Class Letter


Class of 1961 · Gustavus Adolphus College

January, 1999

Dear ’61 Classmates,

?Writing a class letter during winter months certainly focuses attention on the snowbirds among us. The number is growing rapidly. Do you retired classmates bump into each other as you traverse the South? There have to be some great stories developing. Do keep an eye on the gatherings that the Gustavus Chapters organize all around the country.

?This year Phonorama calls went out from Deli Express in Eden Prairie and Alliant Foods in Eagan in October. Thank you for the chats and pledges, and a BIG thanks to Dave Linne for his volunteer efforts on the telephones.

?New statistics arrived today from Heather Nancarrow, Director of the Gustavus Fund, and our class is having a slow start in the Gustavus Fund. Some of you were not contacted during Phonorama, and I will attempt to work in some calls soon. This year an ongoing campus telephone campaign called GusLink is being manned by students so cards not reached by classmates will go to that group for contact. If you are called by a Gustie, please give the student a news note to share with your classmates and a generous gift to the alma mater during these difficult times of recovery and rebuilding. Thank you very, very much to the 107 classmates (48.42%) who sent gifts by mid-January. Gustavus appreciates your participation and faithful support—it has never been more important!

Campus News:

Students and staff are in the midst of January Term and the campus landscape is covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. Once again, many students are taking advantage of J-Term opportunities with 127 on internships, 308 on study abroad programs, and 86 students studying at other domestic institutions. Despite the cold weather, progress is being made on construction of the new Campus Center due to be open in the fall of 1999. After a week and a half of classroom preparation covering the history and culture of South Africa, the Gustavus Choir will participate in a concert tour of the country January 14-February 2. The Gustavus Band will travel to South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa for their concert tour during touring week, January 30-February 6. Athletic teams are in full swing with all teams looking to be competitive in MIAC play. Over Christmas break many teams traveled for non-conference games including men’s basketball winning a tournament in California, men’s hockey playing in Italy, and the swim teams competing in Bermuda.

Gustavus is once again in the news, making some national rankings. Gustavus ranked 12th among the top 22 leading small colleges in the nation providing active Peace Corps volunteers. Gustavus is ranked 15th in the listing of top 20 bachelor’s institutions that sent the most students overseas for international study during the 1996-97 academic year. Gustavus is ranked 18th of national liberal arts colleges in the number of National Merits with 17 students. Mark Anderson ’66, Dean of Admission, reports that applications for admission for the fall of 1999 are running 20 percent ahead of last year. The Admission Office instituted several new campus visit days in the summer and fall to account for the fact that few students could visit last spring. Alumni are reminded of the Alumni Scholarship Program ($10,000 over four years for children and grandchildren of alumni) available to qualified applicants. Call the Admission Office at 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) for applications.

Class News:

?Dr. Paul and Doriann (Fredrickson) Thompson, Greeley CO, were in Thailand for three weeks in November and December on business. Aims Community College, where Paul is president since July 1, has many Thai students, and Paul, "…will be involved in cementing the relationship…." Before their move to Colorado, Doriann taught (along with an English professor) an honors interdisciplinary course at Du Page, cultural anthropology with Greek mythology. They have a new grandson, Elliot Joon Ho Raup from Korea, son of Sara ’84 and Bruce Raup. The new grandson met his other cousins Laurel and Michael for the first time when the entire family gathered in Washington last spring…Dr. Fred (’62) and Lorraine Sandvig Carlson, Fairmont, report that they have a "grand" dog now, but no grandchildren. They were in Trimont for Marj Erickson-Geisler’s funeral; Fred grew up in Trimont and knew the Erickson family. Their daughter Jodie ’88 is a Minnesota public defender. Son, Paul ’92 has joined his father’s dental group. Other classmates who attended the Trimont service were Milo and Carole Paulson Olson, Wautoma WI.

