Class of '64
April 2002

Hi everyone...

    I have been trying to start this letter for many days.  I would sit down at the computer and read my e-mail, play solitaire, but no great inspiration.

            Last weekend, the weather was so wonderful; I was outside trimming twelve inches off the old hedge on our property.  The temperature was 92 degrees on Monday April 15.  We took the old convertible out and drove to Hudson, Wisconsin.

            Today, there was snow.  It snowed about five inches.  The thick, soft, heavy stuff that sticks to the crotch of trees and later standing on the topside of every branch and fence.  It was a winter wonderland.  We went to the twelve o’clock service at church and it looked quite bare.  I was thinking that people were staying home just because it was snowing.

            We stopped at a shopping mall on the way home, and oh, my, I was surprised at how full was the parking lot.  Is that a reflection of today or the yard work plans that were foiled by the snow?  Last week was Gustavus Phonorama where some of you received a call.  It is a way to stay in touch.  I personally enjoy talking to you.  Please don’t think of us as telemarketers.  We are volunteers from your class calling to keep in touch.  A big thank you to Ken Slinde, Nancy Johnsen Martin, Joanna Carlson Swanson who helped to make some of those calls.

            I was talking to a friend whose husband was working on their high school class reunion.  He got a letter from someone from his class explaining that high school for him was not fun, actually painful. He said he was not coming to their reunion but he did want to share who he had become and how he viewed the world and life.

            Wouldn’t it be wonderful if through these class letters we could share some of our becomings, and our visions?  Please consider this an invitation to write if you would like.  You can send it to the Alumni Office c/o 1964.

            Now for the “news” that some of you have sent, along with your kind gifts to the Gustavus Alumni Fund.

Here is the news that the alumni office forwarded to me to add to this letter.

Lee Halgren is currently president of the State Colleges in Colorado.  He and his wife, Johanna, are looking forward to retirement within the next two years.  They want to spend more time with their grandson, skiing and hiking.  They are also looking forward to being at the cabin located off the Gunflint Trail.

Reverend Doctor Michael Hendrickson from Carmel, California is Healthcare C.E.O./Geriatrics.  There are three children, Erik, Karl and Kristine.  Mike’s wife, Sandra, is the director of nursing for Clinica De Salvo del Valle de Salinas.

Karna Peterson, our “Frost Queen,” is still in Lenexa, Kansas.  Her daughter, Sara, was married in June.  Karna teaches 11th grade English.

Diane Rasmusson Wolfgang and husband, Bob, live in Eagan, a suburb of St. Paul.  She is a four-year survivor of breast cancer.  She has an executive search firm and human resources associate.  She and her husband traveled to the Baltics...Sweden, Norway and Berlin.  A trip to Alaska and Mexico is planned.

Denny and Cathy (Moe) Dietz are still living in Southern California, never to move again.  Denny retired from Medtronic, after 29 ½ years as vice president of the Western U.S.  Cathy continues with her church choir, tennis and golf.  Denny is assistant coach at Oak Christian High School.

A clipping was sent showing an article titled “Glencoe doctor honored by Academy.”  Dennis R. Jacobson, M.D. a family practice physician at Glencoe Regional Health Services, was recently honored for 30 years of membership in the American Academy of Family Physicians.

            The article goes on to tell that Denny Jacobson, a native of Park Rapids, received his Bachelor of Science degree from Gustavus and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.  His internships were at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD and St. Mary’s Hospital in Minneapolis.  He has practiced at Mille Lacs Clinic in Aitkin and

Albany (Minnesota) Medical Center clinic and hospital.

David Garms retired from Foreign Service in 1997 and has undertaken several consulting jobs since then for both voluntary organizations and the U.S. government.  Also he recently purchased a farm in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.  He is now in the farming

business.  The focus is on alternative, high value crops.

Wally Weihe is a sales manager for IBM since 1998 and living north of Atlanta on Lake Lanier.  He has been working with Rod Bahnson who is a mission builder.  They are building a major addition to the church, Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cumming, Georgia.

Ted ’62 and Carla Johnson Stoneberg are in Anderson, Indiana.  She writes that they are enjoying their adult daughters and their families, especially their two-year-old grandson.  In May, the grandson will have a sibling.

Deanna Nelson writes that she is now widowed.  Her son is in his second year at I.U. in business school.  They have founded Biolink Life Sciences, Inc., a company that will develop life saving therapies, diagnostics and biosensors.

Adeline (Blotter ’63) and Bill Roadfeldt are in Findlay, Ohio.  They are both retired and enjoying life in Findlay.  Their daughter, who has a Ph.D. in music, lives in Tempe, Arizona.  Their son, a St. Olaf grad, lives in Burnsville.

Dale Peterson and wife, Sandra, live in Esko, Minnesota.   They are enjoying two grandchildren ages 1 and 2.

Joan Poquette is in Santa Rosa, California.  She just got her AA degree and will graduate this spring from Santa Rosa College.

Gordy Olseen is in Tipton, Iowa with his wife, Susan.  He is with State Farm Insurance Company.  They are grandparents of two boys.

I talked to Sharon Spande Guerkink.  They moved a little in the St. Louis area, but also bought her dad’s house in Phoenix (Sun City).  They spend about six months at each house.  Sharon tells the story about her 3-year-old grandchild, who handed her mother a poker chip and said “The body of Christ given for you, darling.”

Jan Hetland Hennes is going to Holden Village in Washington for a week with her husband.  Upon their return they will also work on fundraising for medical treatments for their twin 3-year-old granddaughters who have M. S.  They help their daughter and her husband whenever they can.

