Class of 1962
Sesquicentennial Year- 150 and Counting
Reunion dates- May 25-26, 2012
Y’ALL COME, YA HEAR!!!
by Mark Skoog
Greetings to all members of our special class of Gusties: The Class of 1962.
As you all know, we are rapidly approaching the 50th reunion of our college graduation. Wow! Where have the years gone? We members of the reunion planning committee, want all of you to mark your calendars NOW (Yes, go get your calendar) to hold next May 25, 26, 27 as very important days in your 2012 schedule. You see, we want every one of us that can physically travel, to plan to be on campus for a tremendous diversity of events being planned for that three-day reunion weekend.
Why is our class special? There are so many reasons, and examples will come to you in the way of more frequent newsletters leading up to our special 50th reunion. Here are several reasons why we are special and why you should make every effort to be with us for all the fun. First, and foremost, we want to see each other and mix and talk to friends we haven’t seen for years.
Now, most of our class graduated from a Minnesota high school in June of 1958. Do you remember that Minnesota was established as a state in 1858? That is what makes us the “Centennial” graduating class of all Minnesota high schools. Wait: It gets better! Do you remember that Gustavus Adolphus College was established in a one-building campus in Red Wing, Minnesota, in 1862? Well that makes our “Class of 1962” a Centennial class of the Gustavus Adolphus College. BUT, when you add our 50 years from our graduation, we will be back on campus at the 150 year point! Yes, that is a special time for our Alma mater. Gustavus will be celebrating its SESQUICENTENNIAL and we, the Class of 1962, are a very special part of the pending celebrations. Truly, the SESQUICENTENNIAL is wonderful for all 150 Gustavus graduating classes, but who can match us? Now, that is several reasons we want the best attendance at this reunion that we have ever had!!!!!
Many of the other reasons that we are special will be coming in subsequent newsletters, and there are some very wonderful facts to share about our “giving back” to our college with thanks for all the good friends, memories, and the wonderful education that we received and shared to help us through these many years. Do save the dates in next May: May 25, 26, and 27, and DO plan to join us for a very special gathering. Y’ALL COME, YA HEAR!!!!!!!!!!
News & Update From the Reunion Committee
by Audrey Kylander Kramer
Our Mark Skoog is right; we do have a very special Class Reunion coming up in May of 2012. Your Class of ʼ62 Reunion Committee recommends that you make your reservations now at The Hilton Garden Inn in Mankato at 1-507-344-1111. A block of 25 rooms have been set aside for our class at a price of $99 per night. What a bargain! Just mention that you are part of the Gustavus Class of ʼ62 for this special rate. Two other locations available are the Holiday Inn Express 1-800-315-2621 in Mankato or the Best Western in Mankato 1-507-625-9333.
Also, as Mark mentioned you will be receiving our newsletters or mailings frequently this coming year, so classmates, we would like you to consider sending in any reflective articles, reminiscent stories of Gustavus days, updates on where you are now living, feature articles on how you spend these care-free retirement days or still seriously-working days, or articles focused on your talents and interests and how they are enriching your life as well as “other topics” of your choice. Also, feel welcome to send photos. Please forward articles or photos to Sharon, email@example.com or Jan, firstname.lastname@example.org , or email@example.com. We love hearing from every one of you as do our classmates who enjoy them through reading your stories and articles!!!!!
My own little Swedish vignette: This past winter Lou Ann Eckberg Reese and her husband, Larrie, visited New York City, having had a fabulous time. Since I made plans to go to NY City for late June the 23rd, I needed ideas on what to do there. Lou Ann sent me her list of “to do in New York City” and Lou Ann and I have subsequently shared our mutual joys of seeing this great, iconic city. After having been to Ellis Island, (the port of entry between 1892 and 1924) as Lou Ann had suggested, and after finding my father’s name on the granite wall of immigrants, I felt my Swedish roots more intensely, from just having been exactly where my father arrived in 1912 to enter the USA (and later heading for Minnesota).
