Class of '61
May 2000

Dear Classmates,

Spring came early to Minnesota this year. It almost seems as if the trees and flowering shrubs appreciated the mild winter and are expressing that pleasure with abundant, early leaves and flowers. Spring break for the Gusties was in early April, and students traveled for athletic competition; fun on the beach or slopes; touring with the orchestra in England, Scotland and Wales; building affordable housing for low-income families (more than 250 went to construct!); and visited families.

May 31 is the final date for this year's Gustavus Fund (It is an absolute deadline -- no extensions.) Since my letter is later than usual, please check the status of your pledge and join the class quickly by sending your gift. Thank you for the generous gifts registered thus far!! The latest report shows that we are down by 4 donors from a year ago, but our contributions are up. The biggest competition that I see in our decade comes from the Class of '60. They are making a major effort in behalf of their 40th reunion and the retirement of Dennis Johnson, who is their class agent and the retiring Gustavus vice president of college relations.

Cec Eckhoff '56 is being remembered with a sculpture named "Orbisc" done by Paul Granlund '52. You are invited to the dedication on Sat., May 27 at 3:30 p.m. along Hello Walk. It is located between the Edgar Carlson Administration Building, where Cec had his office, and Old Main. The information reads, "Its placement there is a reminder of the gregarious manner in which Cec greeted alumni, parents and friends of Gustavus for 31 years." Cec headed the Alumni Office from 1963 to 1994 and he retired as vice president for Alumni Affairs. A description of the sculpture reads, "In Orbisc, the men and women of the Gustavus Alumni Association are symbolized by the male and female figures imbedded as positive mass and negative space, in orbit within the structure on a three-dimensional Mobius strip, a form that presents a surface continuum."

Floyd Martinson, professor in sociology died in April at the age of 83. A Minneapolis Tribune write-up mentions that he attained world-wide fame for his research and books, and he lectured at conferences throughout the world. He taught at Gustavus for 37 years. In 1996 he was given a lifetime achievement award from the International Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. It would be interesting to survey how many of us took his marriage and family course.


International House Being Built - Ground was broken during the first week in March for the new international house. The residence hall will house Crossroads, the Swedish House, and the Office of International Education. This new facility will support the mission of bringing an international perspective to the curriculum and preparing students to communicate and compete in the new millennium. The 80-bed, 30,000 square-foot facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2000. The $5.4 million building is going up west of Olin Hall.

Eckhoff Memorial Sculpture – ORBISC, a Granlund sculpture in memory of Emeritus Vice President for Alumni Affairs Cecil F. Eckhoff ’56, will be dedicated on campus, Saturday, May 27, 3:30 p.m. near Hello Walk.

Forensics Team Earns International Awards ― The College speech and debate team captured two championships and six other awards at the recent International Forensics Association tournament in Paris, France. Both Gustavus debate teams compiled a 3-1win-loss record. The team's strong overall performance earned Gustavus a fourth-place Sweepstakes Award. Gustavus attends international forensic competitions every other year.

Men’s swimming and diving team completed its most successful season in Gustavus history finishing undefeated in both non-conference meets, with a record of 7-0, and conference meets, at 6-0. At the MIAC Championships, Gustavus placed first for the first time since 1960. They beat conference power St. Olaf, who had won 20 consecutive MIAC titles before this year. Earlier in the year, the Gusties also handed the Oles their first conference dual meet loss since 1981, breaking an Ole streak of 96 straight wins. Please read the Spring Quarterly for complete winter sports recaps or visit the athletics site at

Upcoming campus and Alumni Association events:

ORBISC dedication, a Granlund sculpture in memory of Cecil Eckhoff, May 27, 3:30 p.m., Campus

Reunion Weekend for 50-Year Club, Class of 1950, War Years, V-12/5, May 26 & 27, all events held on campus

Homecoming/Reunion Weekend for Anniversary Class 1955-2000, September 29 & 30, Friday night events at the Hotel Sofitel, Bloomington, Saturday events on campus

Gusties in Volunteer Endeavors, October 7, Twin Cities and national chapter locations

For more information contact the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at, or

Members of the New Millenium: Knowing that we are in a technological age, we want to encourage all alumni to get involved and get online. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, we hope you will check out the Gustavus Alumni Association homepage regularly. We publish information about upcoming events, post class letters, provide information about the Alumni Office, list e-mail addresses of alumni and more. Check us out under the alumni section at

We are planning on corresponding on a regular basis with all alumni who have e-mail addresses. Please send a message to so we can get you on the list. (Also, be sure to keep us posted on any e-mail address changes.)


