Class of ’63

June 2013

50-Year Reunion ― May 31 – June 1, 2013

"Remember, Reflect, Renew"

Gustavus Class of 1963 Newsletter-50th Reunion Edition

June 2013

The class of 1963 had a wonderful and very fun fiftieth reunion May 31-June 2.  Ninety-eight of our classmates attended with a total of 146 including spouses, an excellent response.  Many people were responsible for the great weekend.  We want especially to thank Ginny Larson Jones, the chief executive of the celebration.  Below is an article from her highlighting the great time that was had by all.

Dear Classmates,

Our wonderful fifty year class reunion is over.  I have two regrets; that we can't do it all over again and I didn’t have a chance to have more time to hear your stories.  It was just a little over a week ago we drove down to St. Peter and up the hill to the campus to relive some of the memories that started 50 years ago.  When Paul “Tilly” and I started talking about the reunion, almost a year and a half ago, our goal was to have it be fun and inclusive.  From my perspective, it was both.  The chilly weather outside was quite a contrast to the warmth and laughter inside.

On Friday I stood overlooking the area where people arrived to check in and get their schedules.  The laughter, hugs, and “Oh, it’s so good to see you.” was a great beginning to our time together.  Thank you Barb Lindberg Arlander, Judy Anderson Lindell and Diane Hammargren Anderson, our welcomers.  To see the large number of people returning to celebrate our reunion was the result of callers across the country.  Mim Larson Stohl and Jan (Hultberg) and Brian Johnson were in charge of getting those phone lines buzzing.  It worked.

We began our day with the Memorial service, in beautiful Christ Chapel, to remember the 48 classmates who have died.  The service included the able leadership of Randy Nelson, Liz Stohl Baugh, at the piano, Abby Arthur Johnson giving an exceptional homily, Marietta Bittrich Johns and Gretchen Bittrich Estergren singing a duet, and the Singers of ʼ63, directed by Sandi Svendsen Nelsen.  One singer commented, “I’ve always wanted to sing in this chapel but wasn’t in the choir.  What a great opportunity.”

During the service a yellow rose was presented and brought up to the front of the chapel as each name was read.  The two vases of roses went to our following events as a symbol of their presence.  On Sunday, roses were also in the chapel at the baccalaureate service for the graduating seniors.  One of the roses went with Judy Nakamaru to her friend, the mother of Dusty Rhodes, who died in 2003 to let her know her son was remembered.  Abby spoke about the importance of being remembered.  We did that well.  The service ended with the two sides of the congregation facing each other responsively saying the blessing before the benediction was sung.

Our next event was the Pizza Villa Revisited.  The original owners were also our guests at the dinner.  Marietta Bittrich Johns organized, decorated with checkered table cloths and pictures of Italy and was then the MC for the evening.  She is amazing.  Marietta, Gretchen and Dick Monson then led us in a sing-a-long with Liz at the piano.  Ah, the old songs.  To cap off the evening we were treated to the tunes of “Kenwood Slim,” our own Larrie Rennerfeldt.  The dinner with all its different courses allowed people to move around and chat their hearts out.  I always know when something is a success....all the food is gone and people don’t leave.  We had to shoo them out so the food service could clean up for the next day.

Our next big event was a once in a lifetime walk into the past.  With a cast of what seemed like thousands, our classmates took us back 50 years in outfits starting with the green beanies and saddle shoes.  The behind the scenes events were a sight to remember.  Changing from a swimming suit into a prom dress or a Dean Lind outfit in a matter of minutes was record breaking.  Overheard from those waiting to walk down the runway was “now I have to hold in my stomach” and lots of giggles.

Sandy Brown Johnston, Mary Carlstrom Strand, and Claudia Hayden Schroeder deserve more credit than I can give.  Some of the 2013 graduates, other guests and President and Mrs. Ohle also enjoyed this wonderful memory walk of fashion.  Yes, we did have some interesting fashions in those days.  Again, Liz was at the piano offering background music of our era from the wedding march with Becky (Anderson) and Jerry Lindblad...and Becky wore her original the Gustie rouser for the cheerleaders.  Liz’s talent on the piano cannot be matched.

On to the Alumni Banquet, that had to be moved to a larger dining room because there were so many from our class who came to celebrate the honor bestowed on Mary Kay Bradford Ivey.  She gave an inspiring speech on healthy living that I’m trying to instill in my daily routine.  Hopefully, this will be printed for everyone to see.

Last, but not least, we headed down the hill to Janet Gardner Anthony’s beautiful home for the “After Glow.”  The Anthonys graciously opened their home to almost 75 ʼ63ers to talk and laugh some more before we all headed home again.

Just in case you want to recall those years and wonderful people, the Memory Book is the answer.  “I just couldn’t put it down,” was heard many times as people talked about the Memory Book that was created by Kathy Walden Dalton and Gretchen Bittrich Estergren.  What a marvelous remembrance to take home to remind us of that special time and place in our lives.

