Class of '64
January 2001

Dear Classmates,

This Sunday morning our thirteen-year-old dog whimpered that she wanted to be let outside. I looked at the clock, 6:37 a.m. I found my slippers and we made our way downstairs in the dark to the back door. It was still below zero outside and dark. I hooked her up to the chain and went inside. I opened the front door and was surprised to see the Sunday paper all wrapped in its yellow plastic bag. Last Sunday the paper came at 10 a.m. The newspaper must have found a new delivery person on our route.

I let the dog in and decided that the fresh newspaper all in the correct order was calling to me. It seems if I don’t read it before the family gets up, I don’t read much of it. There it was the new president on the front page. I noticed the time and turned on the radio next to my favorite newspaper reading chair. It was almost time for Jim Gilbert ’62 and his Nature Notes on WCCO radio at 7:15 a.m. I was waiting and reading… Soon Jim is telling about how cardinals love to feed just as the sun is rising. And it was just rising as I glanced out the window. Jim was talking about possums gradually moving northward as I poured myself a cup of fresh coffee. I sat down to look at the newspaper and heard Dick Swenson’s voice on WCCO radio telling about the three foxes that he has seen playing on the south end of Diamond Lake in Minneapolis. Amazing…not only the fox and possum, but also the fact that I was barely out of bed and reminders of Gustavus were all around.

As Milt and I walked into Mount Olivet Lutheran Church for the twelve o’clock service, we ran into Ken Slinde in his choir robe. Both he and Mary (Strand ’66) sing in the senior choir. I was thinking of what I should be writing in this letter and the idea was already surrounding me. What a connection we have with our college, Gustavus. On January 2, I attended Olivia Moe Hanson’s memorial service in Roseville. And who should sit next to me, but Carol Gilbertson Lind and Paula Yocum Olson. We were saddened by the death of "Ollie." In October, I had gotten a life update email from her telling of a rare lung disorder…where you gradually lose the capacity in your lungs. There was no cure and the only treatment was a lung transplant, with a seven-year waiting list. Olivia died on December 18 when all of her family had finally made it to Cape Coral, Florida to be with her for the last time. Her son, John, had driven non-stop in storms from St. Paul, Minnesota to get there.

As Paula, Carol and I decided, we need to see each other now while we can. We are setting up a time in February to do that. I was thinking about how lucky I am to be one of your class agents. I enjoy so much visiting with you when I phone on phonorama. Remember you, too, can have the chance to call. We phone from a couple of companies who open their long distance lines so we can call. Think about keeping in touch with your Gustie friends. During church, thoughts came to me about what wonderful friends we made while we were "on the Hill." We were lucky to live with our class during those years. Now at Gustavus all classes are shuffled together. I know the women in our class are closer because we were together every night at 10 o’clock p.m. Remember our own "Jo-Jo" the "food man!"

Now on to the news notes. These were gathered by mail since the letter this fall or from phonorama. Some of the news was gathered by "Gus Link"(students from Gustavus phoning alumni). I hope I have deciphered the notes from callers. I'm sorry the news isn’t really new…

Mim Borg Teeter is still teaching in Redwood City, California. She notes that her school has gone year-round. She tells of a trip that Mim and husband Don took to Quebec and Boston with her brother, Dan ’54, and his wife.

Ken Slinde reports that his wife, Mary (Strand ’66), is in her second year as associate principal of Hopkins Senior High School. He says that they are free of being any person’s in-laws. The three Slinde kids are now in New York, Chicago and Minneapolis.

Helen Brostrom Ihrig is in elementary education in Naperville, Illinois. Her daughter is in the San Franciso area and her son is in Chicago.

Gary Bangstad from Friendship, Wisconsin has a daughter who is a senior at Gustavus this year. Another daughter, Kim, graduated from Gustavus in 1997.

