Class of '62
If you live within one hundred miles of Calvary Lutheran Church in Edina, mark November 24 on your calendar, because you don't want to miss hearing Jim Gilbert speak about "Caring for God's Creation." He, as anyone who has heard him speak or read his books knows, is an expert on such wonders as sunsets, trees, animals and flowers. I would love to be in the audience and ask him a couple of questions on all the above: like, why do we call the declining years the sunset of our lives, when a sunset is the most beautiful time of the day? Why do the leaves look the most vibrant just before they fall down and die? When was the approximate year when animals' abodes became the master bedroom? And why are the most fragrant of flowers used to mitigate the most flagrant of human behaviors. Well, maybe he won't get into all that, but you can count on Jim's lecture being provocative, in the best sense of the word.
I love hearing from Sandy Springer Smith. No matter what adversity she faces in her life, she faces it with those wonderful laughing eyes that always see the hope and humor in everything-even a county fair. In July she and her family were in Faribault, Minnesota for a family reunion, which just happened to coincide with the Faribault county fair. So, with grandchildren in tow they trekked along the dusty grounds of a "genuine, rural-style, down-and-dirty fair, complete with all the animals, smells, Lutheran food booths and all that wonderful stuff." Their 13-year old grandson was convinced they were in a time warp. But what a glorious warp it was, Sandy.
As proof of Sandy's sense of humor, she sent me some rules of life. I won't relay them all, but I have to share three. The first is also my husband's rule of life, so it must be true. 1) You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape. 2) If you wake up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance. 3) Be really nice to your friends and family. You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan. Surely words to live by!!!
I just got an e-mail from Lonnie Olson Pristavok. I had complained to her that my granddaughter became ill and had to be taken to the emergency room the night before our big 25th anniversary celebration, and I moaned that I had big bags under my eyes the next morning when I renewed my wedding vows in front of God and everybody. Her quip was that when she doesn't get enough sleep she doesn't have bags, she has steamer trunks. Always got to one-up me!!!!
After retiring from a very successful career working for Marriott in human resources Lonnie has taken what she calls, "My little job at Orlando's largest hospital as a telephone operator-I am reinventing Lily Tomlin! Anyway, I work 2 days a week and love it! When the phone isn't ringing, we can read, eat, etc., -and they pay me-what a deal! Of course a bookstore would be my first choice, but I decided not to apply at the Barnes and Noble near my home, as then I wouldn't be able to use it as a hangout! I love walking over there and having a cup of coffee while browsing through a magazine." Only Lonnie can make an adventure out of going to a bookstore.
On September 17, 2003 at 0:44 PM, Karen Noren Talle wrote to Linda Johnson Blanding about her climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro: "Hi, just a short note to let you know that I'm in one piece and I made it all the way to 19,340 feet! The climb was amazing, challenging, awesome, rewarding! It took 63 African porters, guides, and leaders (a village) to move 7 Americans to the summit, and what an inspiring bunch they were. Many were Lutherans, and because they knew (my sister) Andy Noren Rogers '60 and I loved it, they sang all the old familiar hymns for us when we were packing up each morning. The safari was fabulous too. Eight days of animal tracking in a Land Cruiser, a dream come true for a zoo-type like me! One old bull elephant, which was guarding his shady spot in the narrow dusty road, trumpeted and charged our vehicle for about a hundred feet backwards down that road! There will be stories to share for a lifetime!" Well, then let's get started, Karen. We can have one chapter per newsletter from now until the stories are all told.
Lyle and Charlene (Lundahl '63) Norris are most deserving of some R& R after serving the First Congregational Church in Fairmont for 24 years. They are both retiring in time to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary and the birth of their ninth grandchild, Tatum Elizabeth. They will spend summers in Colorado and have a great option for winters, since their son, Dan, is a policeman in Anondale, Arizona. But Minnesota friends, don't despair They Will Be Back.
Sorry about that, I'll have to chalk it up to a serious case of too much "Total Recall" recall. By the time you receive this letter, we "Cawleefornians" may have a new governor and a new way of solving our problems. We'll just terminate 'em!
Getting back to the Norris Nomads, they plan to give in to wanderlust until 2006, in order to give the new minister a chance to make the congregation forget how much they miss Lyle. That's my take on it, although Lyle would be far too modest, I'm sure.
