My granddaughter Brigitte from Idaho has come and gone, homecoming has come and gone, the car keys were lost and found, RON and MARILYN LOKENSGARD have come and gone, and most of the fall colors have come and gone, so it must be time for me to reconnect with the rest of you.
Twenty-six classmates and sixteen spouses and friends, along with Luther representatives Jim and Pat Anderson, joined us for our luncheon Homecoming Saturday noon. Nineteen of our class who have died since our fiftieth reunion were remembered, and greetings from some of you who were unable to come were brought to the group. I did refer all to some specific items in the Fall 2012 issue of LUTHER alumni magazine:
- Page 10―MICK and Sandy LEE, new level of President's Council
- Page 34―new biking/hiking trail. RIK ENGEBRETSON told us he has hiked the entire trail. Also note the reference to my husband.
- Page 41―Southlake grad Anna Looft―granddaughter of RON ANDERSON and ELAINE WISCHOFF LOOFT
- Page 45―MICK and Sandy again―picture this time
- See also pages 17-19 for reasons to give back to Luther.
We also were pleased to have Beautiful Mess, the women's a cappella group from Luther, introduce themselves a bit while singing three songs for us. It was a pleasant surprise to hear that one of them was a Lokensgard―and of course we had to find out if she was related to Marilyn―distantly, yes, but neither knew about the other.
We gathered again for dinner that evening―twenty-one from the class and 10 spouses (I always want to say spice for the plural―if the plural of mouse is mice...etc.). Rick and Judy Torgerson joined us for greetings and a bit of the state-of-the-college information. We presented him with a giant “check” that said the class of '57 has a lifetime gift to Luther of $1,814,344.05. I added that I supposed he would like us to add to that. And then we mostly just enjoyed visiting with each other. Oh, yes it was DEAN TOLLEFSON who couldn't find his keys.
Greetings from the classmates: TONY and Berit NORBORG: “Wish we could be there with you. We will be in Albuquerque, N.M., visiting our son Craig. Hope you have some great weather. I remember how cold it could be walking to early class back in the fifties.” (Editorial comment-It was close to freezing during the football game!) “When traveling by car, honk if you see this license, it's me.” (He included a picture of UFF DA). Tony also had written after the spring letter that they were still in Mishawaka, Ind. They had lost their furry friend of 16 years, Sitka, two years ago, and in August 2011 had adopted another furry friend from the same shelter. Her name is Phoebe; she was a stray so was named after that homeless character in Friends.
CARLYLE GILBERTSON wrote “Greetings, it seems like just yesterday we celebrated our 50th, and now it's 55. Sorry we cannot join you to celebrate this time. We had some anxious moments in August when we thought (Hurricane) Isaac was going to go directly at Ft. Meyers (our winter home). Fortunately it changed course. Greetings to all and have a wonderful weekend.”
ROGER SCHROEDER wrote “Luther is great!!!!! Times have changed, thanks for people like coach Pete and many other profs at the school. Life has been good to me and family, more importantly, I have a grandson at Luther. Go Norse.”
BEVERLY HERTH DUNN WOLFF: “Hi everyone! Lots of years gone by!! Have a very good time together. Will think of you Oct. 6th!”
CHARLES BARKEE: “Sorry that we can't make it for the 55th. Wife Jan and I are retired and living in a smallish town (Camarillo), which is halfway between Santa Barbara and Los Angelos. We describe Camarillo as a Midwest town with palm trees. I am a docent at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum in nearby Simi Valley. I give a lot of tours and often have groups from Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Many are very familiar with Luther. Am proud to be a grad of the '57 group.”
BARB ROCKHILL KOESTER had written last spring: “I see our 55th year anniversary is at the same time as our trip to NC. That's when our daughter-in-law goes to her conference. I become the cook and Jim helps Emily (9th grade) get to cross-country practice and meets. So once again, I'm a no show at Luther. Our other granddaughter is a sophomore at UNC.”
