Class of '63
November 2008

Volume 46, No. 1

Dear ’63ers,

We are now several months past our 45th reunion.  What a grand celebration!  We had such a great time celebrating with ample time to bring each other up-to-date on life events.  The nurses came out in full force to celebrate their careers and the recognition of “one of their own,” Barb Berry Leonard, who received a Distinguished Alumni Citation.  Lee Miller, of course, won the award for having come the longest distance… Denmark.  Other than just a slight Danish lilt in his speaking voice, he was still the same Lee.  Many thanks to all of you who made the special effort to come to the campus for these special days.  Of course, Mary Carlstrom Strand took dozens of pictures and my goal is to get them up on the Class of 1963 page on the Gustavus website.  As soon as I figure out how to do that, I will let you know.  Many thanks to the Reunion Committee who spent many hours making phone calls to classmates to encourage reunion attendance.  The reunion would not have been as successful without their work.  I am grateful for their help.

Classmates who attended the 45th Anniversary Reunion

  • Sandy Beehrle Ahlstrom
  • Roger N. Amdahl
  • Joyce Gulstrand Amdahl
  • Diane Hammargren Anderson
  • Gary F. Anderson
  • Mary Ann Carlson Anderson
  • Janet Gardner Anthony
  • David C. Arlander
  • Barbara Lindberg Arlander
  • Dave Baumann
  • Steve Benson
  • Susan Curnow Breedlove
  • Konnie Rickert Brunberg
  • Wayne Burmeister
  • Pat Findley Casto
  • Dorothy Jacobson Delegard
  • Char Luecke Engstrom
  • Edna Rask Erickson
  • Gretchen Bittrich Estergren
  • Heather Harshberger Fluck
  • Eunice Holm Fultz
  • Janet Bramsen Gerecke
  • Karen Hegland Hagen
  • Kay Johnson Hanson
  • Patrick Hart
  • Dick Hauck
  • Sherry Erkkila Hauck
  • Janet Heaberlin
  • Lawrence K. Hedlin
  • Wayne L. Henrikson
  • Mike P. Holm
  • Elli Gilbert Holt
  • Mary Bradford Ivey
  • Marietta Bittrich Johns
  • Abby Arthur Johnson
  • Barb Dahlin Johnson
  • Barbara K. Johnson
  • Brian R. Johnson
  • Jan Hultberg Johnson
  • Jeannine Brunskill Johnson
  • Ken Johnson
  • Ralph H. Johnson
  • Sandra Brown Johnston
  • Karen Lindborg Jonaitis
  • Ginny Larson Jones
  • Sharon Sampson Jordahl
  • Roger Josephson
  • Rose Omodt Jost
  • Darlene Youngquist Kress
  • Bill Lahti
  • Mary Sundberg Larson
  • Steven G. Larson
  • Barbara Berry Leonard
  • Carolyn Helgeson Liebenow
  • Judy Anderson Lindell
  • Thomas J. Lindell
  • John W. Lipke
  • Daniel A. Malloy
  • Dean McBride
  • Bonnie Lewis McClees
  • Lee A. Miller
  • John A. Monson
  • Helen Johnson Monson
  • Randy A. Nelson
  • Judy Magnuson Peterson
  • Sharon Shaver Pinney
  • Jerry Raedeke
  • Donna Mueller Renneke
  • Jerry D. Rice
  • Adeline Blotter Roadfeldt
  • William W. Rodman
  • Ruth Sammelson Rothchild
  • Claudia Hayden Schroeder
  • Joanne Urness Sorenson
  • Richard C. Strand
  • Mary Elizabeth Carlstrom Strand
  • Marlys Schneider Swenson
  • John K. V. Tammi
  • Fred E. Thunhorst
  • Janet Ryan Tidemann
  • Paul Tillquist
  • Ruth Anderson Tillquist
  • Karen Pierson Tommeraasen
  • Gary Vik
  • Christine Swenson Wilmot
  • Carole Rosenkrans Zacher

Many thanks to all of you who made a gift to Gustavus in celebration of our anniversary.  We had a record-breaking percentage of 71.2% of our classmates make a gift of record.  If we include all gifts given to Gustavus for the Gustavus Annual Fund, designated gifts, capital gifts, endowment gifts, matching gifts, and pledged, a total of $191,557 was given to Gustavus.  The Class of 1963 Endowment Fund grew by $10,325 in additional gifts and the market value of the Fund is just under $50,000.  Since our graduation 45 years ago, the Class of 1963, as of June 1, 2008, has given $1,671,920.20.  One last number in the blizzard of numbers, a number of you have reported including Gustavus in your estate plans and the dollar amount of declared estate intentions is $526,500.  My hope is that all of us will include Gustavus in our estate plan for some amount at some time.  If you want more information about how to accomplish that goal, just let me know.


