Class of ’65
May 2010

45-Year Reunion ― May 28 – 29, 2010

Dear Gusties from the class of 1965,

This is our last communication before our 45th reunion this May 28th!  How did we ever get to this point?  I remember my first day at Gustavus…I knew no one!  My mother brought me to Wahlstrom Hall, and after helping me in with my bunches of belongings, left me to make the return trip to Duluth.  My section mates were friendly and welcoming.  I still remember who they were:  Rosie Farmer, Diane Wajda, Linn Ostberg, Nancy Swinehart, Mary Wood, Karen Callstrom, Bev Bellig, Barb Raitz, Liz Crouch, Pat Bonnet, and Vicki Johnson!

It’s interesting how we began by choosing a particular path of life without knowing the rewards or consequences.  From not knowing anyone, my choice of Gustavus has delivered life long positive effects…because of my education at Gustavus I had a wonderful career, our two sons chose Gustavus and graduated in the four years which we expected from them, I was on the alumni board for six years, have been your class agent for many years, have had the pleasure of being connected to Gustavus by returning to campus each fall for our leadership meetings, and the friendships that I made while there have lasted a lifetime.

Your reunion committee and classmates have been sharing favorite memories of Gustavus.  Here are a few of mine:

  • Playing French horn in the band and touring Minnesota (by bus) my freshman year.  We were guests of church members where we gave our concert and stayed overnight in the homes of church members.
  • Cheerleading for football and basketball (in the old field house)
  • The fraternities serenading when someone became “pinned”
  • Student teaching in Rochester, MN and rooming with Sue Youngdahl Hogan.  A requirement was to have our teachers in for a dinner with their husbands.  Sue planned the meal and made pot roast!  I had no clue!
  • Ma Young’s delicious desserts
  • Learning to play bridge during finals
  • Enjoying pizza downtown St. Peter and listening to Gary Anderson ’63 sing, “Scotch and Soda”

Now it’s our time to go back to our roots and enjoy the wonderful events that are planned for you.  If you visit with some people that you didn’t know “back then” you will be in for a treat, as well as renewing friendships that you had while at Gustavus.  To see the list of classmates and planned activities, please go to

Registration is in the Jackson Campus Center, and the Board Room (also in the Jackson Campus Center) is our gathering and meeting place.  Be sure to arrive in time to attend the Memorial Service at 5:30 in Christ Chapel.  Following the service, our class picture will be taken, and then on to our evening social.  Register now at:


Of course, there are all of the educational memories, but what about the coffee dates in the canteen?, going to the PIZZA PALACE (or whatever it was called)?, “eating out” at Gannon’s (Holiday House was already mentioned), getting our late night hamburgers delivered to the dorm and paying for them with our meal tickets, or even selling our left over meal tickets to football players, the old ART BARN, the huge metal Quonset building for basketball games and guest performers, performing a solo at a homecoming because Bill Holm had asked me to “lip sync” a song (but he never found the record so it was “live”), staying up at night working on a final project (Ethel was often a life saver), spring frat parties, synchronized swim practices and shows, the buzzer notification system in Wahlstrom Hall and the phones in the hallways, (and what about the upper classmen lining the sidewalk as the freshman women were moving into Wahlstrom), room checks by Shirley Schmidt ’64, signing out for an occasional “late,” candlelight ceremonies for pinnings and engagements, making our outfits for the Sadie Hawkins dance, the spring ski club trip to Aspen.  The list could go on and on, but I think the best description for Gustavus is “family.”  No matter who, what, where, when, why, or how things were happening, as a student and the many years after, the Gustavus community has always been supportive.  I often feel sorry for those who have gone to colleges and universities and do not feel a connection to, or keep in touch with, any of their very special friends.

~Sandy “Sooty” Spaulding Welte


As a freshman at Gustavus, I was often homesick for my family back in Nebraska.  During the year, various new friends who lived in small towns scattered across Minnesota invited me home with them for the weekend.  In this way, I came to know the generosity and warmth and humor of many different families.  I was particularly struck by their indomitable spirit when it came to finding ways to have fun outdoors in spite of the brutal cold.  This is how I became a lifelong fan of the good people of Minnesota.

~Sondra Meistrell Upham


My connection with Gustavus has varied over the years.  I am writing to others of you who may not have been involved recently.  I am going to attend this reunion to honor my parents, to honor our classmates who have passed away, and to say hello to people who shared my transition from adolescence to young adulthood.  We will never have those days back again.  My parents made a commitment to send me to Gustavus even though all four of my grandparents came from Norway.  In my family we said “10,000 Swedes ran through the weeds chased by one Norwegian.”  I am saddened to see the list of classmates who have passed away.  I want to honor their lives by hearing their names, remembering them, and sharing in a worship service with classmates from 1965, led by classmates from 1965.