Sharon (Stueland) and Ken ’65 Olson are in Waukon, Iowa. Ken is a physician at Franciscan Skemp Heathcare/Mayo Health. They have a son at Gustavus this year. He transferred from Lawrence for a government studies major.

Denny and Cathy Moe Dietz are in Westlake Village, California. Denny completed 29 years at Medtronic....but no retirement yet.

Marlys Olson Waldron and husband, Steve, have two grandchildren, ages 1 and 3. The news note says that they are involved with New APEEL for microdermabrasion used by plastic surgeons, dermatologists and spas. It is selling internationally.

Diane Kvols Schweizer is not retired yet. Diane told of her two daughters. One is in physical therapy specializing in lymphoma. Their other daughter wants to be an illustrator. Her husband is an art teacher in Osseo School District. Diane and her husband reside in Roseville, Minnesota.

I ran into Nancy Johnson Martin at a church service at the Target Center in Minneapolis, plus sharing a room at our 35th reunion. Nancy moved back from the east coast after retiring as an elementary principal. She got a job with GreenTree after working temporarily for them for awhile. She lives in downtown St. Paul, 33 floors up.

Margy Forsman Nelson lives in Libby, Montana. Her husband is a minister at Bethany Lutheran Church. She is working for Glacier Insurance Co. They have two sons. One is in Tacoma, and one graduated from Stanford and on to Oxford for a master's degree and then back to Stanford.

Linda Lindborg Miles is in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. She has been to Europe to track her heritage, especially in Sweden. Linda was also on the B.E.S.T. (Beurnadotte European Study Tour) in 1963. Her daughter is in Alaska and her son in New York is a computer network supervisor.

Delores Bade Alt and husband, Klaus, are in Springfield, Virginia, where she is a nurse for Inova VNA home health.

Larry Churchill and Karen (Rygg x67) live in Faribault, Minnesota where Larry has Churchill Tire, Inc.

Judith Potter Zimmerman is in Plover, Wisconsin with her husband, Peter. She retired from teaching last June. Her husband is a counselor in Wisconsin Rapids School District.

Charlie Westerberg and Maren are in Shoreview, Minnesota. Since retirement he has done some substitute teaching in chemistry at Mounds View School District and consults in water quality management. Their daughter, Carmen, graduated from Gustavus in 1997.

Dan Johnson is teaching at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Dan has been writing a book on Dr. Reusch. It should be out in 2001. In May he went to Russia with a team from Duluth. He gave a paper while there. Later they hosted a Russian debate team here.

It was fun to visit with Karna Peterson, Lenexa, Kansas. Her brother died last year, in April, of brain cancer. Karna’s daughter is engaged to be married in June. Her son is working for West Publishing Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. Karna is buying back years for her teacher's retirement. Maybe she will move back to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Kay Johnson Holdhusen is in Golden Valley. Her husband, Jim, died in October 2000.

Geri Bakken Ramsfield and husband, Jim, are in Winslow, Arkansas. They have raised their own birth kids and now have adopted nine children with various physical needs. The youngest is 2 years old. Wow! Bless you, Geri on your wonderful, meaningful work.

Andy Stamson is retired in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. He is hunting, fishing and having a lot of fun.

Ed and Neta Frykman Lamp are in Woodville, Ohio. Ed is doing research on traumatic brain injuries. "What do families need and what is the cost of that or lack of it?" Neta works in a small hospital. Their family is in transition. They have had four weddings in 18 months. They’re looking forward to grandchildren next winter.

Judy Freisen Winter and husband, Robert, are still in Camarillo, California. They’ve sold their business and are enjoying travel and retirement.

Besides watching foxes play on Diamond Lake in Minneapolis, Dick Swenson is enjoying his retirement from the St. Louis Park School system. The past two summers he has been at Mt. Olivet’s Cathedral of the Pines Camp on the shores of Lake Caribou, near Lutsen, Minnesota. He made it back to town last summer for his Washburn High School class reunion.

