Class of ’68

September 2012

Dear Class of ʼ68,

Thanks to all of you who responded.  I am blessed with lots of information and cursed with the task of sorting, editing and writing it all in some reasonable form.  Here goes…

Some are still singing “Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go.”

Ardena Flippin has “unretired” and is now director of Physicians’ Assistant Program at the City College of Chicago.  Lois Flesner Goetz, Hot Springs, AR is helping her husband Art celebrate 50 years of ELCA ministry by continuing to play the piano and organ at church.   Peter Millon retired last year, got bored, moved to Park City, UT and is back in the ski world working four and skiing three days each week.  His summers are spent golfing with his son, target practice and fishing to round out his off-season.  Maureen Olsen Singleton and husband Keith are still in Fond du Lac, WI.  They keep busy with their businesses and online stores.  In spare time Maureen works at Sears, is active with the local Artists’ Association, serves as a Court Appointed Advocate for children in need of protection, and finds time for their five grandchildren.  Judy Opheim Schwakopf, Overland Park, KS is working towards her goal of 25 years at Carondelet Health as an organizational development director.  There were once 14 on the staff and now it is just Judy and two others.  Thankfully her boys are all grown!  D. Scott Peterson is still into Wealth Management in Reno/Sparks, NV.  He does spend half the year at Leech Lake in Walker.  Son, Andrew is assistant captain of the Gustavus hockey team.  Go Gusties!!!

Somehow I’ve saved the ministers for the last−Jack and Ruth (Johns ʼ69) Niemi are in Rossmoor/Walnut Creek, CA.  Jack has “failed to retire three times” and is now at Hope Lutheran.  The Rev. Dr. Steve Streed is chaplain at Eventide Homes in Minnesota and North Dakota and lives in Fargo.  His doctorate is in aging and spirituality.

On to the retirees…

Phyllis Anderson Ballata just retired from Century College, White Bear Lake after 31 years of being an English professor.  She was named by the MNSCU Board of Trustees for the Award of Excellence in Teaching as Educator of the Year 2012.  Congrats, and what a finale to your career!  She still runs The Nest, a green store that focuses on fair trade, local community, and environmental justice in White Bear, directs the senior choir at church, is writing a three-year Sunday School curriculum, and enjoys having her kids and six grandkids nearby.   Dale Christoffer, Greenville, MI is a retired retail manager whose second career is working with autistic kids.  He took a three week “safari” to Germany with his son this summer, stayed in hostels, and found the home of his grt-grt-great grandfather which is still in good condition.  Dick Helvig and Sherry split their time between Grand Rapids and Borrego Springs, CA.  He retired from the Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital in 2010.  For the previous 10 years (he earned an MBA in Medical Group Mgmt. from St Thomas) has served as chief information officer supervising the introduction of electronic medical records.  In California they enjoy hiking, biking and Jeeping in the desert.  Rick and Benay (Borene ʼ67) Jaeger both retired from Montevideo Public Schools.  Summers are spent at Lake Amelia, Glenwood and winters at their home in Sun City Grand, Surprise, AZ.  While in Arizona golf, tennis, church, and volunteering at the Lutheran Thrift Shop Truck keep them busy.  Greg Linnell has retired from the banking and mortgage industry citing age and government regulations as reasons.  He now golfs five days a week in Corsicana, TX when he is not off to his home (Chateau Greg) in Tempe, AZ, or visiting his three children and grandkids.  Al ʼ66 and Ingrid Wilson Molde have moved from St. Peter to Clitherall Lake south of Battle Lake and are relaxing nicely.  Larry Ortloff, Alexandria retired from Thrivent and now is a volunteer fund raiser, sings, plays the trumpet in a small orchestra, and hunts with his dog.  Mary Lock Palm and husband, Paul ’67 of Springfield, VA retired happily two years ago.  She admits that she does still work a weekend a month as a nurse practitioner/neurology consultant.  They have traveled to Italy, hiked the Swiss Alps, visited New Zealand, and hiked Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park.  Their grandsons live in Virginia too, so they play weekly and have vacationed at the beach with them.  Barb Howe Rosen, Medina, OH is retired from teaching French.  She sings in the church choir, golfs, skis, travels and enjoys her four grandkids.  Judge Steve Ruble, Princeton retired last year after 25 years.  He was appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich in 1986 and won re-election until retirement.  He and Patricia (Wallace) have three grown children.  Jim and Diane Schoenrock have left California and are traveling before they move to Woodburn, OR.  Jim was senior pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran in North Hollywood.  Dick and Winnie (Snyder) Severson, Madison, WI retired four years ago and are loving it.  They have been reconnecting with Gustavus friends.  If I listed them all it would take a half page… Whether headed to London, Florida, or wherever they stop and visit New York to see son, Sten ʼ95 and family.  They say if you’re in Madison look them up.   Don and Connie Waterbury now spend winters in Vero Beach, FL and summers in Lake Geneva, WI.  Sounds like the investment advising all those years went well.