DEAN T. had driven to Baker Commons so obviously had his car keys when he got there that evening. But he didn't have them at the end of the dinner. He and Jo started looking in all the usual places, under the tables and chairs, in the entryway where coats were hung, etc. LOWELL GANGSTAD got a flashlight so they could check out between the Commons and his locked car, but no luck. And I think that was when most everybody else had left. As had happened the previous evening after the DSA presentations at CFL, WALLACE and COLETTA HAHN WIERSON and HILDA MARY RAATIKKA SCHOON and RON and MARILYN LOKENSGARD MARTINSON and I were the very last to leave the building, while all the chairs, tables, and other stuff from the dessert reception were being cleared away, so we were again still around either helping look for the keys (or silently laughing).
Some news classmates gave to me to share in this letter: CLARENCE REIELS: Still working, part time, 4 days a week. Enjoy proofreading. GIA has published 3 new hymnbooks and hopes to have another done before the end of this year. It will be a complete bilingual hymnbook in Spanish and English.
DAVE GEUTZKE is a co-director of the Viroqua Area Men's Chorus. He selects all the music and does the scheduling and everything else to keep things running. They give two performances each year around the county. He was show director of a recent benefit concert for the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Vernon County. His wife Connie is listed the director's computer assistant guru! Dave works to get mentors for the little brothers and also raises trout on the side.
ALAN HAGEN reported that the Texas Tenors will be giving a concert in Mason City this spring. His son John is in the trio. They continue to perform on cruise ships, have traveled to 22 countries, and are considering a tour in China.
Elaine Looft brought along a copy of the book recently published by DOROTHY McINTYRE. It is a historical novel titled Two Rings, a Legacy of Hope.
You probably noticed in the fall issue of the LUTHER magazine that KAREN DAHL ANDERSON passed away on March 7, 2012. We also learned of two more deaths this year, DAVE EGELAND on May 18 and DAVID HOYME on August 15.
DAVE EGLAND served parishes in North Dakota before entering specialized ministry; after training he became a therapist and chaplain at the Southwestern Health Center in Worthington, Minn. He developed Parkinson's disease in 2006 and was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma this past January. He is survived by his wife, Janet Norby Egeland '59, who attended our luncheon on Saturday.
DAVE NASBY wrote that his wife, Ruth Ann, had died in February. “The outpouring of love from friends and family have been wonderful and comforting. Our daughters and we had been singing in four choirs, a combined choir sang at Ruth Ann's memorial service. The tone of the celebration can be described by the anthems that
were sung, “I ain't got time to die,” “Ubi caritas,” and “Pilgrim's Hymn.” It was a joyous celebration of her life by those who knew her best.”
I do not have any more information about David Hoyme's death, but as stated in LUTHER, you can find full obituaries online at www.luthermagazine.com. I strongly recommend you do that. There is a lot more there than I have given you in these letters.
Oh, yes, the keys. After Wally had also brought out a flashlight, and the food service people had called Security, and Jo looked up the phone number where they were staying in Decorah so they could be called in case the keys were found (she had another set back at that place so they would be able to drive home), Dean put on his jacket and Ron reached around to straighten out his collar―and felt the keys in the hood with a "I've found them!" except they were not just in the hood, but they were between the lining and the outside of the hood. The food staff cancelled the call to Security and the rest tried to figure out how the keys got way into the hood of the jacket. Found a hole in the pocket, but how had they defied gravity and gone up to the hood? Ron continued to wonder about that the next few days, but Jo just commented that SHE would drive home! And again, we all laughed, saying “see you all in 5 years.”
JANET FREED OSTERCAMP wrote last spring and also this fall with news to share: “Our younger son Daniel and his wife Kristin adopted a newborn son, Zachary James. He was baptized in early September of 2011, at St. John's Lutheran in Webster, S.D., where the parents are co-pastors.” Janet enjoys concerts at Concordia and the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony. She also serves on the board of Lutheran Campus Ministry, Minnesota State University–Moorhead. She is sorry to have missed this reunion and stated her friends at Luther blessed her life in many ways. If you are interested in an art history tour of Italy next October, let her know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year our class ranked 5th of all classes in percent of participation―47 percent in all funds and 44 percent in Annual Fund. Hope we can raise that support of the college and its students as it continues to be the great place from which we are proud to be graduates.