             My husband went to the University of Minnesota and our group of friends are mostly from there, work, family, or our neighborhood.  So, if you haven’t been attending reunions and aren’t hanging out with a bunch of Gusties, you could still decide to attend this special 45th reunion.  Some people have told me they don’t know who would want to see them.  That is the greatest thing about reunions, there is always someone who is glad to see you so they can let you know what they remember about you.

            I hope you will decide to give this reunion a go.  Because it is graduation and the hotels will be very full, many of us are staying in the dorms.  If for nothing else, come just for that memory, even though our dorms are mostly gone.  Remember when we thought “Menopause Manor” was funny?  Hope to see you.

~Linn Ostberg


Dear Classmates,

Here is a report updating you on the alumni giving from our class of ’65.

There are 243 of us in the class of 1965.  At present 68 classmates have made a donation to Gustavus for a total of nearly $24,000.  We can reach our goals!

243 Classmates giving   $25 = $6,075

243 Classmates giving $45 = $10,935

243 Classmates giving $65 = $15,795

243 Classmates giving $100 = $24,300

If you are one of the majority that has not made a gift, please consider a donation to our beloved college on the hill in honor of our reunion.  If you’re attending the reunion, you can make your gift with your registration.  If not attending, mail it to:  Gustavus Annual Fund, 800 West College Ave., St. Peter, MN 56082 or you can make a donation online at:

It looks like we will have a great couple of days on May 28th and 29th at the reunion.  It would be really exciting if we could announce that we had at least 50% of our class contributing.

Please join me in support of Gustavus.  Help keep GA the kind of place that it is, for generations to come.

Thank You─hope to see many of you at the reunion!

~Paul Hammar


John Aamodt is living out his dream by living on a lake in LaPorte, MN.  After three years in the Marines and Viet Nam, he went to work with the Hartford Insurance Company, eventually retiring in 1999 in the area of employee benefits.  He and his wife, Joanna, enjoy wintering in southern California and playing a lot of golf.

Bob Almquist attended Gustavus his freshman year.  He then turned to a sales career with the Fuller Brush Co.  From the 1960s to the present, St. Paul has been his home.  Bob’s wife, Katie, died thirteen years ago.  Together they had two children.  Their daughter, Carolyn, graduated from North Dakota State University and now works for the Star Tribune.  Daughter, Ginny, now attends Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN.  She plans to become a high school English teacher.

Bill Anderson has lived in the San Francisco Bay area since 1969.  Most of his career was in the ocean shipping business.  Primarily this involved containerized freight shipped to the Far East.  For the last six years, while that business slowed, Bill has worked for a CPA and consulting firm.  Bill and his wife, Rita, have two boys.  The older is 25 and the younger, 21.  Bill added a heartfelt closing note:  Almost every time he passes through St. Peter to visit family in southern Minnesota, Bill stops at GAC to visit old sites.  A special stop is a few minutes of reflection in Christ Chapel.  He remembers well Chaplain Elvee’s morning services.

Don Anderson joined the Marine Corps following Gustavus graduation.  He served four and a-half years, including a tour of duty in Viet Nam in 1967.  Following Marine Corps service, Don began a teaching career.  He taught science at New London-Spicer (MN) High School for thirty-two years.  He retired in 2002.  Don and Sue Anderson were married in 1972.  They have two sons, Eric and Aaron.  Sue served as a health and physical education teacher in the New London-Spicer middle school division.  Sue retired from teaching in 1999.

Tom Beckman was a student at Gustavus his freshman year.  He then enrolled at the University of Minnesota where he received a B.A.  He also earned a D.D.S. degree from the University.  In addition, Tom received a master’s degree in public health from Harvard.  Tom is a specialist in pediatric dentistry.  He taught at Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis and at the University of Minnesota.  Tom married Mary Conroy in 1973.  She is a practicing pediatrician for HealthPartners.  Tom now works part-time and Mary continues working full-time.  They have four grown sons, two of whom are married.  Tom’s closing note was that he very much enjoyed the camaraderie of Uhler Hall during his year at Gustavus.

Nancy Redman Carlson is retired and has had an interesting career with the state of Minnesota, including training and organizational development and working in Stillwater in the Corrections Department….Diane Wajda Johnson lives in Chaska MN.  Her husband is a retired pastor and Diane attended Luther Seminary later in life and was director of pastoral care at Augustana Lutheran Church.

Julie Eastlund Honzay lives in Spicer, MN on Green Lake, which they enjoy very much.  She retired from many years of teaching in 1998.

Vicki Johnson Jacobsen lives in Modesto, CA…she worked as a cardiac nurse for many years but retired from being a hospice nurse.  She enjoys her roses and gospel music.  She has two sons that serve our country:  Bob is a major in the National Guard out of Washington and has served in Afghanistan…Alan is an officer in the Navy; has been on submarine duties, traveled extensively, and has achieved some prestigious awards and recognition.