An interesting surprise greeted my cousin and me as we disembarked from the ferry boat ride that had taken us to and from Ellis Island. Right there next to the ferry dock, in Wagner Park, we came upon the Swedes of New York City celebrating Midsummer, June 23rd, on the southern tip of lower Manhattan. Ironically the fiddlers and a soloist from our own Minneapolis, MN, American Swedish Institute were providing the music for the May pole dances! Wagner Park is on the Hudson River shoreline and looks straight out toward Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty where over the years, so many Swedes and other immigrants have apprehensively, but courageously entered our country. (The Swedish meatballs and white potatoes were delicious too!)
Some other news among our classmates: I attended Sandy Berge Bearson's 71st birthday celebration which had a special twist. It was also Sandy’s “moving away” party. Since her son, Darren Bearson had been transferred to Columbus, Ohio, he and his family insisted that Sandy move with them so that Sandy can continue to enjoy being a constant part of Darren’s family’s life. Darren has two children who Sandy considers to be the world’s greatest grandchildren. Solveig Overdahl Goldstrand attended Sandy’s party as well. Solveig is very involved with her own many grandchildren, and continues to enjoy retired living in Plymouth, MN with her husband, Joel Goldstrand. Another Gustie attending this gathering was JoAnn Olson Ree who came to say farewell to Sandy and happy birthday as well. JoAnn continues to live in Maple Plain, MN and she, too, spends much of her retired time attending her granddaughter’s special events and other family gatherings.
We have had Theodore Stoneberg reporting in to us recently. He and his wife, Carla (Johnson ʼ64), wrote from McCordsville, IN where they are happily enjoying retirement. One of the reasons they are so contented is that they are living near enough to their daughter and her husband, that they can fully enjoy their four grandsons. Wow! Is that ever nice for Ted and Carla to have four grandboys with whom to share their lives. We hope you can be here in Minnesota for our 50th Class Reunion.
We are very happy to have heard from Gerald Swanson who is currently living in Kansas City, MO, and he says that his family is proud to announce the arrival of a new grandchild, making a total of three grandchildren. Congratulations, Gerald! Children in our lives are the greatest gift of all, as you well know, having had three grandchildren already. We hope you are now fully recovered from your hip replacement surgery, and that you are back to the full use of that limb. Gerald, we also hope to see you at our 50th reunion.
The latest word from our remarkable class leader, Jan Eiffert Hoomani, is that she is on her way to St. Louis, Missouri, where she plans to visit with her daughter, Kate, son-in-law, John, and her grandsons, Ian and Simon, who recently moved there from San Antonio. Jan is looking forward to seeing the boy’s new school, the kids’ new work place and the family’s new home. This is a very special trip in another way for Jan−many years ago she lived in St. Louis and her niece graduated from Washington University, which is now Katie and John’s new employer.
Dr. Kay Jurgenson had a once in a lifetime opportunity this spring. She was reunited this May in California with her Philippine students of some 45 years ago. The students who managed to locate their former teacher, several of whom are now US citizens, wanted to see their former English and drama teacher because, in the coming year, they would like to attempt to relive and revive a play which Kay had written for her students when the students were yet about high school age. No theater had ever taken place in Zamboanga City, Philippines, before Kay arrived, sent by the Peace Corps. Kay’s response to their wishes: “We will see what God wants−I must say I cannot do what I used to do.” Yes, we can identify with those words, Kay. What you did and are doing for your Philippine students makes me think of the song that I just heard in New York City while I listened to the musical, “Wicked”−the words are from the song, “For Good” “.....because I knew you, because I knew you, I have been changed−for good.” I’m sure your former students feel these words when they think about you, Kay. (YouTube, of course, has this unique song available to anyone who hasn’t heard it or wants to hear it again and again.)