In closing, I want to thank Paul Tillquist for being such a “fearless leader” all these years since 1963.  It was also a joy to see Paul and Ruth (Anderson) walk through the door of our reunion luncheon to a standing ovation, after Paul’s stint in the hospital to receive a stent.  That brief episode was a scare for all of us.  Paul has been so much fun to work with on our reunion.  His positive attitude, wonderful sense of humor and thoughtfulness were appreciated by all of us.  He also brought coffee and goodies to all our meetings, which was very Scandinavian of him.

One parting story that makes me smile when I think about it; a few days before the reunion we thought our Friday night entertainment had fallen through.  In my panicky call to Paul, he calmed me by (sliding into his wonderful Swedish accent) saying “We could fill in by singing a gospel medley duo.”  You were so lucky to have Larry’s great music instead.

A comment made by Beth Granberg sums it up very well.  “Thanks for an awesome 50th reunion.  Now I know what it means to be a Gustavus graduate.  This was a very memorable event for us.”

THOSE WERE THE DAYS, MY FRIENDS.....and we can smile and remember what a gift we had and have.  Keep in touch.  Thank you for sharing that time with me.

Ginny Larson Jones ’63

1963 Vice President/Reunion Chair

Rounded Rectangle: Pictures from the Reunion Are Available On-Line at


Comments Sent by Attendees Highlight the Great Weekend

Thanks so much for the 50th reunion.  We stayed with my son and his family in Chanhassen, commuting to the events at Gustavus.  Each time we neared the Hill and the college I felt this wealth of memories.  Here are some thoughts:  First, where did that weather come from?  My goodness, we were expecting temps to be in the mid-90’s with 95% humidity.  But the weather gave the scene a surreal autumn like experience, much like when we were freshmen a 1000 years ago.  The planning team did a superlative job from the wonderful chapel service (Abby Arthur Johnson eloquent) to the Pizza Villa night where we could table hop and embrace old friends to the style show—laugh out loud great—to the banquet joys.  My wife, Diane, a Valparaiso grad, loves Gustavus and always is warmly welcomed as we return.  Thanks again to everyone who pitched in to make this event so special.  And, cheers for Diane Hammargren Anderson, my sis-in-law, Ginny Larson Jones, Sandy Brown Johnston, the twins Marietta and Gretchen, Paul Tillquist, all the fashion models who paraded so gloriously on the runway.  We came home brimful with joy and more memories.  ~Tom Anderson

What a great reunion!  A big word of thanks to all who worked so hard on planning, organizing, and making it so terrific.  The fashion show will go down in history as a highlight of all reunions—past and future!  It was wonderful seeing classmates come back who had not attended other reunions.  It was definitely a time to remember...reflect...and renew!  Memorable moments would include Paul's arrival at Alumni Hall!  Again, thanks.

~Ruth “Sam” (Sammuelson) Rothchild

What a wonderful, memorable EXPLOSION!  So fun to see so many of my maturing classmates.  (We never use the word OLD in my nursing experience).  I did not want this special 50th renewal event to end.  It was amazing and so very fun.  True friendships never end either.  My heart belongs to GAC!......always.

~Barbie Kay Johnson

Many thanks to the committee for excellent planning and preparation for the best reunion possible.  Housing, meals, lectures and church services were all exceptional, but the very best part for me was seeing and catching up with roommates and other old friends.  Thanks for everything!

~Karen Lindborg Jonaitis

For me, the reunion was “The Time of My Life” as I had been unable to attend any of the other gatherings.  It seemed just right that we began our time together, remembering those classmates who have died and are missed.  Then, on to the Pizza Villa, for food and fun.  The Fads and Fashion Show had so many participants; it was as though we were entertaining ourselves!  The Alumni Banquet was special because we were all there to congratulate Mary Kay Bradford Ivey on her success.  The graduating seniors really seemed to enjoy our High 5’s as they left the chapel on their way to the stadium on Sunday.  All in all – it could not have been better!

~Sandi Svendsen Nelsen

It was a wonderful time.  The Pizza Villa worked well—people were able to mix around with others.  The use of stations for food was an excellent idea. We especially enjoyed the Pizza Villa on Friday evening.  The Saturday noon style show was fabulous!

~Eunice Holm Fultz

How lucky we are to have graduated from a school that feels like a second family to us.  I feel such a connection to so many of the friends made 50 years ago; we seem to pick up just where we left off back then.  Amazing.

~Kathy Walden Dalton

I really enjoyed the reunion and seeing so many of my classmates again.  Sandy Brown Johnston deserves a lot of credit as does Mary Carlstrom Strand for all the work they did with the Fads and Fashions Show, and all the participants.  We all missed our classmates that were not able to be with us, and especially those who have passed away.  Life has been good for me and my family and I look back at my days at Gustavus as being part of that good life.  Dianne (Skalbeck ʼ62) and I really enjoyed our time and look forward to our 55th reunion.  Gary, I enjoyed your impersonation of Doc Ed!  I also wanted to thank Tilly and Ginny for all the work they did for the Reunion.  They did an outstanding job.  Thankfully Tilly was able to be with us all on Saturday.