The biggest news from the campus is the arrival of our new president, Jack Ohle.  He came to Gustavus after having served for 10 years as the president of Wartburg College in Waverly, IA.  Prior to that, he was the vice president for advancement at Drake University in Des Moines.  I have met him several times and he is a ball of energy.  He left just yesterday for Sweden where he will be meeting with alumni and friends of Gustavus.  Our relationship with Sweden has grown markedly in the last 4-5 years, not the least because our current vice president for advancement, Thomas Young ’88, who speaks fluent Stockholm dialect.  It makes quite a difference to have a person speak the language when setting up appointments for the president.

Twin Cities Gustie Breakfasts

Join other Minneapolis/St. Paul area Gusties for a morning cup of coffee and breakfast while getting an update on Gustavus.  The group meets the third Wednesday of each month.  November’s presenter will be Tom Young ’88, vice president for institutional advancement.  Here are the details:  Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Boulevard (Hwy. 394 & Hwy. 100)  Third Wednesday of the month - 8-9:30 a.m.  Cost is $10 per person.  Reserve a spot by calling Don Swanson ’55 at:  763-533-9083.

Nobel Conference ― Who Were the First Humans?

Nobel Conference XLIV held Oct. 7 and 8, 2008 focused on the first humans.  Presenters considered the full range of recent evidence about the first modern humans going beyond archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to the work of biologists, climatologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and psychologists who have been adding to the scientific database.

Twin Cities lecture on international terrorism

Dr. Magnus Ranstorp ’85, research director for the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm, Sweden, will present a public lecture titled, “The Threat of Global Terrorism,” on Thursday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m., at Interlachen Country Club, 6200 Interlachen Blvd., Edina, MN.  Ranstorp, who will be in the United States to cover the presidential election for Swedish television, will address some of the key terrorism trends and challenges for the next U.S. presidency.  He will also be presented a Gustavus Distinguished Alumni Citation in international relations.  RSVP to the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-487-8437.

Need medical insurance?

Are you between jobs?  Self-employed?  Not covered by an employer health plan?  If you need health insurance you can find the right coverage for yourself and your family through the alumni association.  Whether you need temporary or permanent coverage, please visit to learn more about the range of coverage options available.

The Linnaeus Arboretum's 2009 calendar is available now for purchase

The calendar features the photography of Anders Björling ’58 and phenological notes by naturalist, Jim Gilbert ’62.  You can purchase your copy for $16 ($15 for current members of Friends of Linnaeus Arboretum).  Please add $3 per calendar for shipping and handling.  Checks should be payable to Linnaeus Arboretum Calendar and mailed to:  Linnaeus Arboretum Calendar, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN  56082.  (Contact Shirley,, 507-933-6181 with questions.)

Legacy Award for Gustavus admission

The Gustavus Legacy Award was created for new students whose siblings are current Gustavus students or graduates or whose parents or grandparents are Gustavus alumni.  Renewable awards of $2,500 per year are given to scholarship recipients who have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5 or an ACT of 26 or 1170 (Critical Reading + Math) on the SAT.  For more information, contact the Admission Office at 800/GUSTAVU(S).

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Twin Cities Lecture, “The Threat of Global Terrorism,” Dr. Magnus Ranstorp ’85 - Nov. 6
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Thomas Young ’88 - Nov. 19
  • Christmas in Christ Chapel – Joyeux Noel - December 5-7
  • St. Lucia Day – December 11
  • Twin Cities Gustie Breakfast, Steve Kjellgren ’86 - Dec. 1


SUSAN CURNOW BREEDLOVE received an award for her work in the Minneapolis Public Schools.  A portion of her citations reads as follows:  “Susan Breedlow is known to many as a pillar of the North Minneapolis community.  She engages with community life on every level―-she has lived, taught, raised a family, advocated for environmental, educational and social justice, documented community history, and been a keeper of the culture on the North Side for all of her adult life.  Although retired from teaching at Patrick Henry High School, Ms. Breedlove is a central figure in the Henry Community both as a reserve teacher and volunteer.”  CLAUDIA HAYDEN SCHROEDER and Jim returned for the reunion.  A news note with her Gustavus Annual Fund gift said:  “I’m excited to return to the lovely campus on the hill where so many fond memories were made.  45 years is unbelievable.  Life has been full, rich and happy.  I’ve married, taught school, had two daughters, six grandchildren, and retired.  Life remains full and busy with daily rewards and joys.”  ROBERT “BUD” EKSTRUM was unable to come to the reunion.  He is still working part-time and plays a bunch of golf.  He has four grandchildren and hopes to see some of them go to Gustavus.

SANDY JOHNSON COMMERS had retired from coordinating Title 1 and special education in the Robbinsdale School District.  However, the siren call of teaching was too great so she is back teaching at Highview Alternative High School two days a week.  She also spends two days a week babysitting with her grandchildren so she has no time to get into trouble.  MARY CARLSTROM STRAND also failed retirement and is back to working with gifted and talented students as a part-time volunteer.  NANCY JOHNSON KNOELL is enjoying ten grandchildren in her blended family.  KONNIE RICKERT BRUNBERG stays very busy as a volunteer at Healtheast Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, and Joseph’s Coat.  They spent time at their cabin on Lake Minniebelle near Litchfield and winter in Oceanside, CA.