Sharon Maurer Edberg and Gordy are finally going to be grandparents-in February. Their daughter Kim, with the aid of her hubby, Alex, is doing the honors. Soon-to-be-Granddad Gordy packed up his paints and pastels in his old knapsack and headed for Ireland in September for twelve days with several other artists from the Seattle area. The Edbergs are talking more and more about retirement (although Sharon absolutely loves working part-time) and also about getting a house on the water in a community about an hour away from Seattle. That would give Gordy some new scenery to paint without having to fly to Paris or Dublin.
Gerald D. Swanson is still working as a components engineer at Honeywell. Both his sons, Steven and Matt, have graduated from college and have jobs. Remember a time when parents considered it a given that their children would leave home and get a job? Now it's with a relieved sigh and a giant good-bye wave that a parent's dream is realized. Not only did Matt get a job, he also got a wife in August while in his fourth year of medical school.
Sandy Johnson Neagle wrote a wonderful note with lots of good gooey grandparent sentiments and some real happily-ever-after stuff. I'm a sucker for that. Her daughter, Deborah '90, got lucky when her husband accepted a position as director of the Roosevelt University's Music Library and moved back to Libertyville where they broth grew up. They bought a house just two blocks from Sandy. What a testament to mothers-in-law everywhere. Not only did her daughter-in-law delight in living a pot-roast's throw away, she also invited them to join her in the delivery room to share the "adventure" of watching the birth of their second grandchild, born just two weeks after their move. Some might prefer their adventures to take place in a less, ah, umbilical venue, but to each his own. Their two year-old granddaughter, Annalisa, already has a well-developed sense of good taste; she held her nose on Christmas Eve as visions of lutefisk danced in her head and the scent of a school of cod swam through the air, magically turning all the silverware black. Their 32-year-old son was recently married at Port Townsend, WA in a romantic gazebo wedding. There will still be lots of time for romance for them in Salt Lake City, because in addition to being a newly wed, he is also doing a fellowship in intensive care and pulmonary medicine-all matters of the heart. Truly renaissance folk, they also enjoy the challenges of skiing and rock climbing. Sandy spends her winters in Arizona in a rental house just a couple of blocks from Lynda Hamlin Diede Murray (I swear she's vigorously vying for my long-standing record of number of names acquired since graduation) and together they explored Indian ruins, restaurants, and did some hiking.
What's all this hiking and rock and mountain climbing stuff about? Didn't your mothers ever warn you about heights? There is no way I would trust my life to a rope and a piton, probably both made in China.
Ed and Karyl (Krantz '64) Blair moved to Payson, Arizona in October 2002 where Ed served as interim pastor of Mt. Cross Lutheran Church from January to April 2003. Guys, I'll bet Sandy and Lynda (the one with all the names) could steer you to some good eats. You like Indian cuisine?
Summer found Dianne Skalbeck Thunhorst and five of her cousins in Norway where they visited their grandparents' birthplaces and remaining relatives: at least those ancestors not yet at room temperature.
Karen Hawkinson Summers continues to serve as interim associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Everett, WA, which is about an hour commute from her home in Bellingham. The church has about 600 members with two pastors. Her husband, Bill, retired last October from teaching at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Her daughter, Kirstin, is English language learner's coordinator in Watts, CA, where her partner also teaches. Ingrid is in Adelaide, Australia, where her husband, Jean-Francois, is director of the French Alliance Office.
Karen was my freshman roommate. She could speak fluent German after only two months of classes, and no doubt took an occasional peak at my French primer while I was at the Pizza Villa brushing up on my Italian. I'm certain she knows more about the French and their language than I ever did, even after four years of study; all I can recall are a few one-syllable utterances of the "Petit Tailor." So, roomie to roomie, Karen, when you visit Ingrid and her husband in the fall or winter, try to find out with whom the French now ally in that office?
Jan Swanberg Mousel soaked up the 65-degree weather in January and February in Florida while the natives shivered in their warm-up suits. The northerners certainly didn't need cameras strung around their necks to identify them as interlopers. Back on home turf, after returning from a family wedding in Iowa, they discovered a burst water pipe. Does swimming in the basement give you more of an adrenaline rush than in the ocean, Jan? On the brighter side, they are spending a lot of time at their Wisconsin cabin in between four weddings and a funeral.
