Class of '64
May 2009

45-Year Reunion ― May 29 & 30, 2009

Ahhhh Spring….and the sense of renewal….. I’ve planted some flowers and bushes but am waiting for Memorial Day to put in the fragile flowers.  Tonight it may freeze.

In two weeks we will be half way through our 45th reunion.  Biz has done a wonderful job planning and the college has been most cooperative!  Kathy Erlandsen at Gustavus is in charge of helping facilitate the reunions.

If you have not done so yet, sign up to join us.  If you are computer savvy, it can be done right in your office or computer space.

Go to

Click on alumnus/alumna

            On the left find and click on class connections

Then there is a tiny box that says class years…. Find our 1964

You will be able to register from that page… but also look to the right and see who is coming and names of classmates (For this part you may have to log in…. so our names and info stays private….)  I hope it works.  If not give me a call at:  952-922-4604.

In April, Karna Peterson and I were on a plane to visit Judy Kaeding Larsen in Palo Alto, California.  We stayed a whole week….Judy was a wonderful guide for our San Francisco adventures.  We arrived the day the crypt for the founders of Stanford University was open.  (Only once a year from 1-4 p.m.)  We were there!  We also loved seeing the sculpture of the “Weeping Angel,” nearby.  The Stanford Cactus Garden was blooming, as well as so many of the trees in blossom.  The hills were green and it was lovely.

We ventured into the city, through Macy’s, Union Square and Grant Street in Chinatown.  We walked a little to the west and saw the real activity of Chinatown, bakeries, meat markets and local food sellers.  We had an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista near Fisherman’s Wharf and then had a great cable car ride to the top of Nob Hill.  Lots of great pictures of the 1906 earthquake were on view at the Fairmont Hotel.  A very nice man showed us around Grace Cathedral.

We saw some of the country with a trip out-of-town to a mission.  One night Mim Borg Teeter came over for dinner…lots of laughs and remembering…

Judy arranged for us to see the San Francisco Show, Beach Blanket Babylon….a fun and outrageous musical review…  We laughed so hard…  Those are some “hats!”  We all had great fun, and decided that retirement is very special.

One Thursday not long ago Gary Kenning and I went to visit Dick Swenson at his “Charter House’ in Rochester, Minnesota.  Dick had just begun his chemotherapy and radiation for a brain tumor.  It was good to see Dick.  He is still doing the chemo and radiation.  Dick will be moving in with his brother and wife in Rochester for the remainder of his treatment that goes through June 8th (Dick is counting down the days!)  You can send him a message at

On the way back to Minneapolis we stopped at John and Joyce (Wallinder) Johnson’s in Burnsville to pick up a large stack of Gustavus Weekly newspapers that Joyce had saved.  It was fun to see them and look back at the events of our lives.  One very interesting account was of Dan Johnson and Jack Jungas’ trip to Washington, D.C. in November 1963.  They were there for the Kennedy funeral; so was Bernard Cody.  Where were you when you got the news that Kennedy was shot?  I was student teaching at Richfield West Junior High.  I can remember watching the whole thing on television.  We were glued to the TV for days.

Thank you all for sending in news and for calling classmates for our reunion.  Nancy Johnsen Martin has made a trip to Gustavus to find old photos to show at the reunion.  She has also been using the Johnson’s papers.  You can see the show on Friday night at the Arboretum.

If you can’t come to the reunion, think about Gusties Gather in September and ask some of your Gustie friends to gather.  The Nobel Conference will be held October 6 & 7 and is titled H2O Uncertain Resource.

More Class News:

And now for some news and memories from classmates to share.  The first one is from Karen Larvick

My enrollment at Gustavus was determined by my parents’ concern that I be educated at a college with Christian principles and a strong liberal education atmosphere.  Though I had been on the campus at Luther League Leadership Camp before my junior year of high school, I was not sure whether I would “fit in.”  Our rural community in northern Wisconsin graduated a class of thirty-three in 1960 (including three named Karen, a tribute to the Scandinavian core of the community).

Thinking that I might be an English major because I qualified for the honors English section, I was also encouraged to try music theory―simply because the faculty member who helped me register, Dr. Tom Atcherson [’53], was alert to my question about the possibility of taking piano lessons in college.  College was a major adjustment period for me at first, 300 miles from home, in a much broader environment than I had experienced.  But, deciding that I could work as hard as the “big city” kids, I began practicing and learning as much as I could.

For some years following college, I thought in retrospect that I might have transferred to a larger university setting after my first two years at Gustavus.  Perhaps I had missed areas of specialized study, professional performances and a broader musical environment.

But as time passed, I have come to realize how my experiences as a member of the Gustavus community enriched the path of my life.  One example:  I was able to study in Tanganyika (Tanzania) during the summer of 1963 as a member of the SPAN delegation.  That experience (partially underwritten by my parents’ decision to sell some cattle for my opportunity) opened my eyes to the world in a much larger dimension.  I also met the man who is now my husband, a fellow traveler on that adventure and now my life partner.