Nancy Johnson Martin and I are going to visit Long Island and New York in early June.  We both lived in Bayville, Long Island for our first year of teaching.  So we are going back to visit and maybe see a Broadway show.

I had lunch with Cec Erickson, who is officially retired from her job.  She related lots of stories about moving to and living in the Boston Area.  Maybe she will write a book. (Or tease us with a chapter in a class letter.)

I know that most of us will enter the sixth decade of our lives.  About nine nurses went to Cancun to celebrate.  Are you planning anything special?

Write news, send money, enjoy your family, make life good, happy birthday 60-year-old...  Our long-term memory should kick in now, so we’ll remember who sat next to us in Christianity Class or in freshman chapel in the Ranchoreno... ( birds? what birds?)

Linda "Leonard" Leonardson Hallman

1964 Co-class agent

Now for the campus news...

Campus News:

Hi!  This is Tracey Hanson ’02 again writing from the Alumni Office.  For those of you who haven’t previously heard from me, I am a senior double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I am a seasoned Alumni Office veteran, as this is my fourth (and final) year here.  After not having taken a J-Term class, spring semester and the homework it entails has been hitting me hard.  Contrary to popular belief, the “senior slacker” final semester has been just the opposite for me.  My time at Gustavus has flown by, especially this final year.  The fact that it is March and I am still without a job is beginning to be a constant thought in the back of my mind.  It also seems to be a constant thought in the minds of my parents, although it seems closer to the front of theirs!  Spring semester has also been the final opportunity to be all together with classmates; so much time has been spent socially with roommates and friends.

As I will be graduating in June, this will be the final time you receive updates from me.  I now will also move into the alum category and step into the real world.  I’m not sure I’m completely ready for the change, but I’m darn sure that I better get ready because it’ll be here before I know it!  Here is some news from Gustavus.

Interim President Named: The Board of Trustees of Gustavus announced that it has selected The Reverend Dennis J. Johnson ’60 as the interim president of the College.  The Rev. Johnson succeeds Dr. Axel Steuer, the thirteenth president of the College, who announced January 21st that he was resigning at the end of the current academic year after having served as president for the last 11 years.

In 1985 he accepted the position as Vice President of Church Relations of Gustavus Adolphus College and in 1996 was named Vice President of College Relations.  During his tenure in the College Relations position, he twice served as interim Vice President for Development.  Previously, he served on both the Gustavus Board of Trustees and the Alumni Board.  He retired from Gustavus in 2000.  In the last year, he has served as the Bishop’s Associate for the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA.  Dennis and his wife have two children.

Hello Walk On-line Alumni Community ( has been launched and Gusties of all ages are invited to join this meeting place for anything from small talk to debate to caring conversations.  Hello Walk at Gustavus is the sidewalk running from Uhler Hall on the north side of campus past the front of Old Main to Pittman Hall on the south side, which, for decades, was the main “artery” and gathering point on campus.  Even though the campus landscape has changed, the spirit of Hello Walk continues with you joining the conversation on the virtual Hello Walk.  Associate professor of political science Chris Gilbert will guest host a discussion on politics for the months of May and June.  Check it out at

Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club and Class of 1952 is May 31 & June 1.  A schedule of events and registration material was sent in April.

The Gustavus Alumni Fund closes May 31 – help us reclaim 50 percent participation and our national recognition for alumni giving.  All gifts, no matter what the size are appreciated.

Homecoming 2002 & All Sports Reunion Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Intercollegiate Athletics is September 21.  Homecoming Weekend will include reunion gatherings for classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002.  Class reunions will be held in Bloomington at the Radisson South Hotel Friday evening and Homecoming events including class and all-sports reunion events will return to campus for activities Saturday.  A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August.  A schedule will be published in the summer and fall issues of the of the Quarterly.

It was an extremely successful winter sports season at Gustavus.  Women’s hockey won the MIAC regular season championship with an undefeated record and advanced to the Frozen Four National Tournament, finishing third in the nation. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won MIAC titles, the first time in Gustavus history.  The women’s Nordic ski team won its first MIAC championship.  Men’s basketball placed second in the MIAC during the regular season and MIAC playoffs, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to number one ranked Carthage College.  Men’s hockey finished second in the MIAC regular season and playoffs.  Women’s basketball finished fourth in the MIAC and advanced to the conference playoff for the first time ever. The women’s indoor track team finished second and both the men’s Nordic ski team and men’s indoor track teams placed fourth in MIAC action.  The women’s gymnastics team advanced to the NCGA National Championships.  Five Gustavus coaches were named Coach of the Year in their respective sports – Jon Carlson (women’s swimming & diving), Mike Carroll (women’s hockey), Mickey Haller (women’s basketball), Scott Jerome (women’s Nordic skiing), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey).

Evelyn Sponberg Young’s 90th birthday celebration

The Twin Cities Chapter of the Alumni Association invites all Gusties and friends of former Gustavus food service director and 2002 Alumni Fund Chair Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 to her 90th birthday celebration on July 25, 2002 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. program.

Evelyn will be serving her famous red velvet cake and all guests will receive a loaf of her famous Swedish rye bread. A book of remembrance will be compiled as a gift for Evelyn.  Please send remembrances and stories of Evelyn to Alumni Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Reservations should be made with the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at or visit our web site at, alumni, events.

NOBEL CONFERENCE® XXXVIII, The Nature of Nurture – The Early Years, will be held on campus October 1 & 2.  The conference will explore the forces that are most important in shaping a child’s personality, gender identity, and language acquisition and learning ability.  History, discoveries, research, and clinical studies will all be surveyed to draw a better understanding of biological forces and environmental influences on brain development.

For more news and information about Gustavus, check out the web site at