Susan Hill Jones and Bruce are in Washington, Virginia. A Gus-Link student caller called them.

Marlys Sanders Siverson and husband, Gerry, live in Maplewood, Minnesota. Marlys is retired from Roseville schools. She was talking about substitute teaching in parochial schools. Their son, Lars, made them grandparents with a 1-year-old. Their other son just graduated from St. Olaf. The third child, a daughter, is at Luther. She’ll graduate in May of 2001 in social work.

Nancy Johnson Vriese is retired, but teaching part time. She’s enjoying volunteer work.

Shirley Schmidt Vold, since retiring from working with me at Hopkins West Junior High, has traveled to Brussels, Switzerland, Austria, and Florence, Italy¾ with girlfriends. They just came back on October 16. Shirley, Karen Benson Hanson, Ken Slinde’s wife, Mary, and I all cooked at Cathedral of the Pines for the High League Retreat (a long weekend) in August. We had so much fun, cooking, talking, and laughing. We all hope to do it again next August.

Jane Chelgren McFadden is in Groveport, Illinois, employed by David’s United Church of Christ. Their older son is a flight instructor in Florida and the younger son is a graduate student in college. She is still writing music and working with the bell choirs.

Camille Janzen Bunch is in Torrance, California and has retired from teaching. When we spoke in October, Cammy had just returned from China. When I called, she was tutoring a student.

Todd Heimdahl is also retired, from Metropolitan Community College. They went to Norway with his sons 22 and 24. One is in school for architecture and the other is in graduate school for business. Last summer he had an art show in his hometown. Now he finds more time for his own artwork.

Marilyn Marshall Lee is retired from teaching. She is now working at the library. Their daughter is the project manager for Starbucks. Their son moved to Colorado. He is working to get residency so he can perhaps study landscape architecture. Last fall when I called, Marilyn was getting ready to go to Gustavus for a church quilter's retreat.

Ken Johnson works for Cargill. Audrey (Engstrom ’66) is retired from teaching elementary school in Hopkins. They both went to London, "London at Leisure," with another couple.

Carol Berg Gustafson and husband, Richard, live in Hudson, Wisconsin. She used to work for Pooh Corner Nursery School, but it lost it’s lease so she was planning to care for her grandson, born last August. Carol and Richard have two sons. One lives in Maplewood and the other one is at home.

Marcia Johnson Lindseth lives in Prescott, Wisconsin. She is retired from being a principal and is now working with curriculum. They traveled to Europe three times, Italy, Ireland, Norway and Sweden, Thailand, and New England. Their daughter plays basketball for California Lutheran. Their son, Matthew, is a special education teacher. Their oldest son is getting married.

Judy Fletcher Kloster and husband, Harold, live in New London, Minnesota. She is with Willmar Public Schools teaching first grade. She’s a reading recovery teacher. Judy’s husband is employed by Maracom in Graphics. They have three daughters. The oldest is in Wayzata doing event planning. The second is in Savage working for District 287 in early childhood. The third is in T.V. production and figure skating in California. Judy says we should all keep Karen "Kiki" (Ken) Holmberg who are in Willmar in our prayers.

Carol Estness is in Coon Rapids, Minnesota...another retired teacher.

Carol Gilbertson Lind and husband, Don, are in North Mankato. Carol is teaching at Mankato State. Their son, Mike, is getting married this summer. He graduated from Mankato in Construction Management. His bride to be is from Montana and went to Luther College. Their other son, Greg, works at HyVee. Carol and Don visited Ollie Moe Hanson in Cape Coral last winter.

"Dory"(Eldora) Carlson Pearson is in Elgin, Illinois. She is director of a middle school. Her daughters, Rachel Pearson’91 and Sara Pearson Matala’94, graduated from Gustavus in the years listed.

Portia Benepe Mayer lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She left the non-profit organizations and is working for an orthopedic group. She is getting married this winter. She is also a grandmother.

