Class of '64
February 2005

Dear Class of ’64,

The very successful reunion last fall is now a memory, but what great fun to see so many classmates.  Thanks to everyone who made the effort to return.  Friendships from our college years seem so unique.  Sharing your news with your classmates is one way to keep in touch.

Here is class news that the Alumni Office forwarded to me in January.  If it seems like you submitted it ages ago, you’ll have to excuse the time lag between calling and forwarding mail.  But here are some of the incentives for continuing to read, even if the news is not fresh off the press:

  • Your intuition that the Alumni Office will go to great lengths to find lost alumni will be confirmed.
  • Reasons for missing the reunion can be found by careful reading.
  • You’ll see who is retired now and who is not.
  • You’ll find answers to the question, “what do you do now that you’re retired?”
  • Possibly gain ideas as to where to travel and who to meet for breakfast/lunch/dinner.
  • Special Distinguished Alumni Award to one of the class of ’64.

Lynne McKenzie Palm ‘recently’ changed jobs from insurance to the Willmar Public Library.  It is part-time (just four days a week), which suits her “to a T!”

Merideth Hougen Hale continues to love retirement in Arizona (Rio Verde) with golf, hiking, backroading, volunteering in a second grade classroom, community activities, and involvement with many friends.

Dick ’65 and Sue Hansen Rohloff are adjusting (?) to retirement!  Wintering in McAllen, Texas, 40th wedding anniversary this past December, and then taking a Caribbean cruise to celebrate.  Their grandchildren number six.  Sue had a great reunion with the ’64 nurses this year.

Rose Ann Skoog Parks and husband Jim

  • have three kids, ‘all of whom we like as adults;’ two married, one is in grad school.
  • 4 great! grandkids (I think that means grandkids who are great, not a new generation)
  • Continues to work as a school social worker.  Fewer days (not by preference but due to school finances), but the same workload.

Kathy Felsted Matson wrote this in September:

“Since my husband, Paul, passed away two years ago; I’ve been traveling to make connections with friends including Gusties I haven’t seen in years.  Beginning in October 2003, with my first trip to Vegas where 10 of us ‘Gustavus ’64ers' were welcomed by Carole Onstrom Gerk.  In February 2004, I went to Italy―saw Naples; in March visited Paul and Jo (Lundgren) Kuehn in Naples, Florida; and in April discovered Naples, California while visiting Sharon Rajala Reese and several other ‘Johnson Hall’ gals.  From there I traveled by train up the California coast to visit Cathy (Moe) and Denny Dietz who I’d seen only once since college.  Whenever I return to Minneapolis to visit my mom and family there’s always a gathering of Gusties for a potluck dinner to make me feel welcome.  This summer we met at Liz Proeschel Wold’s.  I also met with Ken and Mary (Strand ’66) Slinde while in Minneapolis to hear about their amazing trip to Africa.  It’s been such a comfort to have this GA connection and friendship.”  Kathy lives in Brooklyn, NY

Bruce and Judy (Norman ’65) Fahlberg are grandparents of two boys.

Ed and Neta (Frykman) Lamp, writing from Woodville, Ohio, have seven wonderful grandchildren.

Donna Sederburg Ogle is professor of reading and language at National - Louis University and has a new textbook coming out titled All Children Read.

Sue Bolmgren Anderson missed our class reunion (went to Iowa instead!) and sent greetings.

Cec Erickson retired from manual and marketing writing.

Bill Buckner lives in Alexandria, MN and works for Jostens.  He and wife, Sandra, are new grandparents.  They have two daughters with wedding plans.  Jostens’ peak sales season is in the fall, so Bill also sent greetings to classmates.

Here is news of classmate, Gideon Okwiya, as submitted by his son.  “Gideon returned to Kenya following graduation in 1964.  He worked for the government of Kenya as a district officer until 1967.  He then returned to teaching with an extensive career as a senior principal of several reputable high schools in Kenya.  He retired from teaching and civil service in 1984.  He founded Highgate Academy in Mombasa, Kenya in 1988.  At present, it is one of the top private primary schools in Kenya.  He celebrated his 71st birthday last July.  Gideon lives in Mombassa, Kenya.”  Gideon’s son, Victor Okwiya, is a doctor in Pittsburgh and submitted that information.  Great to hear about him and the Alumni Office has one less lost alum!

Stan and Sylvia (Wilson) Kittelson live in Litchfield, MN.  Sylvia teaches first grade.  Stan works as an inspector for the Federal Aviation Agency.

Mary Lou Zimmerman Magnuson lives in Maple Grove, MN and recently retired from Family and Children’s Service.