Sadness dominates our class news. Two of our classmates lost their battles to cancer in April. From the class I express deepest sympathy and send hugs to Sylvia Peterson and Marlys Golberg and their families. Special thanks to David Linne, Edina, and Dick Dalton, Cannon Falls, for the help that each of them gave with information.

On April 8, Dr. Joseph Peterson, St. Paul and Backus, passed away. He and Sylvia (Poland) were living in the Twin Cities recently to help them deal with the after effects of experimental treatment at the University of Minnesota hospitals that Joe received for his brain tumor. Joe held a variety of roles in school administration as curriculum coordinator, high school principal and superintendent; and he retired as superintendent of schools in Truman in 1995. After retiring he taught college classes and worked on enlarging a large lake home near Backus for the family to enjoy. Sylvia retired in February of 1999. Joe held an MA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and later a second MA from Kansas State. They had two children: Brenda (Peter) Lawrence, Eagan, and Andrew, Minneapolis. Joe was born in Taylors Falls on Jan. 4, 1939, to Rev. Edward and Edla Peterson.

Rodney Golberg died April 16 in Austin after a five-month struggle with esophageal cancer. Rod held a master's degree in social work from the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, and he worked as a family therapist at the Mental Health Center, Waverly IA, at Northern Pines Mental Health Center, Little Falls, and most recently at the Sheriff's Youth Programs in Austin. Rod and Marlys (Skov) had two sons: Todd ’85 (and Trixie), Rochester, and Bradley (and Susan), Lakeville. The Golbergs had five grandsons. Rod's brother Harvey, Jr. ’57 and Joyce Golberg live in Owatonna. Rod enjoyed sports, drawing, painting and wood carving. At our 35th reunion he donated one of his drawings of a barn (his favorite subject) for a raffle on Friday evening and donated the proceeds to the Alumni Fund for our class. He was a people person who organized many a group and gathering.

Rod's friend and college roommate, Dick Dalton from Cannon Falls, shares some things from the funeral. Among those attending were Jim Krough, Dr. David Wettergren, Tom Idstrom, Bob Swiggum ’60, Dean Johnson ’63, Rollie Hanks ’60, Rev. Ron Koch, Don Roberts (coach), and Whitey Skoog (coach). (Please correct me if there were additional classmates.) Dick says that it was a sad event, but there was some comfort in remembering Rod through stories. One of the stories was about the time Rod's jaw locked in football practice and everyone laughed thinking it was a clever joke, but Rod was really in trouble. Upon hearing that story, the Golberg's son, Brad, observed that a locked jaw during a sporting event must be a genetic trait because it has happened to him also! They talked also about Rod's bragging about how speedy he was, but he could never convince a coach to allow him to try a "drag bunt" in baseball. Dick, Dave Wettergren, and Jim Krough also went to Austin together to share stories with Rod when he was confined to his home.

Rev. Don and Eunice (Holm '63) Fultz, Forest Lake, left on April 7 for Tanzania where they will serve in a missionary project. Thirty parishes of the ELCA here are working on an exchange program with thirty parishes there. On the way to Africa they were in Washington, D.C., for Jubilee 2000 on April 9 and then flew on to Amsterdam. (Jubilee 2000 is a Christian call for the U.S. Government to cancel the debt of the world's 42 poorest countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, to enable those countries to reduce poverty through their own initiatives.) Don retired at the end of March as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake. They plan to remain in Africa for six months, and then return for three months before going back to Africa for three months.

Shep and Eloise Johnson Hayman are moving from Northfield to New Braunfels, TX, close to San Antonio. Eloise says that the move will return them to the warmer winters they enjoyed while serving in the military. The area around San Antonio is home for many military families. Dr. Alan Eliason, Eugene OR, changed jobs this year. He is now the professor of management information technology at the Graduate School of Management at Willamette University. He has also written his 25th book, Visual Basics 6, which is about programming language. Alan and Jayne are proud grandparents. Maren was born in May, 1999, to their elder son and his wife. Their younger son owns the Eliason Violin School in Portland, OR.

Dr. Carolyn Wedin-Roloff, Whitewater WI, and Tony will leave for Sweden in August. Carolyn will be a visiting professor, serving as an Americanist. Carolyn and Tony are also in the process of moving to her old family farmstead, which is a log house in the Frederic area that needs much renovation. Her family had a large reunion at the house last summer.