Betty Rikansrud Nelson
1957 Class Agent
Don’t forget your Annual Fund giving!
Each year nearly 9,500 alumni, parents, and friends support the Annual Fund with gifts from $5 to $50,000. Strong support from alumni helps Luther secure additional funds from foundations and corporations, and your gift each year helps us to reach our participation goal to the Annual Fund. Here’s how your class is doing so far this year:
CLASS OF 1957 TOTAL GIVING: $62,108.96 FROM 34% OF THE CLASS*
Have you made your 2012 gift to Luther? Please visit www.givenow.luther.edu to make a difference for Luther students. Thank you!
Please note: Your Spring 2013 class agent letter will include a listing of your classmates who gave to Luther during 2012. Be sure to make your gift before December 31 to be included.
*as of October 18, 2012
KAREN (DAHL) ANDERSON died in her Eagan, Minn., home on March 7, 2012, the result of a 15-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Joan (dahl) Nordness ’54. Born in Minneapolis on Oct. 1, 1934, Karen graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1952 and attended Luther. She is survived by her husband, Ted; daughters KARI (ANDERSON) HURLEY ’82 and Paula Jilk; and sisters Constance (dahl) Larson ’45, Elizabeth (dahl) Hoeger ’45, and Joyce (dahl) Fadness ’53; and brother, Leif. Karen was a teller at U.S. Bank in Austin for 15 years. She and her husband, also a bank employee, retired in 1994 and moved to Eagan to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
DAVID EGELAND of Worthington, Minn., died May 18, 2012, at age 76. After graduating from Luther, he moved to St. Paul where he attended Luther Seminary, graduating in 1961. Dave enjoyed singing in the church choir at American Lutheran Church and playing softball for the church team. He was active in the Lion’s Club and also relished his bike rides around Lake Okabena, and long walks around the neighborhood. Dave enjoyed travel and led the family on many great vacation adventures. His life was rich and full and the lives of those he touched were richer for it. Dave had many friends and helped many people along the way. He is survived by his wife, Janet (Norby) EGELAND ’59; brother, Bernole; son, Kevin; daughter, JULIE (EGELAND) TOOMEY ’87, and her husband DAVID TOOMEY ’86; and grandchildren Kathryn and Nicolas.
LOIS SWENSON of Minneapolis died June 6, 2012, at age 76. A homicide victim, she fought for peace, made community gardens a mission, and shrugged off friends' advice to move out of north Minneapolis. Swenson taught sixth grade in Robbinsdale and took leaves to travel the world, learning how people lived in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Mexico, and Central America. She immersed herself in social justice, peace, and environmental issues. In an interview in Minnesota Women's Press, she said: "My college friends, they have to chuckle now about when I had to have my purse and gloves and hat and shoes all matching, because that was the thing to do at the time. But now, after having lived in places where people don't have shoes, the color doesn't seem nearly as important." Lois tried to help Americans understand they could live with less. Her latest push was for community gardens. When she wasn't digging in her own garden, she was working her neighborhood's garden and helping people raise chickens. A lifelong friend said Lois would clean and mend what others would discard, then take the items to migrant workers. "She was always recycling the world; she helped many refugees settle, sponsoring some and opening her door to others. Her house always had people living in it.”
SHELDON TOSTENGARD of Roseville, Minn., died April 29, 2012, at age 76, from complications of Parkinson's. After graduation from Luther, he earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and a master’s degree in theology from Union Seminary in Richmond, Va. Sheldon served as a parish pastor in Hartford, S.D., from 1962-67 and was a professor at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., from 1967-74. He joined the faculty at Luther Seminary and retired as professor emeritus in 1997. Sheldon is survived by his wife, DOROTHY (DISRUD) TOSTENGARD ‘60; children, Timothy, Michael, and Martha; 5 grandchildren, Annika, Renee, Eli, Mara, and Anna; a sister; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, STANLEY TOSTENGARD ’28.