Retired and Living in St. Peter
by Kay Estesen Mowbray
My husband and I spent 20 years living and working in the Twin Cities, and then were transferred to Watertown, South Dakota. When retirement time came we chose to move to St. Peter because living there gave us two things: nearness to our children and a chance to spend our retirement years enjoying campus opportunities as well as giving back to Gustavus in any way we could. When I was asked what it is like to retire and be near Gustavus, my first thoughts are that to live here is:
- to quilt at church with Bea Martinson (widow of Dr. Floyd Martinson who taught sociology)
- to pick up Vic Gustafson ʼ42 for church each Sunday morning (age 94)
- to sit in campus classes with Dr. Erling ʼ43 and his wife
- to shop in the Gustavus Book Mark store
- to view the current art exhibits at the Hillstrom Museum
- to go for coffee in the 'caf'
- to walk in the Linnaeus Arboretum on campus
- to have Elaine Brostrom (Milt ʼ49), Ursula McRostie (Clair ʼ52), Corinne Chilstrom (Herb), Kris Ohle (Jack) and Jan Swanson (Kermit) as fellow P.E.O. members (Philanthropic Educational Organization−raises funds for loans to low-income women−I have been privileged to enjoy being president for two years).
When we first moved here to St. Peter in 2003, the college and the church we joined became our sources of connection to this location. We found there were so many events open to us “on the hill.” The faculty recitals, student recitals, orchestra, band, and choir concerts were all open and free for community members to attend. In addition, as we are now considered “seniors,” all of the sporting events are open and free. We’ve attended basketball, football, and hockey games. Dale, my husband, has stopped to watch softball and baseball games being played. He has also enjoyed playing both indoor and outdoor tennis on the campus.
Being in such close proximity to the college, I have attended the past three Nobel Conferences. There is opportunity to attend seminars and adult education courses on campus. We took part in a six-week series on the Dead Sea Scrolls last year as well as another one-day seminar. In almost every one of the classes I have taken, Dr. Bernard Erling and his wife, Marilyn, are also students. The presenter of one of the classes was Dr. Erazim Kohak who was a professor at Gustavus when we were here.
Dining at Gustavus is another plus! Besides the grand events, like the Christmas in Christ Chapel banquet, or the Sankta Lucia banquet, we feel free to dine there any time we choose. There is the cafeteria with many food choices or the more formal buffet room−both with delicious offerings.
I have found the college food service to be very professional. We held a family reunion gathering in a dining room there last summer. They served us a buffet supper of our menu selections in a lovely private dining room. There could not have been a better choice for our happy event.
Our church also benefits from having Gustavus up “on the hill.” Our Sunday adult forums are enhanced by the presentations of the professors from the college. Our committees, council, and choir benefit from dedicated, talented persons employed at the college. Gustavus’ catering service is a resource not to be overlooked either.
As part of the St. Peter Reads Program, which is a joint venture between the college and the community, I have been introduced to books I would not otherwise have read and then have the privilege of hearing the authors speak. For me, a reader, this is a wonderful opportunity. The St. Peter Reads Program is the organization which selects a book for Gustavus freshmen to read before they come into our community.
We found St. Peter to be such a welcoming community. I don’t know if the presence of Gustavus makes it so, but the feeling is the same whether I am at a college function or downtown taking care of business. It is a feeling of friendliness that makes one happy to be living here.
by John Lundblad
I’ve been practicing law for 45 years, first in Jackson, MN, and now in Northfield. After so many years, apparently, I can’t get it right, so I will have retired from law “practice” by 6-30-11. I’m not renewing my license, thereby, avoiding someone accusing me of continuing to try. I will however, continue my mediation business through which I teach mediation skills courses. I also mediate disputes and will continue to do both on a limited basis.
I plan to continue to travel, will get more into the reading I’ve neglected for years, golf more (my version is not a pretty sight), do more downhill skiing and, though not at the same time, enjoy warmer climes during Minnesota’s 10-month winters. I’ll probably do some volunteer work once I find where I might be helpful. I’ve been involved in organizations for the “aging” (maturing adults and those younger in need of focused care) on local, state, and national boards since 1975. I may need some of those services one day, and I hope I’ve helped improve life for them in some small way for the benefit of many.
