Class of '69
April 2002

Dear Classmates,

We’ve started the season that people who live in places like Tennessee, Southern Indiana, Virginia, and Colorado call “spring.”  We in Minnesota have learned to simply call it “Teasing Season.”  On Friday Karlie and a friend spent much of their day off “boating” in the bottom of an old sailboat on an undrained slough.  This morning, for the first time in several months, we crossed an ice-free Mississippi River on the way to church.  This afternoon Karlie and I took our first walk along the Lake Wobegon Trail in nearby Avon while David diligently continued that other ritual of the season, adding step one to the total of step 3 subtracted from step 2 to finish the income tax dash by the stroke of the last bell.  He uses a computer program to avoid being in the Post Office line at midnight on the 15th, yet seems to enjoy the camaraderie of other midnight filers.

Buds everywhere promise that there will soon be leaves on the trees and Middle Spunk Lake is starting to give up its ice around the edges.  But, and this is that well-known Minnesota But, shaded areas tenaciously grasp their last bits of snow―the grimy ones, rather nasty reminders that for a few weeks yet we could still be rudely awakened to snow on the ground.  But oh, we’re out in droves appreciating this gift of a day―particularly so because this year we had winter in late February and all of March instead of the usual time.

It’s time once again to thank you for your outstanding support of our college, and remind you that Phonorama again approaches―the week of April 22nd.  Your gifts and news are so appreciated!

I have much accumulated news of us to share.  When I talked with Ted Zinner, he and his wife were enjoying 20-month-old grandson, Nicholas, and looking forward to a new grandchild in December.  They were looking forward to a house-full of people when everyone came to visit for Christmas.  Our conversation was shortly after a return from Arizona and Utah “looking at canyons” and boating on the St. Croix.  Little wonder that Ted's’ comment was that “Life is good.”

Glen and Linda (Jabs ’72) Stenlund recently had their first grandchild, Alexander James.  He was a three-month preemie, but when we talked he was home and doing fine.  Their son, Andy, married last year and lives in Shoreview, having the fun of home ownership.  He’s an engineer at Remley Engineering.  Now that he’s out of school and set, they’re starting to plan for “retirement sometime.”  When we talked, Glen was in a building project to replace a metal shed that a tree fell on and caused the roof to start going the wrong way.  Linda shared that, of course, the project was requiring several trips to Menards a week.  They live in Cottage Grove―one of those growth areas where they “seem to continually need new elementary schools.”  New developments spawning numerous rugrats.  Linda’s company (Fortis) was bought by Hartford, but she’s still in the same building, “the one on I-494 that’s built upside down.”  She turned son, Andy’s, room into a quilting room when he left and has joined the Afton Quilting Society and so far has turned out a dozen quilts and reported their two Siamese cats “like to watch us do projects and keep us company now that the kids have left the roost.”

Lispeth Patrick Buettner is an interim pastor in Western Springs in the Chicago area.  Her spouse is also a pastor and they’ve had a chance to meet a great many people in the area. 

Both Jay ’70 and Merideth (Anderson) Brown teach in Montevideo―Merideth in Title I, 1st and 2nd grades and Jay in special-ed―MSMI (formerly TMR) lower mentally handicapped.  He did that for his first 11 years and then went to first, third, then fifth grades.  When the special-ed person left town and they couldn’t find anyone else, Jay drifted back.  When I asked him about retirement plans he fit into the category I can identify with, “less than ten, more than five.”  Their “baby,” Jeff, is graduating from Gustavus in environmental studies and Todd, a 1999 graduate, works at Twin City Federal in Excelsior.

Gratia (Lokensgaard) Erickson said that her daughter, Kristin, was living at home and going to St. Thomas in advertising and marketing.  Gratia said they were enjoying having her home for a while again― "the phone rings all the time again.”  She had just been in a wedding when we talked and Gratia said that had been fun.  (Scary―I have pretty distinct memories of writing about her heading into ninth grade―and then working on choosing a college!)  Their son is at Leisure Design in Chanhassen.

John Wall and his wife are preparing to adopt a second child from China.  Their first, Sarah, is three years old.

Congratulations again to Craig Johnson on his installation as bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod.  Our letter materials included a clipping from a Minneapolis newspaper―an associated press release”Rev. Craig Johnson became bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in a lavish ceremony.  He was installed on Sunday by ELCA Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson in a service at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis.  Johnson, 54, becomes the leader of the church’s largest synod, with 174 churches and 230,000 members.  The synod includes Hennepin County.  Before his election in June, he was associate vice president for church relations at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.  He took office September 1, succeeding Bishop David Olson, who retired after 14 years in the job.  Johnson grew up in Chisago City, and attended Gustavus Adolphus, majoring in business administration intending to become a banker.  Then the college chaplain suggested that he try the seminary for one year.”

Mike Dobbs has changed from hospital work to being in home health as a physical therapist.

Bob Saeger has completed 27 years in private general dental practice in the same location in Phoenix.  Recent travels include two weeks in the Dominican Republic last June.  That sounds like a fun and interesting time.