Another example from my Gustavus learning:  my first two piano students were the daughters of Dr. and Mrs. Gerhard Alexis.  His class brought fear to my throat, and I learned much more from him than I could ever give back to his daughters, but they, at 7 and 9, made me realize that I loved to teach.  Now after 39 years of university teaching and a dozen years as director of my own studio, I know the importance of dedicated teachers in the lives of our children and youth.

Whatever the subject, the loving concern of a teacher is priceless.  That I had at Gustavus, from fine professors whose names my classmates would remember.

They were wise people with a gift to share, and they did so generously.  I am grateful for their legacy, and I look forward to sharing memories of that time with my 1964 classmates.

Here is more news…… from Richard (“Link” Dick) Lindquist

Let’s see, has anything happened since Gustavus?  Briefly, I went off to Kansas State University to graduate school in entomology, at the suggestion of Charles Hamrum [’47], completing all the work, making sure the margins were correct on the dissertation, etc. in 1969.  Then accepted a faculty position in the entomology department at Ohio State (excuse me, The Ohio State University), got married, two sons followed in 1972 and 1974.

I remained in Ohio until retirement in 2001, and went to work for a small company that works with commercial nursery and greenhouse producers throughout the U.S.  The company said that I could live anywhere in the country as long as there was an airport.  Our children had escaped from Ohio and moved to the west (Wyoming and Montana), so we followed.  The spouse took a hit for the team and retired early so that we could move.  Jackson, Wyoming was too expensive, so we bought a condo in Bozeman, MT, and later a house in Belgrade, about 20 miles from Bozeman (the condo seemed, to us, too much like an assisted living facility―which we may return to some day, but not yet, thanks!).  I’m still working full time, married to the same trophy wife (40 years in August), and have one granddaughter (10 months old).

I will not be able to attend the reunion in May because we’ll be in Italy visiting our older son, spouse and granddaughter, who recently moved to Rome where he is working for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).  The younger son spends much of his time in France, when he’s not working with an outfitting business in the mountains north of Yellowstone Park.  So much for moving to Montana to be closer to the children!  I’m trying to learn enough Italian to get by and avoid saying stuff like “yes, and your mother eats rats” when being introduced to someone.

Speaking of the Class of 1964, I was going through some old file boxes and came across some printed material that might (or might not) be of interest to old classmates.  The collection includes:  1. Letter from Senior Class to Freshman Class regarding Freshman-Senior Day; 2. Letter about building the Homecoming float; 3. Letter from President Carlson accepting the offer of the senior class to place the entire class on honorary probation for the remainder of the school year (a classic collector's item!); 4. Letters about graduation events, Senior Day, Junior-Senior Banquet.  I will be happy to photocopy and send any or all of these if there’s any interest.

Have a great reunion #45.  Let’s hope it goes better than the reunion described in Tim O’Brien’s novel July, July!

Link, aka Richard Lindquist

Still More News:

Beaty Fritz Graves lives in Anchorage, Alaska.  In addition to still running a preschool, Beaty does CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for neglected and abused children in foster care) training in September and October and has had a case (four children in two foster homes) since November.  I’m passionate about the work and spend lots of time at it.  My daughter, the social worker, said when I told her I was going into the program, “you’ll probably learn to dislike social workers.”  There are days......sign

Don Thomas “Tom” O’Connor lives in Marietta, Ohio and serves Beverly Presbyterian Church as stated supply pastor (3/4 time).  His wife, Vivian, is a piano teacher and organist at Williamstown Presbyterian in West Virginia.  Son, Mark, is a financial analyst for two mid-sized banks.  Daughter, Chris, is an entertainer based in Orlando.  In June, she begins a year long tour with Disney Live to China, Russia, and Japan.

Emmy Hanson Abello and husband, Neal, have been retired from teaching for seven years and loving it.  Their son, Kyle, lives nearby, working as a recreation coordinator.  Emmy does some tutoring, enjoys hiking the mountains, sings with the community chorale, works with the local theater group, paints silk scarves and watercolor as well as volunteer work.  She wrote, “I now believe people who say retirement is busier than working years!”  She is looking forward to the reunion.

Bill Rogers lives in Hendersonville, TN and is executive director of Sertoma Club of Nashville.  He is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Hendersonville and received the Mary Catherine Stobel Award for Volunteerism.  Congratulations, Bill!

Sharon Stueland Olson lives in Waukan, Iowa and is a retired teacher.

Doug Person lives in Bloomington, MN and sent this note along with his gift to Gustavus:  “My Gustavus education and friendships have no monetary value.  They have a life long, heartfelt value.”  Well said, Doug, and thanks for remembering Gustavus.

We’ll sign off to all our friends.  To those who won’t be coming to campus the end of May, have a great summer.  Remember your Gustavus years fondly.  Thanks to all who have given to the Class Scholarship―total as of May 14 is over $26,000 with additional in pledges.  Thanks in advance for gifts still coming in.  (Remember the financial year ends on May 31.)  To all who helped by calling, contributing news and reminiscences, thanks!  For those who are coming―we’ll see you soon!

Take care,

Linda Leonardson Hallman

1964 Co-class Agent