I started my hobby, metal detecting, 10+ years ago, hunting locally, in Florida, in Hawaii, and England so far. FYI to anyone remotely interested−the detector is like a Geiger counter−handle connected to a battery operated computer monitor, connected to a shaft to a round/elliptical coil which sends out sonar-like beams to locate objects. Metal detecting is relaxing, therapeutic, and exciting all at the same time. No TV, no radio, and no phones−just the low hum of the detector headphones and the anticipation of good “beeps” and recovering the “treasures.” I’ve found rings, watches, and lots of currency on the beaches and in the water (I don’t fear sharks; they’d sense I’m a lawyer and would just swim in circles around me to protect a colleague).
I go with friends to England where we hunt in places where English law allows metal detecting. These are Celtic, Roman, Viking, and English sites that are long abandoned, but contain known historic roads, villages, temples, churches where I’ve found Roman bronze and Roman silver coins dated from 100 to 400 A.D. left behind during Roman occupation of England. I found a Roman “Republic”coin from about 100 B.C. which somehow found its way to England and was lost there. Last year I discovered a Celtic silver coin from about 150 B.C. I have lots of hand hammered silver English, Scottish, and European coins from 500 to 1700 A.D. as well as more modern coins, too, along with old artifacts−buttons, buckles, pins, tokens, weights, etc. Cumulatively, there is not enough value to significantly fund my retirement, so I continue on my Plan B retirement investments−Power Ball, Gopher Five, for example, and am waiting impatiently for returns.
Some local metal detecting resulted in a bit of fun−I received a call from a friend wanting help finding a valuable (to him, apparently) scissors he lost while mulching his yard. It took about five minutes to locate the buried scissors for which he says he is forever indebted to me and says I have free, unlimited ping pong privileges in his basement game room. Priceless!
I plan to be at our ʼ62 Class Reunion next year and am looking forward to a great time.
Until then, peace and health to everyone. John Lundblad
On Aging...Words of Wisdom from the 60's!
“By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere.”
“We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.” ~Will Rogers
“I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.”
“Maybe it’s true that life begins at fifty, but everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out."
“There is still no cure for the common birthday.”
Chor Leoni in Vancouver
by Linda Johnson Blanding, Sharon Maurer Edberg (as related to Audrey Kylander Kramer)
Linda and her husband, Dick, recently visited their son, Eric, and his wife, Kathleen, in Seattle. Eric’s profession is software systems engineering, which offers the pleasant option of being able to work from his home. More specifically, he works from his large deck overlooking Lake Washington and the Seattle skyscrapers.
On the train from Seattle to Canada, Linda and Dick rendezvoused with two other Gustie couples, Judy Flom Hill and her husband, George, as well as Sharon Maurer Edberg and husband, Gordy Edberg. The Hills had just been hosted by the Edbergs at the Edberg home on Whidby Island, WA. These six good friends then began a three day party, while enjoying the beautiful scenery as the train traveled up the coast to Vancouver, B.C.
The purpose of their travel to Vancouver was to experience the wonderful musical sound of the world famous chorus, Chor Leoni, directed by our internationally acclaimed classmate, Diane Kolander Loomer. Each June, Diane’s Chor Leoni chorus gives a spectacular, special summer performance. This year the theme was based on eight decades of quartet history, including none other than the little known Millionaires’ Quartet of the ʼ60s. Appearing in full costume were Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis, and many other familiar singers of the past. The stage was set up outdoors, tent style, with the back of the stage open to the waters behind. The men appeared to rise up out of the waters and onto the stage, as the chorus began singing. Throughout the performance, chorus members, including Dick Loomer ʼ60, constantly changed costumes and choreography in order to replicate the many eras of past quartet fashion and form. The performance was amazing to see, and beautiful to hear!
At the end of the program, the audience rose to their feet in appreciation of the dynamic choral event by Chor Leoni. As you all remember, Diane is an acknowledged leader of choral music in Canada where she has been the recipient of several choral music-based awards in the past and continues to receive them now. She has been presented with the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor given; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal; and this year an Honorary Doctorate by the University of British Columbia! (See news release below.) We all send proud congratulations to Diane, our Gustavus classmate, and Dick, her leadership partner, for their miraculous accomplishments in music for Canada!!!