For all you Arizona theatergoers, Barbara A. Schmidt has returned to "the boards" and played the role of Big Mama in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." The only Barbara I knew who was a talented Thespian is Barbara Ann Johnson. No maiden name was on the form I got, Barbara, so please correct me if I'm wrong. Sadly, the production was at the end of June, so we all missed it. Also, I have no idea which boards one would return to, if indeed one had ever been away from them. Guess it's theater speak. Please clear that up for us, Barbara.
Newell Nelsen retired from full-time parish ministry in the fall of 2002. He is now employed by St. Michael Lutheran Church of Greenville, SC. His wife, Sandra '63, retired from full time elementary teaching the same year and now enjoys substituting. Both of them are happy to be within four minutes of their grandchildren, Andrew, 4, and Megan, 1. Their daughter, Lisa, and son-in-law, Keith, are both veterinarians and own and operate "Upstate Veterinary Specialties." Veterinary Specialties sounds kind of scary, but I'd take my pet there on Newell's word alone.
The North St. Paul Weekly had a Letter to the Editor titled, "Evans Respects People," penned by a rather testy Robert E. Yahnke, who obviously felt Geri Sparks Evans was being maligned in the October 16 edition of the Bulletin. It referred to Geri (and colleagues Ghaudary and Goodwin) being "emboldened to further their legislative assault on our Judeo-Christian values and individual liberties." "That," states Robert, "was simply too much for me." He charges the letter-writer with accusing Geri of not being a good Christian and not upholding Judeo-Christian values. Geri is a member of his church, the United Church of Christ in New Brighton, so he knows better. And so do we, Geri. Since you received a minor in religions from Gustavus, you were given the best and most inclusive religious education possible by such greats as Richard Reusch, Bernhard Erling '43, Robert Esbjornson '41, Clair Johnson and Emmer Engberg '30. Besides, she is far too busy to do any assaulting. She's a member of the Minnesota Alliance for Art Education; Tibetan-American Foundation, Three Rivers Park District, Silver Lake Master Planning Group, Eagles Auxiliary, and New Brighton Historical Society. She's a Clock Watch Captain; St. Anthony-New Brighton School Board, past chairman; New Brighton League of Women Voters, past president; Police Commission, past chairman; Public Safety Commission, past member; Coalition for Healthy Youth, past member. Whew!!!! Don't the rest of you feel dismally deficient in civic responsibility and dreadfully uninvolved in life???? Please slow down, Geri, I can feel my heart palpitating just reading your resume.
Jan Grack Eggersgluess is an adjunct professor for Concordia University in St. Paul and has worked for sixteen years as a Research Project Coordinator with the CSAL (Concordia School for Accelerated Learning). Thanks for explaining, Jan. Life has way too many irksome acronyms to suit me. She has also taught special classes for CSAL in Research Methods. Her husband, Gene, retired this year from Hanson/Pancrete in Maple Grove, so they are now enjoying more travel and time with their grandchildren.
Marion Peterson Swanson has a new grandson, David, born to her son, Joel, and his wife, Nikki. We would all like to know more about the Swanson Gallery, which is part of Marion Swanson Enterprises, LLC according to the information I received. Please fill us in, Marion, so we can drop in and browse around, and maybe even whip out the old Visa card.
Steve Hanson's son-in-law, Navy Lt. Matt Loverink, is flying H-3 helicopters in Bahrain. Please pass on to him our prayers and thanks, Steve. Steve and his bride went to Alaska in June to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. A sixth grandchild is due in December to make Christmas this year especially merry.
Linda Jones Lawrence says Cheers! (an apt greeting from a former cheerleader) to all her friends at GAC. She and her husband, Chris, are retired, happy and busy in their little space in rural Olathe. Their oldest daughter, Lisa, and her husband, an Army P.A., and their two sons are due back from Germany after three and a half years. Their youngest, Kristy, and her husband and three sons visited from Little Falls, Minnesota over Easter. They hope to visit in Minnesota again soon and pay a visit to the college. You'll find a lot of changes, Linda, all of them good, except for the absence of those bountiful and beautiful old trees.
Curt Johnson retired after 34 years of working hard at something he failed to mention, but he did say that his wife, Norma Saari Johnson '63, retired in June from the Richfield Public School System as district media consultant.