Janet Hokanson Johnson lives in Madison, WI.  She has been retired for three years after working for 37 years as a nurse in the University of Wisconsin Student Health Service.  Their first grandchild is 8 months old living in Portland, Oregon.  They love to travel there!

Ken and Sharon (Stueland ’64) Olson live in Waukon, Iowa.  Ken recently retired from his family physician practice in Waukon.  They spent some time this winter visiting their son in Florida and they also get to the Minneapolis area to visit their 3-year-old granddaughter in St. Louis Park.

Karen Kruse Knoll and her husband, Robert, live in Lakeville and enjoy travel, reading, theater and especially enjoy their three grandchildren…Karen and Bob, have traveled all over the world.  She will miss our reunion as Karen and Joyce Wallinder Johnson will be in Israel.

Following graduation from Gustavus, Don Mattson entered U.S. Navy flight training.  After earning his wings he served on active duty for nine years as tactical coordinator on patrol aircraft.  Following his active duty assignments, Don continued with the active Reserves, in a patrol capacity focusing on anti-submarine operations.  He retired from the Reserves in 1995 as a naval captain.  Don married Merry Mattson in 1967.  She and Don have three sons, one of whom is married.

Mary Wood Menz lives in Jacksonville, FL and is director of Human Resources for Hyatt Regency.  She is grandma to twin girls, 10-years-old, who live in Colorado….Karen Callstrom Strusz lives in Red Wing, MN and has been retired from teaching for 10 years.  She does work a little part time at a clothing store, Vestiges, located in the St. James Hotel.  In January Karen and her husband, Arne, cruised the Panama Canal.  They have 4 grandchildren ages 4 to 14.

After Gustavus, John O. Olson attended the University of Minnesota, earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1971.  Prior to finishing at the U of MN, John began teaching at the University of Maine at Ft. Kent.  He continued teaching there through 1980.  John then moved to Camrose Lutheran University College in Alberta, Canada from 1980 through 2009.  He retired from teaching on June 30th last year.  (The name had changed along the way to Augustana University College.  Then it became part of the U of Alberta).  John taught organic and general chemistry.  During grad school John married Kathryn Wellington ’66.  They adopted two children, Johanna, and a boy, Kristjon.  Following a divorce, John married Treva.  He has two step-children, Emerson and Elise.

Nancy Anderson Perrier has been a public health nurse and a school nurse from which she is retired…and now she is a wedding coordinator for her church.  Nancy and Bob’s daughter, Danielle, is a good friend with Linn Ostberg’s daughter, Jennifer!

Marilyn Swenson Richter lives in Wayzata, MN and continues to sell real estate with Roger Fazendin.

Kathy Felt Roux, a nursing major, is married to Kim, a physician in New Orleans.  She has lived in New Orleans since her marriage in 1970.  Kathy has horror stories about Katrina:  Flooding in Metairie (a suburb of New Orleans) where their home is and also losing their roof to Katrina’s winds.  Kathy reports that some of the destruction from Katrina has not yet been repaired.  Kathy and Kim have a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren.  She will miss our reunion because of a family reunion in Alaska.  Kathy regrets missing our gathering but sends all our class members “Best Wishes!”

Sondra Meistrell Upham retired from teaching high school English back in 1990 and went on to earn her master’s degree.  In 2000, her book of poems, Freight, won a prize and was published by a small press in N.Y.  A very big thrill for her.  In 2001, she went to clown school to become a hospital clown.  (Still using those drama skills she learned at Gustavus.)  In 2002, Sondra traveled as a clown ambassador with a large group of Caring Clowns to Mexico where they clowned at orphanages and hospitals.  Then, her grandchildren started being born, and she has been having a great time with them—two in Florida and one in Texas where two of her sons live.  Sondra’s husband owns golf shops in Massachusetts called Golfology, but since the winters are slow they are able to be in Scottsdale, AZ during the cold months.  Turns out her neighbor in Arizona is Rebecca Gilbertson Merritt ’68 and now one of her best friends.  So she still has very warm personal connections.  Also, Sondra’s roommate at Gustavus, Cherie Morse Frankel, who lives in Missouri, spends a few weeks of each year with her.  Life-long friends.  Go Gusties!

Kristin Nelson Welbaum lives in Edina.  She and her husband, Michael, are both retired.  They have 3 children and the oldest, Katie, (’90) is a Gustie grad.  Kristin is on her 10th year of being on the Gustavus Library Associates Board.

In closing, dear classmates, I ask you to give your gift to Gustavus.  Our class goal is 70% and $50,000.  Please be generous, but most of all, PLEASE GIVE.

Best wishes and see YOU at our 45th reunion!

Beverly Nordskog Hedeen

1965 Co-Class Agent