The day after this fabulous chorus performance, Diane joined the six travelers for a delightful afternoon lunch. It was there that they met Loomer’s son, Dan, and his daughter, Ella. Diane’s hubby, Dr. Dick Loomer, was able to join them for a short visit after their lunch. Remarkably, son, Dan, told about how he and Dick still climb to the top of steep mountain areas with cleated slippers over their boots and skis on their backs. From the top of the mountain, they then ski to the bottom. Talk about aerobic exercise at the max! Here it is! Way to be, Dick! It was a great visit with all the Loomers, with so many laughs as they renewed old memories of times together at good ol’ GAC!
FYI, you too can hear Diane’s chorus if you go onto the Internet, access “YouTube,” then enter “Chor Leoni,” and very quickly on your computer screen will appear many choices of various performances the chorus has done. The day I accessed Chor Leoni, there was a particularly unique clip of the chorus performing choral music while competing in a curling event on the ice floor. That action included Diane working the curling stick as well all the while the chorus continues to sing!!!
Here they are pictured L to R: Linda Johnson Blanding, Diane Kolander Loomer, Sharon Maurer Edberg and Judy Flom Hill.
News Release from UBC:
Vancouver’s Diane Loomer Receives Honorary Degree From UBC
Chor Leoni Men’s Choir is thrilled to announce that on May 25, 2011, the University of British Columbia honored Diane Loomer with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa in recognition of her life-long dedication to choral music.
Diane Loomer, C.M. is a recipient of the Order of Canada, the director and founder of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, co-founder of EnChor Chamber Choir, and is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading musicians. Her choral compositions have been published and recorded internationally, and she frequently appears on CBC national radio as a spokesperson for the classical arts. She has taught on the Music Faculty of the University of British Columbia. The first woman to conduct the National Youth Choir of Canada, Ms. Loomer received the Healey Willan Award in 1990 for her service to choral music in British Columbia; in 1994 she was named YWCA Vancouver’s Woman of Distinction for Arts and Culture; and in 1997 and 2004 received Distinguished Alumni Awards honoring her achievements. In 2002, she was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for her significant contribution to Canada’s culture.
The following year, Ms. Loomer was appointed by the University of Victoria to the University Women’s Scholar Lecture Series, and in 2005 was appointed conductor emerita at Dalhousie University. In 2008 she was named a Paul Harris Fellow to the International Rotary Foundation for her tangible and significant assistance for furthering better understanding among peoples of the world, and in 2010 the Association of Canadian Choral Communities presented Diane with their Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her work promoting choral music in Canada.
“I was thrilled to receive an honorary doctorate from my Alma mater,” said an excited Diane, “but also to know that UBC has recently been named as one of the top 50 universities in the world. Such recognition is both humbling and exhilarating.”
The text of Diane’s address to the UBC Spring Congregation of 2011 may be read at:
No winner of “Name That Classmate” Contest yet.
For those who would like the correct answers (to the pictures on the following page):
1. Rolf Nelson
2. Nancy Larson Kruse
3. Joan Henes Chesley
4. Margaret “Peggy” Helvig Sediva
5. JoAnn Olson Ree
6. Gail Nelson Helgeson
7. Carolynn Wahlstrom Rowell
8. Linda Jones Lawrence
9. Jan Helgeson Olson
10. Matt Eckman
11. Norm Anderson
Many thanks to the following classmates for sharing your involved stories, thoughts and ideas, and experiences with us in this issue: Mark Skoog, Kay Estesen Mowbray, John Lundblad, Dr. Kay Jurgenson, Linda Johnson Blanding, Sharon Maurer Edberg, and Jan Eiffert Hoomani.
Ole and Lena jokes come from the paperback, More Ole and Lena Jokes by E. C. Red Stangland’s, Sioux Falls: Norse Press,1987.
Y’ALL COME, YA HEAR!!!!!
TO OUR 50TH REUNION AS GUSTAVUS ACHIEVES SESQUICENTENNIAL HISTORY!