Shari Swanson Chell and husband, Paul '60, spent 22 days in September and October in Sweden and Germany to celebrate their 40th anniversary. They retraced the steps of Martin Luther in Germany and found family history in Sweden. Shari and Paul, did you see the new Martin Luther movie? It would be interesting to see if Hollywood retraced the same steps as you did.
A late e-mail message and photo from Joan Eckberg after receiving Judy's class letter. Joan continues serving in the Peace Corps in Lesotho (Southern Africa), tutoring students in English, playing the recorder, and reading music. The photo she sent will be published in the Spring 2004 Quarterly and shows some of the boys she works with. Joan also works at the only museum in Lesotho where she is trying to preserve the cultural objects and information on computer and updating the displays. Her completion of service in the Peace Corps is the summer of 2004.
Consummate skier and Red Lodge Montana ski patroller, Charles Jerabek, went on a busman's holiday to Canada to ski for two weeks. Charley, I wish Joyce were shushing down the hills alongside you. We all still remember her and miss her very much.
Dennis Laingen and his wife, Sharon, are retired-successfully, he says-and living on a lake in Northwestern Wisconsin. I suppose it is possible to retire unsuccessfully, but I would imagine that's pretty much limited to those whose tickers give out before their gold watches.
Harvey Hanson has been a fill-in pastor for various parishes in the Minneapolis area since he retired in 1999.
Barb Moylan Pluto has a new granddaughter, Morgan Lee, and lives in Austin. Since you are retired, Barb, you have the pleasure, privilege, and time required to spoil Morgan Lee at your leisure. Go for it! I'll be baby-sitting my granddaughter for five days in October and I plan on doing just that.
Linda Johnson Blanding and her husband, Dick, enjoyed their two-week sojourn by land and sea to Alaska this past summer with classmates Mary Johns Miller and Audrey Kylander Kramer. Here's what she said: "We laughed our way from Anchorage to Denali; Fairbanks to Eagle and the Yukon country in Dawson; and Whitehorse to Skagway. Our 150-mile journey by gravel road to Alaska's first incorporated city of the interior was an education we are still pondering. The sightseeing over Mt. McKinley, glaciers and crevasse's that could swallow up neighborhoods is still lingering in our minds. I am still trying to quell the fear that overcame me when I brushed against the rear door of our little five-seater while buzzing over one of those yawning chasms, only to find it unlatched and flapping in the breeze! Fortunately, my Gustavus education had prepared me to Fear not, but trust in the Lord, and I refrained from screaming and carrying on like a lunatic. What a great land Seward bought for us all! If you haven't yet been, go and explore, and don't miss the interior. There are so many ways to experience that great land. I love that quote, 'You don't inhabit that land, that land inhabits you!' So true, so true.
Elizabeth "Libby" Elstrom Bergquist's son, Joe, got married in February, which seems strange, since it was only yesterday that we parked our two little boys in front of Big Bird while we pigged out on cookies confiscated from the Cookie Monster.
For those of you who may have friends or family fighting for us in Iraq or other far away places, our prayers are with you and with them. In talking with a friend whose son is serving in Iraq, I remembered a quote from Whittaker Chambers. "We all need a reason to live and a reason to die." Those who are fighting for us to insure freedom for our countrymen and all peoples of the world are to be revered and respected by all, even those who may disagree with the course taken. If there is ever a good reason to die, it is for one's God and one's country. My friend agreed. I would hope I would feel the same if it were my son now fighting for his life and the lives of the Iraqi people.
Death is an inevitable fact of life, but there is an ingenious and gratifying way of keeping your spirit alive and well long after you are gone: designate Gustavus as beneficiary of a life insurance policy or in a will or revocable living trust, or many other ways that would allow future generations to know the lifetime rewards of attending Gustavus Adolphus College. Of course the school will also need our help while we're still animate, so keep that in mind.
Jan Eiffert Hoomani has been asked to serve on the Gustavus Alumni Board, which she will relate to you at the end of this letter. She and Hank have something else to celebrate: they have found a new home. They left many green acres behind them in order to simplify their lives and divest themselves of some of those material possessions we all have sworn we desperately needed at one time but have now forgotten why. She will definitely not want to be cleaning a big house when she has more exciting things to do, like making a bigger and better Gustavus. We all know you will do us proud, Jan.