Congratualtions go to Merry Jones Luhmann Anderson! She was married August 19, 2000 to Duane Anderson. They live in Edina, Minnesota. Merry’s children are Scott Luhmann who graduated 1986 from Gustavus as well as daughter, Jennifer Luhmann in 1995.

Paula Yocum Olson and husband, Rodney, moved to Amery, Wisconsin. Paula is still working at the family business, Yocum Oil Company in St. Paul. They live on Lake Wappagassett in a development of 10 buildings (20 units.)

Dennis Nielsen sent an e-mail message after visiting the Gustavus website. He writes that he has a new job this year as the interim president at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. For the past two years he was the interim president at Metropolitan State University in the Twin Cities. His permanent residence is still Oakdale, Minnesota with his wife, Karen, (Lund ’65.) They have three children and five grandsons. Dennis writes that he plans to retire at the end of this year.

Well that’s the news…I know that some of it is kind of old. So, send in some new news or opinions or volunteer to write as a guest letter for our class. One more piece of news, I wrote my "I will retire" letter to my principal today and will be joining the ranks of the retired. Just how do you stop going into that classroom that you’ve gone into for 33 years? Now for the news from Gustavus.Campus News

The Gustavus campus has started spring semester after enjoying another busy and exciting January Term which had 2300-plus students enrolled for credit! They were offered over 100 January Term courses, including 16 travel courses (plus 36 international courses through the UMAIE consortium). There were also 15 courses on the special Environmental Studies theme for J-Term 2001. Some of these courses included, Chemistry in the Environment, The Literature of Winter, Geographical Issues in the Third World, Global Environmental Change, Amazonia: An Eco-Historical Perspective, GIS in Environmental Analysis, The Changing Face of Agriculture, and Environmental Journalism. Next year (2002) the January Term theme will be "Global Village" and will feature both international and domestic diversity focused courses. After that, J-Term themes are planned for "Service-Learning" (2003) and "Undergraduate Research" (2004).

Gustavus has had many alumni gathering in the western states in conjunction with the Gustavus choir. There are still a few gatherings coming up. You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events. Invitations were sent to alumni living in these areas. For more information, please call the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or look on the web at

  • Gustavus Choir Home Concert, February 10, Christ Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
  • Marco Island gathering February 24
  • Vero Beach gathering February 25

Reunions 2001

50th Anniversary Class and 50-Year Club reunions will take place on campus, May 25-26 for the Class of 1951 and the 50-Year Club. Registration material will be mailed in April.

A reminder that all other reunion classes (1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1996) will have their reunions at Homecoming on September 21-22. Class gatherings will take place in the Twin Cities at the DoubleTree Hotel, Minneapolis Airport at the Mall, on Friday, September 21. Homecoming activities will take place on campus on Saturday, September 22.

Will you help Gustavus remain strongly church related? Encourage your ELCA congregation to join the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations. There is no cost. For more information, call the Office of Church Relations at 800-726-6194 or e-mail Craig Johnson at

Let’s all have a New Year's resolution to get in touch with someone we knew at Gustavus with whom we have lost contact. The Alumni Office will help you find someone that you may wish to find.

Also, you can add your name and e-mail address on the Gustavus Alumni website. It’s a great way to keep in touch. If someone would like to set up a website for just our class, that is possible. Other classes have their class letters on the website too. While you're on there look at the virtual campus tour. You can move your mouse to the left, right, up and down, zoom in and out. There is also a sample student’s day which I looked at the other day and found myself in Tim Robinson’s ’65 psychology classroom. Give it a try or have someone younger show you.

There is a camera or quick cam that takes a picture every half-hour on the Eckman mall. Last time I checked it looked crisp and cold.

Joanna Carlson Swanson and I, as your class agents, want to thank all of you for your continued generous support of Gustavus. Happy New Millenium!

Sincerely,Linda Leonardson Hallman 1964 Co-Class Agent