SHARON SHAVER PINNEY retired from Le Sueur County Public Health.  She serves on the Le Sueur Food Shelf Board, Aging Services Board and the Region 9 Area Agency on Aging Board.  If that wasn’t enough, she is active in her church, a home extension club, Rotary, and the Red Hat Society.  GORDON (FROM STORDEN) and SHARON (BAUER) THOMPSON after living in the San Diego area for 30 years moved to Corvallis, OR where they are close to children and grandchildren.  They are busy with various activities through Oregon State University and community projects.  ROGER JOSEPHSON spent the month of July in China with Concordia College’s Global Language Villages teaching English at a school in Jiaxing near Shanhei.  The students were 14-16 years old.  It was a great experience except for the summer heat.  Jiaxing has a climate similar to Savannah, Georgia.  Before and after the language camp there was time to see some of the traditional tourist sites near Beijing.

STEVE LARSON was back from Texas for the reunion.  He enjoys living in Austin, TX where he has therapy practice in the county jail, and loves Longhorn basketball!!!   GLORIA SAFFEL MUELLER works part-time as a nurse in a nursing home in Hendricks, MN.  KENT NAKAMARU has sold his dental practice and will work part-time in the practice because he still enjoys dentistry.  He looks forward to being able to travel and seeing children in Boston and Arlington, VA.  Grandchildren in Boston are the real attraction!!  Last year he traveled to South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia.  Last year he also got to see Dave and Barb (Lindberg) Arlander who were visiting in Kona and also usually sees Bruce Olson ’65 who visits Kona every year.  Although Kent couldn’t make it to the reunion, he wishes everyone a fond “Aloha!!” 

FRED THUNHORST has been retired since 2002 after nearly 34 years with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and spent his entire career in Ely.  Fred and Diane (Skalbeck ’62) still reside in Ely except for winter months in McAllen, TX.  PAT FINDLEY CASTO remains busy with volunteering, some traveling and a lot of “Let the dog out!  Let the dog in!”  She is also busy trying to downsize and thin-out years of accumulated “treasures.”  Says Pat, “I have gremlins in my office room who appear to fill up the shelves and spaces I have laboriously emptied.”

SANDY HARLAN TANDLER retired early due to a back injury.  “Husband, Bill, should retire, but typical of Silicon Valley mentality, he is still working and introducing new products.  Son, Julian works for the family business.  Both children are married, but no grandchildren, yet.”  DOUG ROSZELL retired from the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City in 2003.  He continues to work part time doing psychiatric disability evaluations.  He is active with summer and winter sports activities including hiking, mountain biking, Alpine and cross country skiing as well as snowshoeing.  BO COTE and Cheryl have finally caught up with the rest of us in that with Alex’s graduation from Aspen (Colorado) High School they are finally “Empty Nesters!”  Bo’s son is a sophomore at Gustavus.

NORMA SAARI JOHNSON is enjoying retirement following her work as a media specialist in the Richfield, MN schools.  They spent 4-5 months each winter in Mesa, AZ.  They are hoping that some of their grandchildren will attend Gustavus.  She has great memories of living at Hill House with some of the Class of 1963’s smartest and most talented coeds!!!  CHARLENE LUNDAHL NORRIS and Lyle ’62 spent time between Arizona, Colorado, and Minnesota.  She promises to attend the 50th reunion!!!  LARRY OLSON has retired from teaching at Arkansas State University.  During his career he taught 13,356 students and had over 300 advisees who were pre-professional students in medicine, dentistry, and optometry.  He enjoys golf, is still a die-hard Vikings/Twins fan and has averaged walking 6 miles a day for the last 33 years!!!!!  He still misses living in Minnesota…at least in the summer months!!

KAREN PIERSON TOMMERAASEN sent along a sad note:  “On May 14 our son Erik, 38, died from a massive heart attack, the result of being Type 1 diabetic since the age of 17 months.  He’d had a difficult life with challenges associated with the disease.  However, his last two years had been a better life as he was working in construction of ethanol plants in southwestern Minnesota, raising his two teen-age sons, and he’d found a meaningful relationship with a wonderful woman. I, (like Claudia’s warning about carbon monoxide), caution everyone who has been trained, as we had, to watch for kidney problems, retinopathy, and small blood vessel problems, to be even more watchful for heart disease in both types of diabetes.”  Our deepest sympathy to Karen and her family.

That’s all the news for now.  Keep the news coming.  It was so much fun to get longer news notes from you last year which I included in the class letters.  It’s very helpful to me to get those longer notes as attachments or included in e-mails because I can easily include them in the letters.  Sooo, even though this is not a reunion year, I hope that you will continue to send me reports of what you are doing so that I can include them in the letters.

A word about the Gustavus Annual Fund.  I am hoping that each of you will continue to make your annual gifts.  I realize that the downturn in the economy affects all of us.  As you have heard me say, however, for now 46 years, it is participation that really counts.  So, I am hoping that you will make a gift this year and be counted as a donor for the Class of 1963.  Who knows, maybe we can even surpass our participation from 71.2% last year.

You are the greatest!!!

Paul F. Tillquist, Class Agent

Class of 1963