Class of '66
January 2002

Dear Class of ’66

It is my hope that this letter finds you recovering from an incredible New Year's Eve Party (one that lasted at least until 10:00 p.m.)  Ken and I stayed in on New Year's Eve and babysat our nephew's six-month-old…only problem was he wanted to stay up later than we did!  Anyway, I hope that 2002 finds you happy and enthusiastic for a New Year!  Surely 2001 brought some profound changes to many lives and an opportunity to reflect on those things that are truly meaningful.  Ken walked our oldest daughter down the aisle on December 28 and we loved the whole wedding experience.  I know many of you have already done that…it does take the breath away to imagine how quickly these years have flown by.

I have news from some of you and want to share that.  Sharon Anderson Engman wrote a letter in October as one of your class agents.  Joyce Henrickson Ramseth, another class agent, will be writing again in the spring.  If you have not sent in news recently, please do so for the next letter.  I know that people enjoy hearing news of former classmates.

Ed and Cynthia (Blomquist ’69) Gustavson have had quite a year down in Tulsa.  Ed was in a near fatal auto crash in March of 2001 and they have spent much of the year in transition.  Ed is in a wheelchair and is learning to walk again.  Doctors have told them that it will be a long and painful recovery.  However, he is now working again full time. (The children love having a doctor who is at their level.)  They moved into a wheelchair accessible apartment in Tulsa and have found that life can become even better when it is simplified.  Cynthia is still seeing clients in psychotherapy and writing poetry.  She even had the pleasure of teaching poetry and spirituality at Holden Village this summer.  Ed and Cynthia, we wish you the best.  You are surely an inspiration to all of us.

Kitty Carlson-Mares Lovitt writes from Richardson, Texas.  "I retired from clinical practice and from teaching clinical OB/GYN at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.  I miss my patients and students, but love more time with seven grandchildren, playing golf, volunteering and wintering in Arizona where my mom is still very active.  Hubby, Bob, is still working, but I hope he'll see the light soon and retire also.  Life is good―we try to share, especially now, with those less fortunate.  God bless all."  Thanks, Kitty you paint a wonderful picture of retirement!  I could be tempted.

Another testimony about retirement comes from Julia Hagen Accola in Rochester.  She writes, "I retired from IBM in March after 17+ years as a software engineer.  Retirement is great―don't know how I had time to work!"  Work does have a way of getting in the way of our social lives, doesn't it?

Kathryn Eder Abbott writes from Ft. Myers, FL, "I am currently employed as the director of quality systems at Hope Hospice."  She added that the most recent info in the Gustavus Quarterly about her job was 10 years old.  Sorry about that.  This sounds like a great job and I am glad we could clear that up.

Woody Johnson sent his regrets for the reunion from Mangilao, GU.  He says that he is sorry he can't make the 8,000-mile trip, but was delighted with the class list.

Nancy Emerson Newson and her husband are also retired and are enjoying family, grandchildren, friends and traveling.  If I keep writing this letter, I will be retired before the end of the school year.  Nancy, you make it sound sooo tempting.

Ron Martens owns ABM Equipment and Supply in Hopkins.  Esther (Peterson) is an instructor at Hennepin Technical College teaching reading and writing to limited English speaking students.  They live in Excelsior where Ron's hobby is restoring Chris Craft boats.

Paul VanDerSchaaf continues as first vice president - investments and senior investment management consultant at Salomon Smith Barney in Davenport, IA.  I had a nice talk with Paul during Phonorama.  His thirty-year-old son just went into the business with him.  He said there was no news except that his golf game is "still bad."  I told him how I would have loved to have seen him at the reunion and talked about "the good 'ol days."

I get to see Kay Olson Erickson and Mary Dahms Bierbrauer periodically for a Saturday morning breakfast.  Kay's daughter recently took a six-month trip around the world and is now house-hunting in Minneapolis.  Kay continues her work in a pre-school and her husband, Dick continues to work at General Mills.  Mary visits her roots of Colorado often as her mother still lives out there.  She and husband, Tom, enjoy travel and running and family.

Richard ’64 and Joan Benson Dornfeld are spending this school year at Misawa Air Base while Richard teaches physics and math at Edgren High School (retirement was too slow!!!).  The Air Base is located approximately 400 miles north of Tokyo, Japan.  Joan will enjoy the culture, the mountains and the ocean.  Now this sounds like some good retirement!  Hope you are enjoying all that Japan has to offer.

Karen Nielsen Pike writes federal grant proposals for colleges and universities to get money for special programming that serves students with low income and money for first generation families to put students through college.  She also serves on a national board of grant writers.

I had a good conversation with Craig Spry who lives in Cape Coral, Florida.  Craig has been in the travel business for eighteen years.  He indicated that things have started to "pick up" again after the September 11 tragedy.

