Erin Bay, Eden Prairie, MN 55347 or telephone, res: 952-906-0591, cell: 612-751-6047, email: email@example.com. We’ll talk.
The other day I picked up a 1960 Gustavian and was most impressed reading Mel Hammarberg’s poem, “The Poetry of Student Life.” I never knew Mel was a poet. If you really want to be inspired return to Gustavus and visit with a Gustie student. There is a SPIRIT, a higher calling, that permeates these students and transcends the ordinariness of politics, academics, and social issues. In my experiences visiting many church-related schools I always see this certain spirit that lifts me.
One of the neat things you’ll see in Linner Lounge, where our class will gather to rest and greet each other between events reunion weekend, is that we’ll display samples of achievements/works done by our classmates. There will be easels and pedestals available. So bring what you’ve had published─books, articles, photos─anything you’re proud of and want to share. Show what you’re passionate about!! Our class has so much talent and has experienced so much in every field and lived and traveled to all corners of the world.
Tempus fugit. But let’s remember, Verdi composed thundering operas in his 80’s, Michelangelo did fine work in his 90th year and Titian painted better than ever in his 100th year. This tells us we’ve got twenty-thirty years to perfect our talents.
Be there to see the spire on mighty Christ Chapel and “Remember the hills and valleys.”
Sincere Best Wishes,
1960 Guest Letter Writer
- Mar. 30 – New Orleans Chapter Event – Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
- Apr. 10 – Gustavus Jazz Lab Band Home Concert
- Apr. 11 – Gustavus Symphony Orchestra Home Concert
- Apr. 22 – New York Chapter Event – The Core Club
- Apr. 23 – Choir of Christ Chapel Home Concert
- Apr. 25 – Boston Chapter Event - Bay Back Hotel
- May 1 – Gustavus Choir Home Concert