Class of 1968 Fall Letter

Fall 2012

Dear Class of ’68:

Gazing out the window at the bright sunshine and deep blue, cloudless sky, trying to come up with a decent opening to this letter, I can’t keep my thoughts from wandering to the recent Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast and eastern states so hard. I am hopeful that our classmates who live in that part of the country are safe and out of harm’s way, and that your families and households have been spared the destruction that fills the news every day for the past week. If you have been hurt by Sandy, you need to know that our prayers and best wishes for you have been a constant concern and that we assure you that you will not be alone in your recovery.

On top of all that, of course, we have all been dealing with the deluge of political campaign ads and promises that have been filling the airways and, hopefully, by the time you receive this letter, it will all be over and we can get on with the business of doing what it is that the political ads have been telling us will either be better or worse than we have ever seen it before. I wonder how all of this has been received by the Luther community?  I am confident that the support of families, faculty, and staff has provided guidance for the campus, and that they will handle these crises just as we handled civil rights struggles and Viet Nam in the sixties.

On a more upbeat side, I want to remind everyone that next year, Homecoming, Oct. 4-6, 2013, is another reunion year for us. (Book your lodging today!) Not just any reunion year, this is going to be our 45th reunion, and I am hopeful that it will be a huge turnout and great time for us all to return to campus to renew friendships and the appreciation that we share with each other for our time together at Luther.  If you haven’t already done so, a good way to begin to prepare for that reunion is to send off a gift to the Luther Annual Fund (you knew I would get that in there, didn’t you?).  Really, what better way to get back in touch with Luther is there than to help out with the program that most directly benefits students and programs at Luther than the Annual Fund?  Our class has an awesome record of generosity and support for the Annual Fund, and I am always amazed and proud of how our class has supported this fund.

Also, let’s start thinking about a special gift for our 50th reunion.  I have had interest from several for specific ideas and would encourage us to get an early start on this major gift.  Maybe there are some of you who would like to be a part of a planning committee that could present ideas and collect input from the class at our reunion next year.  If you are interested in this idea, let me know and I will coordinate getting together to get the discussion started.

That being said, I wish you all a safe and happy winter. Joan and I were able to attend the Luther dinner in Tucson last year and enjoyed meeting and greeting the crowd that had gathered there.  We look forward to that event again this year, as we plan to escape the Iowa winter and enjoy the Arizona sunshine for another winter.  If you are in the Mesa/Apache Junction area, look us up.  We would love to hear from you and take you out for lunch at the Iowa Restaurant!

Our best to you all…

Len (and Joan) Bruce
1968 Class Agent
[email protected]

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 goal of 27% alumni giving to the Annual Fund.  Here’s how your class is doing so far this year:


Have you made your 2012 gift to Luther?  Only 32 more gifts are needed to reach 27% for your class.  Please visit 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

BECKY BELL-GREENSTREET of Coquille, Ore., is author of Al Bell Remembered, a biography of her father, Iowa filmmaker Al Bell.

DAVID HANFORD is a self-employed life coach in Columbia, S.C.

KAREN (OYLOE) ’69 and ED KRAMER are both recently retired. Ed is still the choir director and organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grayslake, Ill.

BRENDA (TORGESON) NELSON was featured in the Madison Magazine article “People of the Year: 35 Madisonians Who Made 2011 Better.” Brenda was cited for her work as executive director of Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center in Madison, Wis., providing assistance to children who are victims of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or witnesses to violent crimes.

DAVID HANFORD and Anne Grogan, May 19, 2012

VICTORIA “VICKY” (HESSELBACHER) EHRLER of Galena, Ill., died March 8, 2011, at age 64. She was an elementary school reading teacher in the Scales Mound School District. She was predeceased by her husband, James.

RANDALL "RANDY" GROSS, 66, of Barrington, Ill., passed away July 17, 2012. After graduation from Luther, he earned an MBA from Northern Illinois University.  Randy worked as a CPA for Culligan and later started his own firm, Randall Gross and Company, Ltd., in Barrington.   He was a member of the Barrington Lions Club and served as a board member for Friendship Village and Hospice of Northeastern Illinois.  Randy served in the US Army Reserves and was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Atonement. He was an avid reader and loved his work, walks with his dog--Gracie, weekends in Door County, riding bikes, and fishing at Anderson Dock in Ephraim, Wis. Randy is survived by his wife, Karen; sons, Matthew and Christopher; two grandchildren; a sister –in-law and two brothers-in-law; a niece; nephews, and a cousin. He was preceded in death by his parents and an aunt.

DIANE MARIE “DEE DEE” (VARME) PEARCE of Twisp, Wash., died Sept. 15, 2011, at age 65. She had worked as a property and casualty agent, a piano and voice teacher and choir director, and as a recording pianist and performer. She is survived by her husband, Walt.

LINDA MARIE ULLAND of Pequot Lakes, Minn., died Dec. 26, 2011, at age 65, following an extended battle with cancer. She worked as a reporter for newspapers in Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, before moving to San Francisco, where she worked for the California Coastal Commission. Linda earned a master’s degree in political science (urban policy and administration) from San Francisco State University and worked for Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco as an environmental engineer, and for Weston Solutions, in Albuquerque, N.M., where she specialized in nuclear waste issues. Later, she returned to Minnesota and served as regional manager for Pollution Control before joining the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Science’s Sustainable Development Partnership. Linda was active in the Whitefish Lions Club, National Nuclear Society, the Paul Bunyan Byway Association, Star Lake Association, Mastocytosis Society, and Star Lake Wilderness Camp, and she worked on Ideal Township’s 100th anniversary celebration. Linda enjoyed world travel, opera, her cats, and the company of many friends in the Lakes area and across the U.S., Europe, and Norway. She is survived by a brother, RICHARD ULLAND ’64; a niece, Kari Makoutz; nephews, Hans Ulland ’91 and Erik Ullanderson; and nine great nieces and nephews. Linda was predeceased by her father, Elmer Ulland ’32. Memorials may be sent to Luther College.

Luther College Bell