Class of 1967 Fall 2017 Letter

Fall 2017

Hello, Luther ’67 Classmates!

As I write this note, it has been two weeks since the Class of 1967 returned from Luther Homecoming 2017, and that peaceful, easy feeling that was flowing among classmates for the weekend still has me smiling. It was a truly memorable weekend, catching up with so many, and for a while feeling a bit like Luther students again!

For most who were there, this Homecoming solidified forever the feeling that we were, and still are, part of something special, that wherever our life takes us, we are Luther! 

Along with abundant good feelings, our reunion was also somewhat bittersweet, as we remembered the 45 members of our class who have left us, and as we learned of health and other life issues challenging some of our friends.  This is the reality of the world we live in, but it is comforting to know that our extended Luther family cares.

Many classmates made it a point to express thanks to the committee for the work done over the past year-and-a-half in preparing for the reunion. As co-chairs of the committee, and on behalf of the classmates who attended, Carol Birkland and I offer a sincere thank you to Mariah Bringer Smith (LC ’95) and her staff in the Development Office for their guidance in planning the celebration and making sure that plans were carried out flawlessly.   They were a pleasure to work with!

On a personal note, I appreciate the many compliments that I received from members of the class for my role in keeping the class connected to Luther. It has been my honor to serve Luther College and the Class of ’67 the past 14 years by carrying out class agent duties, and particularly those duties associated with the reunion.  I have enjoyed co-chairing the committee and seeing our golden anniversary celebration come to fruition, but seeing my classmates so happy as they reminisced and reconnected was the true reward!

Photos of the reunion can be found under the “Class of 1967 50th Anniversary” category at .  There are also photos of the presentation of our class gift under the “Football Game” and “Alumni Dinner” categories. 

Our golden anniversary class gift totaled an astounding $1,278,318.83 as of Homecoming weekend, comprising individual gifts from 43 percent of class members.  Thank you for this outstanding support of our beloved Luther!  When the gift was announced at the alumni dinner on Homecoming Friday, there was quite the chuckle about the donor of the 83 cents!

The Class of ’67 Scholarship Fund, initiated as part of our reunion planning, totaled $31,550.85 and is now viable. Distributions from the fund will be made to worthy students beginning next spring. 

Additional gifts and pledges made through May 31, 2018, in honor of 50 years or directed to the scholarship, will be credited to the class gift total.  If you have not yet made a contribution to honor the 50th anniversary of the Class of ’67, please do what you can to help Luther thrive in these challenging times. 

If you are a Facebook user, keep in touch by joining the group “Luther Class of ’67,” and suggest membership in the group to your LC ’67 contacts.  If I can be of service to you in my capacity as class agent, I can be reached on Facebook at art46j, by email at [email protected], or at my home phone, 563-928-6914.

Best wishes, and go Norse!!

Art Johnson
1967 Class Agent
[email protected]



Michael "Mike" Van Auken of Forest City, Iowa, died April 17, 2017, at age 72. Born in St. Paul, Minn., he lived in Arcadia, Wis., and Winona, Minn., while growing up.  Mike attended Winona State University for two years, where he met his future bride, Inghild “Pøtt” Nørstebø, who was an exchange student from Norway. She returned to her homeland and Mike transferred to Luther, where he became involved in various musical endeavors and had the opportunity to tour Europe with the Nordic Choir, and visit Pøtt in Norway. After two years of courting across the sea, they decided to marry on Feb. 10, 1968, in Winona. The couple made their first home in Gays Mills, Wis., and Mike taught band and choir in the Gays Mills and Soldiers Grove junior and senior high schools for two years, before moving to Forest City in August 1970. For 16 years, Mike directed the Waldorf College Concert Band and New World Singers and led them on tours, including four to Mexico. While on sabbatical during the 1974-75 school year, he and his family lived in Oslo, Norway, and Mike taught music at a junior high school. In 1986 he began working in the insurance, investments, and financial planning industry, eventually establishing Van Auken Financial Services, housed in the big red barn at their home in the country, where he advised clients until his retirement in 2011. Mike pursued many interests in the country including gardening, bird-watching, tree-planting, chicken-keeping, and building a fish pond. He also enjoyed singing with the choir at Immanuel Lutheran Church for 46 years, directing the junior choir, playing jazz with Rank & Tenure and worship music with Psalm 100, and enjoying live performances of many kinds. A voracious reader himself, Mike served as a volunteer for reading with elementary school children; he was also a member of Rotary, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and helped to create a community garden. He spent many glorious summer days at the Nørstebø family cabin in Norway and Van Auken family cabin in Montana, where he especially enjoyed the Glacier Park mountain vista. Mike is survived by his wife, Pøtt; daughter, Kari (Van Auken) Stern ’93 (Chuck); son, Paul (Courtney); five granddaughters; sister, Becky (Bill); niece; and three nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Karen.

Richard Rambo of Bullhead City, Ariz., died Jan. 25, 2017, at age 71. A native of Burlington, Iowa, he majored in physical education at Luther and had lived in Bullhead City for the past 31 years. Richard was a retired teacher and he also worked in surveillance. He is survived by his wife, Marlene Rambo; two sons, Scott (Sara) Rambo and Kent (Danielle) Rambo; daughter, Jill (Ebed) Martinez; and eight grandchildren.

Kenneth Tetrick of Minneapolis died Feb. 20, 2017, at age 70. A native of Boscobel, Wis., he attended Luther from 1964-66, taking classes in physics and astronomy, but completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, majoring in philosophy. Ken also took courses at the University of Minnesota and declared himself a conscientious objector during the Vietnam conflict. He worked in designing and testing computer firmware in Minnesota at Honeywell/Alliant Techsystems, Integris, and DataCard Group, and at Esterline AVISTA in Platteville, Wis. Ken also pursued his interests in computer programming, photography, Christian faith, yoga, marksmanship, music synthesizers, amateur radio, and other areas, including quadcopters. He was also a University of Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team fan and shared his life with many cats over the years. Ken is survived by his two brothers, Steven Tetrick and Mark Tetrick (Cathy); nephew, Bryce Tetrick; and niece, Lily Tetrick. He was preceded in death by his parents and infant brother, John Isaac Tetrick.