Craig and Arlyce Peterson Johnson, New Brighton, have both become semi-retired. At Phonorama Arlyce was knee-deep into the tax season so she did not feel retired at all, but normally she is involved in a job-sharing plan.

Gary and Judith Hillman, Littleton CO, saw Phil and Carol Cope Nord, Glen Burnie MD, recently during a trip to the East. Their daughter, Stephanie ’93, is an attorney in Silver Spring, MD. At Phonorama they planned a trip to Williamsburg, VA, to visit Judy's sister and her family. Their son, who lives in Denver, earned his MBA in December. The Hillmans like to vacation in short jaunts, and this year they were in Minnesota, Virginia/Maryland, and New Orleans.

James and Marilynn Clark Tanner, Hot Springs Village, AR, have the greatest weekly schedule: five Saturdays and then a couple of Sundays. Golf is a frequent activity. They took their mobile home on a six-week visit to Florida in winter and got all of the way to the Keys. They will be moving her parents, who are 87 and 88, up to their cabin in the Walker and Bemidji area of Minnesota in early summer.

Nita Swanson Anderson, St. Paul, broke her right hand after Christmas and has been slowed a bit. She continues to work at Dayton's-Rosedale.

Dr. Mary Towley Swanson, St. Paul, was in Paris in January, and she also was a guest lecturer on a cruise ship. Mary is in the art history department of the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. David and Mary's son lives in France and has become engaged to marry a French woman. Edward and Karen Halvorson Carlson, Albuquerque NM, spend their time, "shoveling sand with their Midwestern snow shovels." Karen says that "they're tired of working" and they moved to New Mexico about four years ago. The week before Phonorama, Bill and Marilyn Roberts ’51 ’51, retired Gustavus staff, came for dinner and a great visit. Karen is hopeful that Jo Larson Karvonen, St. Paul, will be coming to visit this summer.

Ned and Sue (Peterson '63) Larson, Scottsdale, AZ, announce Connor Michael, born Jan. 23, 2000, to their daughter Barbara. They missed the Gustavus chapter meeting in Arizona because they were in Colorado meeting their new grandson.

Betty Estesen, Tucson, AZ, has retired from her research position at the university, but she enjoys a part-time job at the University of Arizona campus bookstore in their textbook area.

Wayne and Gert Kneeskern, Richland, IA, are busy working but also finding time to enjoy their grandchildren. Scott and Jill ’90 ’90 have Ellen, born on Christmas Day in 1995 and Noah, born in Oct., 1998. Their daughter also likes December for birth dates, with Ben born Dec. 9, 1995, and a daughter born Dec. 6, 1999. Wayne has recovered from cancer surgery a year ago; he had just quit smoking at 59!

Joanne Swenson Lippert, San Clemente, CA, has a permanent part-time position with Wells Fargo Bank and continues to work with a tour company part-time. She sends greetings to all and welcomes anyone who is in the area to call and arrange a visit. She lives only a block from the freeway. Her daughter, Suzanne, and her groom of one year have moved next door, and Jo feels like a lucky Mom. She was unable to attend Rev. Ted and Marietta (Bittrich '62) Johns' alumni gathering, but, "still miss Minnesota and treasure my memories of the years at Gustavus."

Dr. Paul and Doriann Fredrickson Thompson, Greeley, CO, are excited about the international exchange program that Paul is supervising at Ames Community College. They have traveled to Thailand in connection with that program. Doriann says that they have found the Thai people to be beautiful and gentle people. Sara ’84, her husband, and Korean-born son have now moved to Boulder. Julie ’83, her husband and family live in Cinncinati. David, his wife and their two small children are in Olympia, WA. Paul and Doriann are in Minnesota this month to visit their mothers.

Pauline Matson Smith, Hudson, WI, has moved but she and her husband still live in Hudson. They enjoy using their pontoon boat on the Mississippi River during the summers. Pauline notes that her three daughters all graduated from the University of South Carolina. The eldest daughter just had her first baby. The middle daughter lives in St. Paul. Diana, a pharmacologist, is in San Diego. Two of Pauline's three son-in-laws are in pharmacology.

Donald and Jean Linnerooth Scherfenberg, Mendota Heights, have retired from teaching and spend a lot of time at their cabin. In summer Jean traveled in China with her daughter, who made the trip special because she can speak the language. Jean and Don were going to Oregon to visit their daughters in March, and this month Jean will go to New York with her sister to visit Mary's children.

Richard and Barbara Skogg, Duluth, are enjoying retirement and doing some traveling. They were in Arizona for almost a month with Barb's relatives and on a cruise in the Aegean Sea, with stops in Athens and Istanbul, this spring. They have moved into an apartment that overlooks the famous lift bridge in Duluth.

