Class of 1952 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Dear Luther Classmate,

When I read about the memorial service for Weston Noble '43 at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, December 29, my thoughts very easily went back to the fall of 1948. That was the first year Mr. Noble started at Luther College and our Class of 1952 did also.

Luther Kolstad and I were both from Wisconsin and became friends and were in Noble’s first class, Music 101. We were together in Dr. Hoffland’s class of music training as well. Luther had perfect pitch and my strength was relative pitch. We complimented each other in those first classes at Luther.

The state of Wisconsin observed its centennial in the summer of 1948. Luther had taken part in the regional music contests of the state that year, and I played first chair trombone in the state band in Madison, Wisconsin. WTMJ Channel 4 in Milwaukee began in 1946, and they videoed the event in Madison during the centennial.

My interest in the Luther band came from attending a number of performances the two years prior to enrolling at Luther. Only one seat was open for trombone, and it was filled by a student who had played in the Navy band for four years.

So Mr. Noble encouraged me to sign up for voice lessons with Mrs. Leslie Eitzen, and the next year I became a low bass in the Nordic Cathedral Choir. 

The Dorian Society was beginning in those years, so Mr. Noble traveled around directing high school music choral groups in the Midwest. Some of us guys were asked to drive him to these choral unions. There were about five of us that volunteered. Mr. Noble was one of the best recruiters for Luther College during his life, a real gift to Luther.


Harold Peterson
[email protected]

Your gift. Put to work, right away, where it is needed most.

Last year more than 10,000 alumni, family, and friends supported Luther’s Annual Fund with gifts from $5 to $100,000. Your gift makes a difference for each and every student at Luther, and we are grateful for your support.

This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. Making a gift each and every year is an investment in the lives of Luther students and a show of support for the Luther College community. Thank you for your support of Luther College through your giving.

Gerald Anderson
Dolores (Langum) Brevig
Dennis Brosdahl
Helen (Iverson) Brudvig
Erno Dahl
Elton Erdahl
Joann (Halvorson) Evans
Robert Finneseth
Barbara (Lee) Haak
Norma (Olson) Hacker
Garry Hanson
Sheldon Hermanson
Helen (Peterson) Hustad
Grace (Sorlien) Johnson
Eileen (Jahr) Kittleson
Dolores (Willard) Knutson
Phyllis (Breen) Krueger
Walter Langland
Andrew Larsen
Conrad Larson
Marie (Olson) Lee
Carlton Lewis
Rosella (Gjere) Melaas
†Bruce Melaas
†Emery Munson
Carol (Erlandson) Navrestad
Milford Ofstun
Donald Oss
Harold Peterson
Donald Rem
Louise Rolfs
Richard Rood
Marion (Bjerke) Rude
Shirley (Asper) Schroeder
LeRoy Storby
Sylvia (Wisness) Storvick
Ramona (Palmer) Swenson
Corinne (Peterson) Thompson
Joan (Scharberg) Thoreson
Theodore Thoreson
Phyllis (Rossing) Trytten
Elaine (Solomonson) Westby
Leigh Wold

Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If an error has been made, please accept our apology and contact the Luther Development Office at 800-225-8664, or email [email protected] (†deceased)


Bruce Melaas of Denton, Texas, died April 28, 2016, at age 85. Born in Huxley, Iowa, to Madelia and Ira Melaas ’19, he majored in chemistry at Luther. Bruce married Rosella Gjere ’52 on Aug. 30, 1953, in Bricelyn, Minn. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After his military service, Bruce received a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1958 and began work for Celanese Chemical Co., where his career spanned more than thirty years. He retired in 1989 while living in Keller, Texas, but moved to Sanger in 1995 to fulfill a lifelong dream of raising thoroughbred racehorses. Bruce enjoyed traveling with his wife and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife, Rosella (Gjere) Melaas ’52; two daughters, Susan (Ronald) Crowell and Patricia (David) Hall; son, David (Angie) Melaas; sister, Helen Canine; twelve grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Bruce was preceded in death by a son, Joseph Melaas; two brothers, Donald Melaas and Ira Melaas Jr. ’54; and a niece, Barbara Melaas-Swanson ’82.

Emery Munson of Story City, Iowa, died July 24, 2016, at age 94. A native of Roland, he married Sandra Espe on June 19, 1943. Emery majored in business administration and physical education at Luther and, after graduation, taught and coached for 34 years at various Iowa high schools, before retiring from Stockton High School in Illinois. He and Sandra moved to Story City in 1984. Emery was active in the Kiwanis Club, American Legion, and Immanuel Lutheran Church. He was most proud of being inducted into the Northern Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame, and he was grateful for his many friends, especially the wonderful people at Scandia West Condo who looked out for him and Sandra over the years. Emery is survived by his wife, Sandra; two sons, Michael (Conni) and Dave; nine grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and great-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his son, Steve Munson ’63; six brothers, Ray, Olaf, McKinley, Vernon, Joe and Dean; and two sisters, Eva Twedt and Alice Michelson.