Arlyn and Judy (Schlottman ’63) Kettner, your Gustie classmates express sympathy on the death of Judy’s mother. Two of her brothers have died: one had Alzeimer’s disease and the other died suddenly from an aneurysm. Judy is assistant editor for Spinning magazine; she says that she certainly realizes now how valuable Dr. Alexis’ class was. Arlyn works with Ultimate Support Systems, Inc., and he keeps very busy at church. He coordinates a youth program for youth Bible Study (53 young people come weekly) and he teaches a study of Revelations…Dr. Dean and Carol (Peterson ’63) Hustuft, Moorhead, enjoy their year-round cabin near Itasca State Park. Carol, employed by Concordia, now serves on the technical advisory committee called System X for the state. It is deciding what the new computer system for the state will be…Al and Dori Bergstrom Macek spent December and January in California, much of that period in the Dana Point area. Their family joined them for Christmas. Along their way back, however, word came that Dori’s mother was very ill in Fargo, ND. Dori flew back to Fargo before her mother’s death. All of your classmates send expressions of sympathy.

The Minneapolis Tribune obituary columns last week noted the death of Jerry Buegler ’58 of Edina, the husband of Kathleen Moody Buegler. At this time I have few details and have misplaced the article. Kathy is employed at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. Our sympathy and prayers go to Kathy and her family…Elsa Cornell, St. Peter, writes that her family joined in an hiatus the end of July when they, "trekked to the outer banks of North Carolina, where an Edenic holiday was enjoyed." She shares news about her home on Minnesota Avenue: "We were fortunate, as our house did not ‘blow down’. For eight months, however, our ‘standing home’ received its many needed repairs. I now have our home ‘back’, with the new fence coming back in the spring. Much of the town, however, is still rebuilding."…David and Joanne Larson Karvonen, St. Paul, share additional news about those who endured the tornado damage. Jo writes, "My mother’s house was badly damaged and she had to live elsewhere for three months while it was being repaired. But things are fine now with the house all repaired and the insurance checks in hand." The St. Peter Kiwanis compiled a paperback book called A Twist of Fate. It contains personal accounts of experiences during the tornado…Judy and John Malmborg’s strange experience is in the booklet: "Judy tells another weird tale about what wind and the change of air pressure can do. When the storm went past their house, it sucked the juice out of all the batteries in clocks and other battery operated items." Numerous former professors and administrators from Gustavus have recorded wonderful descriptions for the paperback edition.

?Dr. Milt Gustafson, Fort Washington, MD, is noted for sensing the course of history! At Phonorama in October he inquired in depth about Minnesota candidate-for-governor Jesse Ventura. We all know what happened in Minnesota elections in November! Milt and Marilyn (Heier) said that their married son and his wife live in the Washington, DC area. Milt recently traveled to Santa Fe, NM, to give talks on and be courier for the 150-year-old treaty that ended the Mexican War…Rudy and Bonnie Gulstrand, Rocky River, OH, were planning to spend Christmas in Switzerland when I spoke to them at Phonorama. Their youngest daughter, Jennifer, studies economics in a post-graduate program at Italian University of Switzerland on a Rotary grant. In the summer they vacationed in Glacier National Park with Rudy’s deceased brother’s family, hiking and driving the roads where his brother worked during the summer while he was a student at Gustavus. Dave Frykman has retired from teaching and returned to the family farm in Evansville. In the summer he traveled in Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. While in Sweden he stayed with a former exchange student from high school and checked out his ancestral ties in Varmland. Dr. Carolyn Wedin and Tony Rolloff enjoy life in Whitewater, WI. Carolyn’s book, Inheritors of the Spirit: Mary White Ovington and the Founding of the NAACP, will come out in its paperback version in March..

Cal and Barbara Wellner Hokenson, North Babylon, NY, were enjoying beautiful weather and autumn leaves in New England when Phonorama reached them. Cal is with Citibank now, and Barb continues to direct a preschool for ages two through kindergarten for about 350 youngsters…Sally Enstrom, St. Louis Park, is escaping a lot of the winter with participation in a hostel in the Louisiana area in January and a planned trip to the Holyland in February. The Holyland trip was to include Egypt, but that portion of the tour was canceled for potential security reasons…Al and Karin Erickson Gaskell, Hopkins, also are checking out southern climates and areas this winter. Karin retired at the end of November…Carol Olson Heath, Minneapolis, says that her excursion to Florida is just a visit with friends who live there―that is how the snowbird thing starts, Carol!…Jo Swenson Lippert, San Clemente CA, sent an e-mail message to share the news that her daughter, Suzanne, became engaged in August to Algemontes Stalerunis, and the wedding will be in April. Jo is enjoying Evelyn Young’s cookie recipe, but she wonders, "…where can I find a glass cookie sheet, though!…what size is a #100 ice cream scoop…."

