Class of '63
December 2005

Volume 43, Number 1

Hi y’all ’63ers!!!

Well, you know what paves the road to hell . . . good intentions . . . I think that this is about the latest that I have ever written a class letter.  Sorry about that.  I am only happy that Gustavus sends email to those who subscribe, a great Quarterly, and I think that they even send a class letter for me since I was so delinquent. 


I can’t really add much to the news from the campus since you have all just gotten the Quarterly. I hope that all of you will have a chance to visit the campus and, when you do, go and see the new Southwest Residence Hall.  It is quite a stunning addition to the campus.  And, of course, you can see the little space that was once occupied by Wahlstrom Hall.  Can’t believe that such a big building was built on such a small space!

The Gustavian Weekly of December 2 had a couple of interesting headlines. 

“Booking the perfect connection for the community”

This story described the experience of the “Reading in Common Program” and the use of the book The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  The book was chosen for the entire campus to read as part of classes and discussion groups.  It may be one of the largest book clubs in Nicollet County!  For those of you who participate in book clubs, you know what fun they are.  Well, imagine a book club the size of the entire Gustavus community!  An exciting ingredient was added to the program with the appearance of the author in Minnetonka.  Buses took several hundred students to hear the author of this, his first book.  I have read the book.  It is a great read!!

“Over-booked and feeling the squeeze”

The current academic year opened with residence hall occupancy at 102% due to the largest first-year class in history and a smaller number of students declining enrollment.  Predicting enrollment is a combination of experience, prayer, and magic!  The admission office receives thousands of applications for admission since a student can now apply on-line at no fee.  While a non-refundable fee is due on May 1, the admission office usually projects some shrinkage through the summer.  This year: large number of acceptances and very little shrinkage!  All students were accommodated, but things are tight!!

“Cinderella Story”

After a successful soccer season, the Gusties found themselves at the doorstep of their first-ever National Championship.  They had beaten Hope, Wheaton, Loras, Fredonia State, and Whitworth colleges.  They lost in the final game to Messiah University from Pennsylvania to take second in the nation for Division III soccer!  Go Gusties!!

Christmas in Christ Chapel played to full houses for five services the first week in December.  It was a beautiful service in the Chapel.  We have attended most of the Christmas programs at surrounding colleges, but the Chapel remains the very best venue to celebrate the coming of Christmas.

The News

Some sad news to report.  First, our classmate and friend, Dale Carlson, died on June 22.  On April 8, 2005, he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.  Surgery was not possible and radiation and chemo were begun on June 1.  He had a severe reaction to the treatments.  He had wanted to treat the cancer aggressively as he wanted to be one of the 30 percent who live for three years after being diagnosed.  Our sympathy to his wife, Mata, and four children.  We also received news of the death of Karen Peterson Zilliox on September 23, 2005.  I do not know of the details surrounding her death.  Our sympathy also to Karen’s family.

Eden Hutabarat keeps me up-to-date via email on his life.  In August he had a lump removed, but his prognosis is good.  Nancy Beck Strom retired in December 2003 from 22 years as a Dakota County reference and children’s librarian.  She is operating her own business “Tahitian Noni Juice.” You can learn more about it at  She was happy to have a nephew choose to go to Gustavus. They are enjoying a daughter-in-law and grandson living with them while their son is taking language training in California awaiting deployment.   Steve Larson was in China in November 2005 as part of a National Association of Marriage and Family Therapy delegation.  Mary Lou Hawkinson Freeman is in her 12th year serving in the Iowa Legislature.  She has served for the past three years as chair of the Natural Resource Committee.  She has children and ten grandchildren scattered between Maine, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Iowa.  Mark Gilderhus teaches at Texas Christian University.  He has not been on the campus since his daughter, Kiki, graduated in 1991. He still remembers those first few weeks as a freshman on the campus and meeting the likes of Rod Davis, David Harrington, and Bernard Erling!  Carol Webster checked in from California. She retired from Valencia High School in 2003. She is now working part-time for Fullerton College teaching Business Calculus and part-time for Cal State University Fullerton where she works with student teachers in mathematics.  She plans to work for another two years and then looks forward to travel, golf, and time in Palm Springs.  Gary F. Anderson retired for about 30 minutes as a parish pastor and was immediately called to be an interim chaplain/pastor at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

That’s all the news that I have.   Email is a great way to keep us all informed about travels, grandchildren, and books you have been reading, etc.  It only takes a minute.  My e-mail address is at the bottom of this letter.

Some Stuff

Chocolate Mass (Try this on a friend)

“Pick the number of times a week you would like to have chocolate.  More than once, but less than 10.  Multiply that number by 2.  Add 5.  Multiply by 50.  Add 1755 to the number.  Subtract the four digit year that you were born.  This should be a 3 digit number.  The first digit is the original number of how many times you want to have chocolate.  The next two digits equal your age.”  If you want to know how this works, you need to send me an email with some news for the next letter and I will send you the explanation!!!

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they

carried us. (not our family!)

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored

lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we

rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took


As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. 

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE

actually died from this. 

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but

we weren’t overweight because


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back

when the streetlights came on. 

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down

the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the

bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, and no video games at all, no

99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell

phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat

rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no

lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,

made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang

the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t

had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They

actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers

and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned

How to Deal with it All!!

Well, that’s it for now.  It is soon the end of the tax year. . .still time to send a gift to the Alumni Fund and have the charitable deduction for 2005.  Thank you to the many who responded to the student phonorama of a few weeks ago.  According to the Annual Fund Office, this was a record setting year for a student phonorama.  Your responses were great!  I keep hoping that we might sometime reach the goal of 100 percent participation.

Thanks for your continued friendship and support.  Blessings to all of you for a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!  Keep those mails coming.

Paul Tillquist

79 Pleasant Lake Road East

St. Paul, MN  55127