There was a nice note included from Jean (Polzin) Lorentz.  “Hi all, I continue to think Gustavus is a very progressive college but maintaining a closeness that many don’t have.  My family has “left the nest” just about with only 1 of the 4 girls nearby.  Three have settled in Colorado and in July ’02 I shall become a grandparent.  My husband and I still share our love for horses and have ridden many places with them.  We continue to share these experiences with many others.  We have seen some beautiful places, but love the Black Hills the best.  Have a good ’02’!"

Diane Sather Gramstad missed our fall Phonorama call for a rather enviable reason―”my husband and I were in Norway visiting our daughter, Ann, who was spending her first semester at the University of Oslo.  We had a wonderful twelve days making our way through Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.  When Ann graduates this spring from Gustavus that will make a clean sweep―all three of our kids graduating from Gustavus.  We’re greatly enjoying the role of grandparenting―our grandson is not one.”  Diane talked too about a problem common to many of us―school district budget cuts.  She said that her school “is being closed next year―ouch.  Elk River has also gotten a lot of press as they move towards a four-day week.”  She ended on a good question for us―”Is it true that changes keep you young?”  (Let’s all hope so)  “Hope all is well with you.”

Lynda (White) Larson lives in Sheboygan and reported still teaching elementary school…”but dreaming of retirement and getting scared and excited in the same breath!  Where have the years gone?  She’s also serving as part-time church musician “still loving the keyboard and playing whenever I can.”  Giving time to the area suicide support group and becoming a grandparent last April keep Linda busy and she reported that she’d “learned to love the name Grandma.”  And the upper-Midwest plaintive hope for snow―she said they were “looking forward to some north woods snowmobiling―if we EVER get snow!”

Sheila Holmberg Helleson continues to teach and coordinate the ESL program in Tracy.  Not too long ago it was hard to imagine Tracy, Minnesota becoming a place where 12% of the students have English as a second language.  Sheila said that most of the students she sees have a Hmong background.  Their first granddaughter celebrated her first birthday in March.  “As the daughter of two drummers (and being born in March), her name of Cadence is very appropriate.”  Sheila noted her as a “cute little red-head, but then I’m prejudiced.”  I love her name.

Congratulations to Donna (Johnson) and Bob Swanson on their second granddaughter―Allie.

Kathleen Giese Skoller and her husband live in Evanston, Illinois where she is a fine arts teacher from the Palatine School District.  Their oldest son recently finished his Ph.D. at Northwestern and will be teaching at the Art Institute in Chicago.  Their two other sons are in a touring blues band―what interesting pursuits!

John Knox ’68 wrote that Karen (Matteson) has gone back to graduate school.  We’ll look forward to hearing more about what she’s doing as time permits.

Les Carpenter teaches biology at Plains Public Schools in Montana.  His recent drafting as the high school’s head basketball coach has no doubt made a significant dent in his winter spare time.  Congratulations on that appointment, Wes!

Laura (Olson) and Steve Newton live in Cambridge where she is a public health nurse at Fairview Lakes Home Caring and Hospice and Steve is a pastor at Lakeside Christian Church.  They have the fun of a major wedding to plan in June―their daughter, Joy, is being married.  Congratulations and have much enjoyment at that special event.

Dave Nichols is a technician at Northrop Grumman in San Diego and Louise (Anderson) is in public relations for Buckle-Up San Diego.  Their daughter presented them with another grandchild―Jaiden Page last August.  What an interesting name!

John Thomas was getting ready for a February move to Sioux City, Iowa.  His oldest son, Andy, works in Minneapolis and second son, Adam, has settled in Connecticut.  Best wishes with that move, John.

Susan (McNamara) and David Showalter live in St. Paul where she is an architect/urban planner and David is a general consultant for Showalter & Company.  They’re looking forward to being grandparents in July.

Jane (Melby) Driscoll has achieved that enviable title after her name―retired.  She and Ron are still in Hastings and are no doubt enjoying their grandson, Jason Patrick, who joined their lives October 19th.  Congratulations and enjoy much.

Joyce (Goetz) and Greg Anderson have the best address―they live at 11 Spy Glass Road.  Their four children have brought four grandchildren into their lives.  In January they were awaiting a fifth.  What fun you must be having!

Cheryl (Maley) Gelbmann lives in Brainerd where she’s owner and director of IMPART.  Her husband, Jim, is a physician at Brainerd Medical Center.  Their son, Dan, is in a master’s program in Hawaii and daughter, Jane, a sophomore at Hamline, will have an opportunity to travel in Northern Ireland.  Both those endeavors sound awfully interesting.

Anne (Larson) Fritsche is a piano teacher and personal care attendant for a four-year old with shaken baby syndrome.  Jim is financial planner for Firstar Home Mortgage Corporation.  Their son, Chad, graduated from Rochester Community and Technical College two years ago and is studying health education at St. Cloud State.  Eric married two years ago and works in banking in Lakeville.

Again, I’m so appreciative of your support and sharing of the news of your lives that I can pass along to the rest of us.  I hope your generosity toward Gustavus will continue when you’re asked again.