?Dr. Gary and Judith Hillman, Littleton, CO, returned from a 20-day trip to Germany the day before their Phonorama call. Gary mentioned a Rhine River cruise, German rail passes, and a visit to Hamburg. They visited the Gustavus campus on July 4 and got a glimpse of what effects the tornado had. Daughter, Stephani ’93, is an attorney in Silver Springs, MD, and their son lives in Colorado. When the Hillmans were out East, they enjoyed a dinner with Phil and Carol Cope Nord….For the first time since I have done Phonorama, there was a calling card for Tom Meltesen, Lilburn, GA. He sends greetings to former roommate Dale Armstrong, and he would enjoy contact, Dale. Tom was a student in chemistry and biology and is an engineer. He owns a business with a partner, and they manufacture flavorings. They are working on a new sugar substitute called SmarTess…Paul and Phyllis Kamman Johns, Mankato, report that they lost trees this summer, but another windstorm, not the March 29 tornado, took them down. Paul goes to the Mayo Clinic annually, at least, to get new information and a check-up on MS. Their grandchild now lives in Cloquet. Their oldest daughter has moved to Fridley, and the youngest one lives in Mesa, AZ…Peter and Julie Nelson Neyhart, Juneau, AK, took their Phonorama call just after returning from Ithaca, NY, where their daughter, Brook, and Lance live while Lance is a graduate student. Julie mentioned hiking in six state parks and meeting a post-graduate student from Spain who was a great Vikings fan. The Neyharts babysat Sam and Lilly, children of Scott and Liz, in California in September after Julie’s parents met them in Las Vegas…Bill and Sandy Allumbaugh Bolin, Garvin, had been on the Gustavus campus a few times before Phonorama, and, "we are amazed by the progress." Bill has led an elderhostel group at Lake Chetek for four years, and Clair Johnson, our Gustavus chaplain and religion teacher, has also taught a religion class there several times. Sandy retired from the Balaton Schools last spring. Their seventh grandchild is expected in March…Alan Eliason, Eugene, OR, retired from the University of Oregon after 28 years and signed on to be a professor of management information technology at Willamette University in Salem, a graduate school of management. He continues to write and plans to finish books on Visual Basic 5 and on Visual Basic 6 in time for spring classes. Alan, Jane, and the family enjoy snow skiing. Alan also mentioned a biking trip with 30 others in the San Juan Islands consisting of about 30 miles of pedaling each day. Their younger son has a violin studio and teaches violin.

?Dick and Kathy (Walden ’63) Dalton, Cannon Falls, report that "Goldy" Rod Goldberg was in Cannon Falls recently, but they missed him. Dick was home when their Phonorama call came this fall because their son, Mike ’91 was working on the newspaper that night. Mark ’91 works with investments at Ned Davis Research Co. in Florida, and their third son is with United Funding in the Twin Cities…Tom and Barbara (Jeske) Norquist, Modesto CA, enjoy winter breaks in their condo in Hawaii. Tom reveals that Barb gets the longest vacation (10 weeks last year), but Tom was there for three or four weeks. Barb has retired, but Tom still operates T.A. Norquist, Inc…Jorgen and Joyce (Quarnstrom) Andersen, Phoenix AZ, have a place in Cancun, where they go several times a year. They were there in June and in December some of their children were planning to join them there. A week after Phono they were planning to attend a computer show in Las Vegas. Frederick lives in Phoenix, Kim is in Amarillo, and their other child lives in Seattle… Classmates extend sympathy to Dr. Milt and Lorna (Jafvert) Reed, Friendswood, TX on the death of Lorna’s mother. At Phonorama time Lorna mentioned how happy her mother was in a nursing home and that she was 91. The Reeds spent Christmas in Minnesota, where their daughter, Sarah, lives and son, Eric, flew in for the family event. Lorna is a substitute teacher. In October she was busy planning a Reformation Event for their church: a German lunch following an intergenerational Sunday School event…Bob and Carolyn (Olson) Lamphere, Lincoln NE, go to all of the Big Red football games. They announce a new grandchild, Gunnar Lamphere born August 24. Gunnar is their sixth grandchild…To John ’59 and Linda Lundgren Erickson, we express sympathy to your family on the death of Linda’s mother, Ethel Kathryn Lundgren on October 3, 1998.