Judy Flom Hill
1962 Class Agent
Thank you, Judy, for, as always, writing such a readable and entertaining letter. We are certainly fortunate to have you as our class agent.
I consider it a privilege to serve on the Gustavus Alumni Board, with the key word being SERVE. My first communication of instruction regarding board membership told me that the mission of the Alumni Board is "to facilitate among former students lifelong relationships with Gustavus and each other...." For all these many years I have not paid much attention to our Alumni Board, what it does or doesn't do and who its members are. Now, as a member, I am learning and I'd like to share a few things with you.
My categorical mind has already arranged these words, "facilitate...lifelong relationships...," into what I will call the Three Cs: Communication, Connection, Commitment. In this letter I'd like to talk about communication and in a later letter discuss connection and commitment.
In any relationship, communication is a key element. (As most of us know from marriage - and for some of us, marriages.) In facilitating communication among alumni as well as between alums and the Board and alums and Gustavus, we must be sure that each person knows how to obtain accurate information and how to effectively make his voice heard. In the Alumni board literature, item #23 says, "If you have a concern, tell the Alumni Office; if you have a compliment, tell everybody!" My desire is that every person be comfortable in contacting Gustavus, be it the Alumni Office, the Advancement Office, an Alumni Board member or the Office of the President.
Besides phones with 1-800 numbers, Gustavus has a web site: gustavus.edu. There is a lot of information there. I recently explored Hello Walk. Check it out. Click on "Contact Us." Look at the Alumni pages. Read about what is happening on campus.
One of the pleasures of serving on the board is the opportunity to return to campus. For me, being on campus, to feel that "atmosphere" that is Gustavus is always such an enriching and renewing experience. I was privileged to attend the 2003 Homecoming and reunion events. I particularly enjoyed being with the classes of '58 and '63 seeing friends in both classes.
The Class of '63 has, as we did, worked hard and given generously for their class gift. They, like us, established an endowment for a class scholarship. They raised more than $511,000 including nearly $30,000 for their scholarship and half again that amount pledged for its future. The scholarship will be awarded first in 2004. I am so pleased that the Class of '63, like us, has chosen to give the gift of Gustavus in perpetuity.
You have been consummately generous in your giving. I won't let you forget that the Class of '62 (you!!) made quite an impact at Gustavus. But let us not forget that we can and must sustain our giving. We must grow our scholarship endowment so that the dollar amount will eventually pay (wouldn't it be fantastic?!!) full tuition for a student-or maybe two students. Right now our scholarship recipient, Alexander Kestley '05, receives $3,500 (and we can be proud of ourselves for this). However, tuition, room and board per year (not including books and personal expenses) is $27,220!
I invite you to continue with your gifts. There are so many options open for gift designations. Of course, we want to grow our scholarship. We can also give in other areas.
This year, the 50th anniversary of the Alumni Fund, the goal is 50% participation. It is known as the 50 by 50 Campaign. Participation does not require a large gift. With regard to increasing the percentage of participation, I quote from the Gustavus web site, "Gifts to the Gustavus Alumni Fund need not be large to make a real difference in the lives of today's students. Ranking services like U.S. News and World Report use alumni giving as a measure of 'alumni satisfaction,' which is factored into their rankings. In addition, grant making organizations consider alumni participation when determining whether to make awards." I encourage you to help to raise the percentage figure, and I thank you for your participation.
Charlotte, North Carolina, October 18, 2003 was the first (known?) Carolina Gustie gathering. Gail Lindsey Breen and Norma Johnson Hein '53 worked with Gustavus staff to make it happen. There was a good turn out-from '02s to the class of '52. Steve Hogberg '69 was on hand to bring us current on Gustavus. He brought the video of the post-tornado campus. We compared notes on our adventures into southern vocabulary, cuisine, beverages and weather. And everyone seemed to have a good time. Special thanks to Gail and to her husband, Joe.
My best to you all and-
May da ruts always fid da wheels on yur pick-up
May yur ear muffs always keep out da nort wind
May da sun shine varm on yur lefsa
May da rain fall soft on yur lutefisk
And until ve meet again,
May da good Lord protect ya from any and all unnecessary Uff das.
Jan Eiffert Hoomani '62