And to the last of the retirees…

Judy Draxton Ellis and husband, Mike, live in Burley, OR and cannot believe they have an 18-year-old grandson, among others.  Time marches on!  They vacationed in McCall, ID with family this summer enjoying lots of water activities.  And they have a new puppy and are still looking for volunteers to help potty train!  Barb Veker Elnes, Edina spends time at the lake with husband, Rick who retired five years ago.  She still subs in the Hopkins and Edina school systems, spends time with two granddaughters, is active in the Gustavus Library Associates and enjoys her parents who are now 92.  She thanks Gustavus for her opportunities to make a difference.  Pam Richardson Allen and husband, Mike, have returned to Stockton, CA after four years in Tucson.  They are closer to family again and Pam substitutes “when her schedule allows it.”  Sandy Silrum Eberhardt retired after 42 years of nursing.  She and husband, Hal, live in the suburbs of Houston, TX near the grandchildren, but do escape the heat by spending time in Minnesota with friends in summer.  Mark and Mary Youngstrom, Vadnais Heights spend lots of time in Des Moines to watch their two grandsons (4 & 7) play hockey.  They do lots of volunteer work at their church and Mark does a little part-time student teacher supervision at St. Thomas.  Maryann Pommeranz Kaul retired from nursing but still does charitable clinic work.  Husband, Bob, is at his last parish, and ELCA congregation in Montgomery.  They have (unbelievable) grandchildren in their teens.  Bought property near Northfield and plan to build a retirement home in the coming years.  She misses the Minneapolis bridge group but keeps busy with original stitchery and card making.

Aside from yet another reminder to put our 45th (yikes) Reunion on your calendars−May 31-June 1, 2013−“Tttthat’s  All Folks”

Paula Navarro

1968 Communications Chair

Campus News

Alumni Career Exploration

Where Dreams Meet Reality: Alumni Networking and Transition” will be offered again with support from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Catherine Beyer Breet (  This program is designed for anyone who is unemployed, underemployed, or unhappily employed.  It takes participants through the process of naming gifts, talents, and passions and finding where to use them in the world.  This event is scheduled at St. Mary’s University this fall on Tuesdays Sept. 25, Oct. 9 and 23, and Nov. 6, from 6–8 p.m.  This four-part classroom series includes full access to the Online Job Hunt Coaching System.  The series is being offered for $199 (Gustavus alumni $149).  Live outside the Twin Cities metro area?  The series will be offered in webinar format for $149 (Gustavus alumni $99).  Register at:

Nobel Conference – “Our Global Ocean”

October 2-3 – Nobel Conference 48 examines, “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  The conference will examine our oceans as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.  We know less about our own oceans than we do about the surfaces of other planets hundreds of millions of miles away.  Top researchers in biogeochemistry, oceanography, deep-sea biology, molecular genetics, and coral ecology will discuss the most relevant topics concerning our mysterious oceans.  Tickets for this year’s Nobel Conference are available at:

The Royal Visit

Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will visit Gustavus in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.  The Royal Visit to Gustavus will be Friday, October 5, 2012.  For the full schedule of the day’s events, visit visit.  Many events require tickets.

Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has selected nine individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame.  The 2012 class of inductees include Rhonda Gorseth Alberts ’93 (Gymnastics), Brian Brekke ’95 (Football),Kara Bloomquist Drekonja ’96 (Cross Country),Brett Gross ’96 (Track & Field),Brock Guettler ’92 (Basketball),Mark Kruger ’86 (Tennis),Jason Lesteberg ’96 (Hockey),Scott Stoneking ’96 (Soccer), and Donald Swanson ’55 (Benefactor).  This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in Alumni Hall at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, following the Hall of Fame football game between the Gusties and Hamline University, which is set to take place at 1 p.m. at Hollingsworth Field.

Homecoming 2012

October 12-14 – Homecoming 2012 will include the Sesquicentennial Closing Dinner, reunions, a football game, a performance by The Bend of the River Big Band, and more.  For information on reunion registration and the entire homecoming schedule, visit

Alumni Travel Opportunities

2013 Friends of Music Salzburg choral Tour

Gustavus Friends of Music has arranged for a Gustavus Alumni choir tour to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague June 23 – July 5, 2013.  Singers and non-singers alike are welcome.  Once in Salzburg, the singers will join the Mozart International Choral Festival and perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral on June 29.  Not a singer?  There is space available for non-performers as well.  For more information contact Jackie Neeck Peterson ’77 at or 800-726-6192.

2013 Pearls of Central Europe

Experience Central Europe with Gustavus professor emeritus of history Dr. Tom Emmert from September 10—21, 2013.  This 12-day Gustavus study tour combines learning, exploring, leisure, lecture, food, and arts with special touches, all led by a faculty expert.  The journey is focused around three showpiece cities of Central Europe:  Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.  For more information, contact Tom Emmert at

Gustie Breakfasts - Twin Cities – New time and place

Engage with other alumni and learn something new about your alma mater at the monthly Twin Cities Gustavus alumni breakfast.  Please join us at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis), on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m.  Cost is $10.  Gustie breakfasts are also being held on campus the second Wednesday of each month.

October 17 – Nobel Conference Recap

November 21 – Donald Ostrom – November elections

December 19 – Terry Morrow – Minnesota Vikings stadium