Lyle and Suzanne Nelson, La Grande, OR, try to get back to Lindstrom to see Lyle's 92-year-old mother at least once a year. Their children have graduated from college, and two of them are married. Lyle says that he enjoys his job of developing software and he hopes to continue at it; he has cut back to 3/4 time though.

Judith Lenzen, Glendale, AZ, likes being a physical therapist and hopes to work to 65. She also enjoys cruise vacations and went on an Alaskan voyage in August and on a cruise to the Bahamas in January.

Dr. Dean and Carol (Peterson '63) Hustuft, Moorhead, are both working at their long-standing jobs, but together they enjoy working on their cabin near Itasca State Park. Carol had attended business meetings in St. Cloud the day that Phonorama reached Dean, and she was staying at their cabin for the night on her way back home so Dean felt a bit envious. Their daughter and husband in Illinois have given the Hustufts a new granddaughter: Elizabeth Ann Ogg, who is almost eight months old. Their son lives in Moorhead. Dean feels great again following the insertion of a heart stent a few years ago.

Arnette Johnson Nelson, Amherst, MA, finds that pacing herself very carefully is her best defense against the polio syndrome that remains in her health picture. She had a Gustie moment when she finally got together with John Edman ’59 who was in the entomology department at the university. He has now retired from there and taken on a different challenge as director of a new program in California. Arnette's son Kurt lives in Connecticut and her daughter, Taaron, her husband and their five-year-old daughter live in Minneapolis.

James and Sally Johnson Audiss remain in Byron. Sally has retired from teaching and all of the speech coaching now. She observes that, "keeping alive was the major problem last year." Sally, your classmates join me in wishing you a continued strong recovery. Sally says that a phrase someone shared with her has acquired stronger meaning for her, "youth keeps you going the first years and genes have to continue the job in the latter years."

Paul and Joan Nesvold, Maple Plain, had just returned from three weeks in Florida when Phonorama caught them. They enjoy taking in some of the Twins' spring training games and also do other touring in Florida. They have one granddaughter and four grandsons; one is graduating from high school this spring and another plays football, so they go to South Dakota to see an occasional game.

Sharon Phillips Erickson, Mankato, operates rental property that she owns. She had talked with Phyllis Kamman Johns recently about rental property because Phyllis and Paul are investigating the possibility of renting out some rooms of their large home. Sharon and Phyllis were roommates for a year at Gustavus. Sharon baby sits her 5 1/2-year-old grandson a lot and has introduced him to the computer, which he loves.

Jo Linne Nyhus, Winona, had become a professional volunteer. When Phonorama reached her, she had been putting up drywall in a Habitat for Humanity house all day. She enjoys living in Winona where her son, Andy, and a granddaughter live. Her daughter, Amy, lives in Sarasota, FL, so she sees her less frequently.

Dr. Mary Nelson, Chicago, tells about the grand opening on May 19 and 20 of the Beth-Anne Cultural and Performing Arts Center in the former St. Anne's Hospital Chapel. It is part of the Bethel New Life, Inc. project. The renovations cost 3/4 of one million dollars. There will be cultural programs, vocal and instrumental training and performances, literary programs, and opportunities for other arts education. For the grand opening the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ensemble will appear at the facility at 1140 North Lamon. There will also be youth presentations and other artists.

There are other news items but I cannot locate them at this time. At Phonorama I remember speaking with Dr. Milt and Marilyn Heier Gustafson, Lenny Vretholm, Tom and Marlene Vartdal Meyer, Nancy Williams Rensink (whom I and Sally Enstrom saw in Minnesota soon after; she was bringing her mother back here for the summer and going on to the East to meet a new grandchild), Bill Ekenstedt (who was getting prepared for a farm auction of much of his equipment -- a job change was in the works), Lowell Rasmussen (who had returned the day Phonorama reached him from winter in Florida and visits with some of his and Mary's children there), Dr. Merwyn Larson (who is recovering well now after a 4-year ordeal filled with medical procedures), Richard Miller, (who had also returned to Minnesota from a winter in Texas, but whose wife had an accident with their trailer that day), and other classmates. Such news will await our first class letter in the autumn. Enjoy a summer that rejuvenates you AFTER YOU REMEMBER TO SEND IN YOUR CHECK TO THE GUSTAVUS FUND BEFORE MAY 31. Gustavus appreciates your remembering, and so do I.

Your class agent,