Paul and Janet Williams Kaas, Pottstown, PA, look forward to a Hawaiian trip in April and May that will include a cruise of the outer islands. Janet’s mother is 89, lives in a retirement community, and is able to care for herself. Their son, Steve, answered our Phonorama call―he lives near and is a mechanical engineer. Scott lives in Allentown, less than an hour away…Dale and Patricia Gustafson, Manchester CT, your classmates are sorry to learn about the death of Dale’s mother, who was 90 years old. Her funeral was exactly one year after that of Dale’s father. Recently Dale talked with Joel Wiberg’s ’60 daughter who lives in West Hartford, CT. Dale’s two sisters who also live in the East now. Stephen works for Sieman Co., on refurnishing generator units for power and he travels a lot. Britt and her husband, who works for the Philadelphia Inquirer, have moved to Philadelphia. Karen, their eldest and the mother of their only granddaughter, works with the Federal Reserve Bank System. Ray Rapp, Cannon Falls, says, "Can’t retire yet―too young yet!” Ray and Karen’s family members are involved in the Rapp Oil Co. Eric took over the store, and Kyle works in the business. Christopher works for Koch Refining, where Ray worked from about 1963-73. They have three granddaughters, and their grandson Jason turned one in September. Coffee chats sound interesting in Cannon Falls—Ray says that he and Dick Dalton meet daily there.

Ruth Paulson Weinkauf, Fairbault, has retired completely from Rice County District Hospital. At Phonorama she had just returned just five minutes before from their lake home which is on Northern Pipe Lake near Cumberland, WI. They are completing construction on it themselves after having it roughed in. They have six grandchildren ranging in age from 3 to 6 years…John and Joleen Domes, Albert Lea, are busy attending hockey games this season because two granddaughters and a grandson in that city play hockey. John enjoys playing golf, and he still works for Fountain Industries…Judith Lenzen said at Phonorama that she expects to remain in the Glendale, AZ, area when she retires. The hospital where she has worked has been sold and she anticipates some changes in 1999, but there are no definite indications what they will be…Mark ’59 and Kathy Bunde Thorsell, Golden Valley, my notes indicate that one of you retired from the Robbinsdale Schools, but no name is listed. Mark has the most seniority, so I presume it might be him—let me know…Sharon Phillips Erickson, Mankato, continues to work in real estate but she enjoys theater—"Riverdance" and "Lord of the Dance" were favorites that she saw in Mankato. She partakes in mini-excursions around the area: including places such as Eau Claire, WI, Harmony and Lanesboro, MN…Doniver Bjorklund, Gladstone, MI, noted at Phonorama that the same weather system that brought the tornado to St. Peter, continued across Wisconsin and destroyed 19 old, beautiful trees in their church’s yard in Michigan. "Retirement is fantastic," he says, but he thinks Rev. Ronald Swanson must be busy catching fish in "wonderful walleye territory right in front of his cabin." Dale and Barb Knutson Richter, Rochester, drove in a terrific hailstorm and incurred $3,000 in damage to their automobile on the same day that the weather system moved on up to Comfrey, St. Peter, and Le Center. The weekend of Phonorama, they were anticipating the christening of their grandson, Cole Matthew Richter, born January 4, 1998, to Troy and Jaralee in La Crosse, WI. Barb revealed that she and Dale did some baby sitting recently, and "we have a lot to learn—even paper diapers are new to us." Their son, Scott, will marry in June.