Rudd and Lois (Johnson ’63) Thabes live in Bagley, MN.  Rudd is an osteopathic physician.

Larrie Rennerfeldt lives in Minneapolis and works in sales.

My fellow class agent, Linda Leonardson Hallman, had a spectacular trip to Australia―good for a paragraph or two in our next class letter.

Thanks to all of you who support Gustavus through your gifts and contacts.  If you’ve sent in your gift, thank you for all that it contributes to the Gustavus community.  There are still a number of months (actually until the end of May) to send in your gift.  A Gustavus education is tops and supporting any aspect of it is a wonderful gift for others.

Hot off the alumni email is this great news!  Classmate Deanna Nelson has been selected for a Distinguished Alumni Award for her work in chemistry, biochemistry and health care and for her work with BioLink where she is president and founder.  Biolink is a privately owned company that provides tools and expertise for accelerating research and product development in health care and the life sciences.  More details about Deanna and her work will appear in a future issue of the Quarterly.  She will be given the award this spring. Congratulations Deanna, for this honor!

Life for the Swansons is good.  The oldest grandchildren are making decisions on college for next year.  (I took a short cut by marrying a widower with children).  A winter vacation in Arizona and a trip to Sweden this summer hold our immediate attention.  Friendships mean more with each passing year.

Starting with the college news is a quote from President Jim Peterson.  Jim spent time with the Alumni Board Friday evening discussing his top priorities and focus for the next five years – strengthening academics, diversity, technology, Church/College relationship, facilities, and financial resources.  He challenged the Alumni Board and all alumni to be “Louder and Prouder.”  Boast about Gustavus, recommend Gustavus to quality students, put a Gustavus sticker on your car and wear your Gustavus t-shirts and sweatshirts whenever you can – Louder and Prouder!

Old Main has served the Gustavus campus since 1876 when it housed the entire campus.  To keep Old Main a functional part of campus, a complete renovation of the building began in February.  Classrooms and offices will be reconfigured and updated to accommodate current teaching technology. Central climate control and an elevator will also be added.  Mattson Hall has been built west of Schaefer Fine Arts to house faculty and staff during the renovation.  The new residence hall being built southwest of the football field is progressing and will be ready for fall semester

Did you know that the college has gone wireless?  Wireless computing, that is?  Many buildings support wireless connectivity and outdoor connectivity is being broadcast from several roofs.  Gustavus continues to increase the number of wireless locations on campus every month.

Gustavus music ensembles tour:  The Gustavus Choir went on a 17-day East Coast tour (January 20-February 5), the Wind Orchestra (formerly the Gustavus Band) toured for nine days (January 28-February 5) in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana, and the String Orchestra toured for nine days (January 29-February 6) in Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado.  The Gustavus Choir, Wind Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Gustavus Music Showcase, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Eden Prairie, on March 20.

The Gustavus athletics website received the Pride of CASE V Gold Award at the District V Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Annual Conference in December.  The district includes educational institutions from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Announcing a new tool for all Alumni:  The Gustavus Gift Planning website is a resource for alums of all ages to learn more about planning for their financial future.  The site explores some basics like the need for a will and health care proxy.  It also provides information about planning for the transfer of assets to benefit you and your family, a gift calculator to see how to make a gift that pays you and also provides tax benefits, e-brochures for more information, and how to have a meaningful impact on a non-profit organization important to you.  Check it out today at

The 2003-2004 Honor Roll of Donors is now available under the Gustavus Fund at  The Honor Roll of Donors recognizes those who made gifts to Gustavus between June 1, 2003 and May 31, 2004.  To find your name or check out your class results, just point and click from your home or office computer.  For those who do not have access to a computer, you may call toll-free 866-487-3863 to receive a copy in the mail (supplies are limited).

Upcoming Alumni Events

  • Diversity Center Reunion/Building Bridges Conference – March 12
  • Tucson Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 18
  • Phoenix Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 19
  • Sun City Chapter with Professor Dick Martin – March 20
  • Twin Cities Gustavus Music Showcase – March 20
  • Seattle Chapter with President Jim Peterson ’64 – April 1
  • Bay Area Chapter with President Jim Peterson ’64 – April 2
  • Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors (G.I.V.E.) day of community service – April 30

If we were young college students, we’d be involved in some aspect of college news.  Can you see yourself in some of these activities?

Thanks for your news, your greetings to classmates, and your gifts to Gustavus.  We can be pleased about initiating the Class of ’64 Scholarship.

Go Gusties.  Have a great spring!

Joanna Carlson Swanson

1964 Co-class Agent