Class of '73
August 2008

Guest Writer:   Deb Ellis,

Working on our 35th reunion planning committee I have been thinking about and looking forward to our October 3-4 gathering of the Class of 1973.  In my head, the questions rattle:  “Why do I want to go?  How can I encourage reluctant classmates to join in?”

A recent experience for me answered the question of why I want to be at the reunion.  A longtime friend had emailed me that he would be in town from Paris briefly and he expected there would be a gathering at a friend’s house in Minneapolis.  I made a mental note of the date.  The morning of the party, I had a message on my work phone with the location of the party that night with no phone number to call back.  I couldn’t confirm that I’d be there.  My friend is an old housemate with whom our family has kept in contact and stayed with in Paris.  I knew I’d make it to the social gathering.  And he knew too―because as we agreed that evening, “we are family.”  That’s how I feel about my Gustie classmates and our mutual residence in St. Peter―we are family―we shared a home together.  You and Gustavus are part of me.

I hope to see plenty of you at our reunion events starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday night, October 3, with our gathering in downtown Minneapolis at classmate, Kelvin Miller’s Premier Gallery.   Good noshing and good jawing.  And then on Saturday, we have “The Dive” (in our era, the swimming pool area of Alumni Hall) reserved all day as our home base―look for coffee in the a.m., lunch and reunion program, and then happy hour and additional program post-game.  Professor Tim Robinson ’65 has volunteered to host a BBQ party at his home in Kasota on Saturday evening starting at 6:30-10ish.  Active and retired faculty from our era will be invited to the Saturday BBQ.  If you have a special story or you know someone else who has a special story to share with the group as a whole, let us know (contact if you want to be a speaker or want to recommend a classmate to be a speaker).

The registration cost for all class reunion events is $100 per person.  See more details on the enclosed/attached schedule of events and our class web site.

We need your photos or videos.  Send your photos, scanned memorabilia, etc. to Steve Ogren at, mail to Six Woodhill Lane, North Oaks, MN 55127, or call him at 651-483-9236 for technical help.

Class News

Here is my (Deb Ellis) brief update:  Our youngest child leaves for college in September making it three in college next year―HELP.  Our oldest, Emily will be a senior at Gustavus so I have more than one reason to visit St. Peter these days;  Kristen will be a junior at Luther and Lizzy a freshman at Knox College.  My husband and I are going to start dating again!

Rule of 90-ers (retiring types - my math tells me these folks got extra credit somewhere):

Tom Witty and his wife, Jackie, (Bemidji) are both retired, each having reached the Rule of 90 (age + years of service)―Tom by serving 31 years with the St. Louis County Social Service Dept. and Jackie after teaching and coaching in Virginia.

Janet Nietz McCarty and husband, Michael, have moved to Marco Island, FL since Janet retired from Woodbury Sr. High, reaching her Rule of 90 last spring.

Carol Kerner Peterson and husband, Rick, just returned to Minnesota after three years in Paducah, KY.  Carol is back after a leave of absence in the Stillwater School District as an early childhood teacher.  She has a few more years for her Rule of 90.

Carol Gilyard Brown is living in Santa Fe, NM and is also retired.  She and hubby of 20 years have a daughter who is a junior in high school.  Carol is enjoying traveling, hiking, skiing and kayaking.

Elaine Sooger McGillivray is an adjunct instructor of education at Bethel University and she continues to serve as an attorney for the Children’s Law Center.

Steve Ogren is also an adjunct instructor at Bethel University after retiring from his consulting gig.  Steve is on our reunion committee and wants to receive pictures from you to post on our reunion website and to show at our reunion events.  Old or current video clips of you and your family are also welcome.  If you can’t make it to the reunion, Steve is especially interested in getting a video update from you.  Connect with Steve at:

Linda Dangel Sieracki and husband, Jim, are celebrating the end of tuition payments with the graduation of their youngest from Purdue (Linda―looking to continue paying tuition??  Hint, hint:  the Ellis/Johnson children.)  Linda is working part time as a medical technologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center and became a grandmother this spring.  Congrats to all!

Reverend Wally and Cindy (Strong) Obinger live in Hastings; Wally is pastor at Luther Memorial Church in South St. Paul and Cindy works for Health Partners.  They are enjoying having their daughter and grandson live with them.

Lars and Susan (Borden) Lagerman live in Phoenix where Lars is a partner in a law firm heading the firm’s real estate and lending practice.  Susan is busy with volunteer work and keeping two teenage daughters in check.

Reverend Mark Sallmen is an official Finnish tour guide living in Pietarsaari, Finland.  Mark would love to see Gustie classmates in Finland and of course you would get a very professionally guided tour.

Sally Swenson Brooks and Ron Brooks ‘75 reside in Bloomington, Illinois.  Their youngest daughter recently landed a job in the dance line on a cruise ship―guess who is planning a few cruises?

Debbie Templin, our theatre diva in New York reports she landed a fun part at a summer stage in Hudson, NY.  Deb is playing there from July 31 - August 17.  See and hear snippets from the show online at:  Deb plays the role of Florence Foster Jenkins in SOUVENIR―the part requires her to sing badly―a challenge, I’m sure.

Class of ’73 reunion registration is available online now at:  Choose the “Reunion Weekend Package” for an all inclusive choice, along with a great donation!


Remember to contact Matt Peterson if you want to be a part of the reunion program (e.g., a speaker) during the Saturday events or if you are interested in writing a class letter.  Email:

Do what you can for the Gustavus Annual Fund.  We encourage your generosity in our reunion year.  (You can make donations online at: 

See you all in October―as Sly and the Family Stone always said:  “We are family.”

deb ellis

h)(651) 222-4017