Wayne and Gert Kneeskern, Richland, IA, just became grandparents. Scott ’90 and Jill are the parents of Noah, born October 19, 1998, in Woodbury. Their daughter, Ellen was three on Christmas. Wayne and Gert’s daughter lives nearby with another grandson, Ben…Phil and Carol Cope Nord, Glen Burnie, MD, are both still working away. Phil is with Universal Underwriters, Inc. and Carol is at Corkran Middle School. Lots of great Gustie visits were part of their year, including Gary and Judith Hillman in spring, and Ralph and Marlys (Schneider ’63) Swenson in June. Then they came to Minnesota and visited the Gustavus campus; Carol says, "The improvement impressed us a lot." Here they also contacted the Swensons again, plus visiting Jim and Judy (Brown) Mortenson and Dr. Bruce and Judy Kobs. For her birthday Carol received Growing Up Lutheran by Martin and Nelson, and she recommends it highly…Mary Ann Swanson Strand, Centreville, VA, brought her oldest grandson, Christopher, to Minnesota with her in summer. He will graduate from high school this spring. Mary Ann has taught at KinderCare School for 20 years. She was the acting director of the school’s summer program.

?Dr. Jeanne Dahlen Lewis, Boulder, CO, closed her medical practice to new patients more than a year ago because Table Mesa Family Medicine is completely overwhelmed. Brian teaches German and is the technology liaison at the University of Colorado. Their son graduated in biomedical engineering, but works with computers …Shep and Eloise Johnson Hayman, Northfield, were pleasantly tired when their Phonorama call got through, because that weekend their daughter, Gretchen, married Cloyce Spradling in Austin, TX (October 18). Gretchen is finishing a master’s degree in art history, and Cloyce works with IBM…Dr. Carl and Ruth Mattson Johnson, Wickenburg, AZ, operate a ranch for women with eating disorders. Ruth travels back to Minnesota a lot because some of their children live here. They have three grandchildren. Ruth does painting and print-making. Maralyn Magnuson Anderson, Lancaster, PA, was anticipating an autumn leaf trip into New Hampshire the morning after Phonorama reached her…Rev. Ronald and Dora Swanson, Rapid River, MI, love their new retirement home built by their son who lives nearby. All of their children live near, and there are four grandchildren. Their daughter’s husband is a pastor in Scandia, MI. Steven lives in Green Bay.

?Dr. Mary Annexstad Francis, Petersburg, AK, has the second longest tenure in a superintendent’s position in Alaska. She has acquired property in Arizona, near Phoenix, where she enjoys stopping after conferences or other trips to the lower 48, such as a Christmas break. Mary says that her family home in St. Peter survived the tornado. Nick studies film at UC-Santa Barbara, and he worked on a film shot in Juneau called "Limbo" which stars Chris Christopherson. Jens is into computers. Bob and Jan Wenlund Weir, Red Wing, are enjoying retirement. Their children and spouses: Todd ’86, Tracy ’89, and Nathan ’91 each have two children now…Rod Goldberg, Austin, is difficult to reach on Phonorama because he covers a portion of Minnesota in court sessions with social workers, court officials and parents for his position with the Sheriff’s Youth Programs of Minnesota. Marlys shared the information that Rod was to observe a milestone birthday at the end of October. Can you believe that this is such a special year for most of us?? …Virginia Gerdes, St. Cloud says, "I don’t know if I’ll retire―ever.” She teaches first grade at St. Cloud Christian School, which is expanding and leasing space now. There are Gusties in the congregation there including a former pastor, Rev. Ben Johnson and Suzanne, who are now in California, but maintain a home in St. Cloud.

?For each member of this very special class of 1961, I tuck in an early valentine to thank you for being such an extraordinary group. Keep those e-mail messages coming to Remember to get the check in the mail for the Gustavus Fund. Sometime I need to discuss the use of appreciated stock to make contributions, as some Gusties are doing. Contributions may also be made by credit card.

Virgene Sehlin

1961 Class Letter