~Fred Thunhorst

I thought the whole weekend was wonderful.  So much fun to reconnect with classmates from 50 years ago.  I think a big THANK YOU goes to Ginny for planning such a wonderful reunion.  The memorial service was lovely.  Marietta did a great job planning the Pizza Villa party and Sandy and Mary certainly deserve kudos for the wonderful Style Show.  Thanks also to Jan Gardner Anthony for hosting the afterglow.  What a great way to wrap up the weekend.  I think the Class of ʼ63 can be very proud of holding one of the best reunions I’ve ever been to at GA and I’ve been to a few with Jim.

~Diane Hammargren Anderson

Some News Updates From Classmates

Thanks to all who send news items for the class letter and the Alumni Quarterly.  You can send them or email, then a copy will go to both Alumni Office and your class officers or you may send them directly to me, Class Communications Chair, Gary F. Anderson, at:  Your news is the key to the success of our newsletter.  I can always engage in some creative writing, but I prefer actual biography!  Here are some recently received items:

Janet Gardner Anthony, St. Peter, is an administrative assistant at Anthony & Anthony Attorneys.

James Call, Deerwood, is a co-medical director in the Department of Radiology at Trinity Hospital.

Edna Rask Erickson sent news that she has enjoyed a rich professional life since graduating from Gustavus including class room teaching, teacher development and supervision, education editor for Westlaw, a research associate at St. Thomas and a consultant for 3M.  She completed a doctorate in educational leadership and has two sons and two grandchildren.

Janet Heaberlin, Shoreview, MN, taught for 36 years, and has been care-giver for two grandchildren.  She swims a mile each week but regrets that her inability to walk kept her from attending the reunion.

Abby Arthur Johnson has published "In the Shadow of the United State Capitol:  Congressional Cemetery and the Memory of the Nation," (New Academia Publishing, 2012).  A scholarly study of a historic site of national memory, located just east of the Capitol, the book is the end result of a long period of research.  She and husband, Ron, continue to do some teaching and researching as they move into retirement.

Steve Larson, Austin, TX continues to do marriage therapy three days a week.  He and his wife, Renee, recently purchased a "retreat" place on the Blanco River near Wimberly, TX.

Phyllis Miller Forsythe's husband, Sam ʼ62, died suddenly on June 10.  They have eleven grandchildren and one grand-son.  Our condolences to you, Phyllis.

David (DP) Nelson, part of the class for the first two years, reports that life is good, having been married 47 years, 3 children and 9 grandchildren. He was most recently on the faculty of Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, CO.

Carolyn Hubsch Parker, Boca Raton, FL, has been involved as a Township Commissioner, finding much satisfaction in serving her community in that role.  She survived being run-over by a truck and was forced into retirement but got involved tutoring home-bound students.

Jerry Raedeke, Nisswa, is a wildlife artist and retired clergy.

Sandy Harlan Tandler, Menlo Park, CA, passed away on May 25.  She was a former operations manager for Multi Metrics Inc. and is survived by her husband, Bill, and two children. Our sympathies to her family.

Paul Tillquist, North Oaks, MN, has assumed the position of interim Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement at Gustavus since Randall Stuckey ʼ83 took a new position as Director of Athletic Fundraising with the Advancement Office.


A yellow rose was presented for each of these classmates as their names were read at the Memorial Service in Christ Chapel on Friday afternoon, May 31.

Lenore Karstad Adams

Ted Almquist

Bruce L. Anderson

Jerry Bell

Patricia Strathern Burks

Dale L. Carlson

David L. Carlstrom

Fred J. Christensen

Robert N. Ekstrum Jr.

Sandra Englebert-Johnson

Char Luecke Engstrom

Lois Hendrickson Escherich

Donald B. Farringer

Mary Lou Hawkinson Freeman

Paul A. Goulding

David Grandstrand

Calverna Arends Green

Rennie Dahlstrom Holmberg

Eden S. Hutabarat

Gary M. Johnson

Kingsley H. Johnson

Robert E. Johnston

Rollyn Johnston

Peter A. Kitundu

Bill Kreie

Robert J. Lennartson, Jr.

G. Scott McDonald

Douglas G. Miller

Elsa Johansen Natvig

Carolyn Johnson Norling

Susan Carlson Olson

Barbara Anderson Paddon

Nancy Gustafson Peterson

Jo Ann Bergey Rahm

Jerry W. Rasmussen

Gerry Rhodes

Adeline Blotter Roadfeldt

Phyllis Sneesby Sorheim

Don Sprengeler

Bruce Stohl

Joyce Richmond Swanson

Sandy Harlan Tandler

Lois Johnson Thabes

Jean Novak Toczek

Randa Fossum Vogen

Judith Larson Watt

Neil R. Weberg

Robert White

Karen Peterson Zilliox