Dian Ring Norby teaches French and English at Big Sky High School.  She is involved with an exchange program with a school in France and is so enthusiastic about those opportunities.

Nancy Brink has a hobby farm outside of Ranier, WA and has a view of Mt. Rainier from her window.  She occasionally substitute teaches...but I bet that she spends a lot of time with that incredible view.

Sherry Schley Berthelsen works for a firm in Kansas City, MO as an assistant to a CEO.

I talked with Ray Lewandowski during Phonorama and he shared with me that his company merged with Labcorp and he is now regional director of genetic services.  But the best part of the conversation is that he stated "I am married to the most wonderful woman in the world." definitely get the "man of the year" award for that statement.

Loel Johnson Kuehne who served for several years as class agent, served as mother of the groom in October.  Her son, Chad ’94, was married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in Stillwater.  Loel travels as often as she can to New York, Chicago, Texas and Montana.  She works part-time for a lighting firm in Burnsville and is self-employed as an interior designer.

Sally VanSickle Yaeger tells us that Madison, WI is making the national news when the school board voted to stop allowing students to pledge allegiance to the flag.  Also, she did a short advertisement for a Select Comfort bed.  She claims it "saved her life."  I, too, have had a good experience with a Select Comfort bed.  I can't believe we are talking about beds in the Gustavus newsletter!  Has it come to this at our age?

Mary Vandree Clanton and husband, Jim, have four grandchildren.  Mary plays the hand-bells with her mother-in-law and her daughter.  I love that multi-generational experience.

Judy Boline Larson is happily retired and loves the time to spend with grandchildren, traveling and golfing.  It sounds like Judy also spends time volunteering in her community.

Finally, I would like to recognize the class members who served in G.I.V.E (Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors)  Sue Tillman Hallin, Rachel Gilbertson Lind, Joyce Henrikson Ramseth and Catherine Anderson Schoonover from the class of '66 participated in the work day.  I applaud them for their efforts.  I hope more of us can volunteer for the next G.I.V.E day in the Twin Cities, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2002.  Let's mark it on our calendars now and get a great turnout from our class.  I have participated in the past and can attest to the fun we have had.

If you have not contributed to the Gustavus Fund, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

Happy New Year to all!


Mary Strand Slinde

1966 Class Agent

Campus News

Hi!  My name is Tracey Hanson.  I’m a senior, double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I’ve worked in the Alumni Office all four years and can hardly believe that I’m in the middle of my last J-Term!  After a longer-than-usual Christmas break, it’s great to be back on campus.  Instead of taking a class (and doing homework) this J-Term, I’m spending my time slaving away in the Alumni Office.  It’s great to have the extra time to relax and do other activities that J-Term allows.  Having unlimited time at home each night has made for some great cooking!  And getting to watch “Friends” without worrying about the homework you should be doing instead is also a plus! 

Winter athletics are also in full swing!  Gustie teams are off to a great start.  The men’s basketball team leads the MIAC with a conference record of 6-1, 11-1 overall.  They are also ranked in the top ten in the nation in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Ranking.  The women’s hockey team also posts an outstanding record.  They are currently 6-0-0 in the MIAC and ranked fourth in the U.S. College Women’s Hockey Online Poll.  It has been exciting to watch our sports teams compete this winter!    

Gustie music ensembles are also very busy.  The Gustavus Band will embark on an international tour this J-Term.  The band is touring Sweden and Norway, presenting “Music from America.”  The tour dates are January 16 through February 10.  The tour concludes with a homecoming performance at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Choir is busy preparing for their tour of the Midwest during Touring Week in February, concluding with their home concert Feb. 16 in Christ Chapel.  The Gustavus Orchestra will tour Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.

You are invited and encouraged to attend these upcoming alumni events:

February 2      Chicago Chapter event - 6:00 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m.

Gustavus Choir Concert

                        Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL

February 16    Naples Chapter event - Naples Beach Club

                        851 Gulf Shore Boulevard, Naples

                        11:30 a.m. social, 12:30 p.m. luncheon

February 17    Vero Beach Chapter event - Dawn (Ekstrom ’67) and Ted Michael residence

                        2506 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach

                        12:30 p.m. social, 1:30 p.m. luncheon

March 7          San Diego Chapter event

March 8          Tucson Chapter gathering

March 9          Phoenix Chapter gathering

March 10        Sun City Chapter gathering

More information will be sent to alumni and friends in these chapter areas.

RSVP to Alumni Office at 800-487-8437 or e-mail

As I prepare to graduate in June, I find it increasingly hard to think about leaving this place.  It hardly seems possible that four years have flown by, and that in six months I, too, will be considered an alum.  I will always carry with me fond memories of my four years here.  GO GUSTIES!!!