And…I hope you had a joyous Easter and have a wonderful summer ahead.  These next weeks seem to fly by.  For those of you attending graduations at Gustavus and other colleges, enjoy the wonderful celebration and embarking on life that that brings.  May those of you looking forward to weddings have such a special time―and those of you who are grandparents―revel in that blessing to the fullest.


Jane Norman Leitzman

1969 Co-class Agent

P.S.  Now for some news from the campus written by a current Gustavus student:

Campus News:

Hi!  This is Tracey Hanson again writing from the Alumni Office.  For those of you who haven’t previously heard from me, I am a senior double majoring in Communication Studies and Business Management.  I am a seasoned Alumni Office veteran, as this is my fourth (and final) year here.  After not having taken a J-Term class, spring semester and the homework it entails has been hitting me hard.  Contrary to popular belief, the “senior slacker” final semester has been just the opposite for me.  My time at Gustavus has flown by, especially this final year.  The fact that it is March and I am still without a job is beginning to be a constant thought in the back of my mind.  It also seems to be a constant thought in the minds of my parents, although it seems closer to the front of theirs!  Spring semester has also been the final opportunity to be all together with classmates, so much time has been spent socially with roommates and friends.

As I will be graduating in June, this will be the final time you receive updates from me.  I now will also move into the alum category and step into the real world.  I’m not sure I’m completely ready for the change, but I’m darn sure that I better get ready because it’ll be here before I know it!  Here is some news from Gustavus.

Hello Walk On-line Alumni Community ( has been launched and Gusties of all ages are invited to join this meeting place for anything from small talk to debate to caring conversations.  Hello Walk at Gustavus is the sidewalk running from Uhler Hall on the north side of campus past the front of Old Main to Pittman Hall on the south side, which, for decades, was the main “artery” and gathering point on campus.  Even though the campus landscape has changed, the spirit of Hello Walk continues with you joining the conversation on the virtual Hello Walk.  Associate professor of political science, Chris Gilbert, will guest host a discussion on politics for the months of May and June.  Check it out at

Reunion Weekend for the 50 Year Club and Class of 1952 is May 31 & June 1.  A schedule of events and registration material were sent in early April.

Homecoming 2002 & All Sports Reunion Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Intercollegiate Athletics is September 21.  Homecoming Weekend will include reunion gatherings for classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002.  Class reunions will be held in Bloomington at the Radisson South Hotel Friday evening, and Homecoming events including class and all-sports reunion events will return to campus for activities Saturday.  A schedule of events and registration material will be mailed in August.  A schedule will be published in the summer and fall issues of the Quarterly.

It has been an extremely successful winter sports season at Gustavus.  Women’s hockey won the MIAC regular season championship with an undefeated record and advanced to the Frozen Four National Tournament, finishing third in the nation. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won MIAC titles, the first time in Gustavus history.  The women’s Nordic ski team won its first MIAC championship.  Men’s basketball placed second in the MIAC during the regular season and MIAC playoffs, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to number one ranked Carthage College.  Men’s hockey finished second in the MIAC regular season and playoffs.  Women’s basketball finished fourth in the MIAC and advanced to the conference playoff for the first time ever. The women’s indoor track team finished second and both the men’s Nordic ski team and men’s indoor track teams placed fourth in MIAC action.  The women’s gymnastics team advanced to the NCGA National Championships.  Five Gustavus coaches were named Coach of the Year in their respective sports – Jon Carlson (women’s swimming & diving), Mike Carroll (women’s hockey), Mickey Haller (women’s basketball), Scott Jerome (women’s Nordic skiing), and Brett Petersen (men’s hockey).

G.I.V.E. – Gusties In Volunteer Endeavors is moving to the spring.  Work projects will happen in the Twin Cities on Saturday, April 27.  Register on-line at under the alumni events section.

The 22nd MAYDAY! Peace Conference, May 1 will address the topic "Sanctions and Beyond:  What is the Human Price?"  For conference information and reservations, call the Office of Public Affairs (507/933-7520).

Comprehensive Alumni Directory

The Alumni Directory being published for the Gustavus Alumni Association by Publishing Concepts is still in production.  Those who purchased directories should expect to receive their copy in September.  Orders for an alumni directory can still be taken by calling 800/982-1590.

Evelyn Sponberg Young’s 90th birthday celebration

The Twin Cities Chapter of the Alumni Association invites all Gusties and friends of former Gustavus food service director and 2002 Alumni Fund Chair Evelyn Sponberg Young ’33 to her 90th birthday celebration on July 25, 2002 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. program.

Evelyn will be serving her famous Red Velvet Cake and all guests will receive a loaf of her famous Swedish rye bread. A book of remembrance will be compiled as a gift for Evelyn.  Please send remembrances and stories of Evelyn to Alumni Office, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Reservations should be made with the Alumni Office at 800-487-8437, e-mail at or visit our web site at, alumni, events.

NOBEL CONFERENCE® XXXVIII, The Nature of Nurture – The Early Years, will be held on campus October 1 & 2.  The conference will explore the forces that are most important in shaping a child’s personality, gender identity, and language acquisition and learning ability.  History, discoveries, research, and clinical studies will all be surveyed to draw a better understanding of biological forces and environmental influences on brain development.

For more news and information about Gustavus, check out the web site at