Class of 1971 Spring Letter

Class Notes
Giving List

Spring 2013 

Dear ’71 Friends, 

This week (late February) while walking about in temperatures below zero with twenty-five mph winds, we were reminded of similar weather on our daily walks from Towers to the Union, requiring a detour through Ylvisaker just to warm up for a few seconds.  

Students have returned from J-Term experiences that made us a bit envious: studying public schools in Maui; creatures in the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands; Spanish culture on the Costa del Sol -  just examples we know about.  We remember limited travel going on during our four Interims, but J-Term travel has become the standard.  One favorite experience we shared was taking A-UI from Dr. Weilgart in the Coffee House.  

By the time you receive this letter, the Board of Regents may have made a decision on who the next president of Luther College will be.  It will soon be time to say good-bye to Rick and Judy Torgeson - well done good and faithful servants! 

Luther has a new football coach - Aaron Hafner.  You can hear what he has to say about Luther, football, Decorah, and more in two video clips on Luther’s athletic website, at

Who knows, we may see a return to the glory days of 1970 when we traveled to Soldier Field on a chilly November day to watch our Norse play in the Alonzo Stagg Bowl.  

Also, the the Dave and Patricia Miller Natatorium (pool) will be completed at the end of May.  Coach Huber reminded me that there is still a naming gift opportunity available for only $500,000.  

There is so much more going on at Luther.  We encourage you to visit Luther’s website from time to time just to get a sense of the activity.  Our alma mater is busy, forward looking, ambitious, diverse, and still rooted in traditions of scholarship and Christianity.  

Keep in touch, as we love to hear and publish your stories.  


Jim and Diane (Vlahovich) Hinrichs
[email protected]

Class Notes
KYRL HENDERSON of Decorah produced a short documentary film titled Hand Me Downs. The film—selected to be shown at the Iowa Independent Film Festival—asks the question “What are we leaving our children?” and shows viewers how trash is passed on through generations.

KRIS MELROE was invited to speak on special education instruction at Dar El Hekma College in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She is the director of schools at Morningside Academy in Seattle. 

BOB CARLSON and Connie Wooldridge, July 31, 2011

Vernon Jahnke of Claremont, Calif., died Friday, July 13, 2012, at age 63.  He graduated from high school in Bricelyn, Minn., and went on to graduate from Luther in 1971. In 1974 Vern was united in marriage to Debra Anderson; he earned a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 1978. Vern served at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt, Neb., and later served at First Lutheran Church in St. James. In 1986 he and his family moved to Claremont, Calif., where Vern attended graduate school, earning a doctorate in ministry. He served Our Savior Lutheran Church and Church of the Brethren in LaVerne, Calif., and a variety of interim positions in southern California. Vern also worked at retirement communities in California. He will be remembered for his sense of humor and care of others, especially those in A.A. suffering from alcohol addiction and depression. A friend to all, Vern had a unique ability to connect with people. His love of ministering to others took him to disaster relief areas, where he helped build houses for those in need. Vern enjoyed reading, fishing, discussing theology, and doing handyman work. He was at his best and happiest when he was helping others. Vern is survived by his wife, Debra Jahnke; two sons: Chris Jahnke and Joel Jahnke; three sisters: KATHY (JAHNKE) ROSEDAHL ’62, Emelie Paulson, and Myrna Donovan; a brother, Brad Jahnke; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister, Sharon Jahnke.

Don't forget your Annual Fund giving! 
Each year nearly 9,000 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 reach our goal of 27% alumni giving.  Here’s how your class—and surrounding classes—did in 2012:

Class of 1970 total giving in 2012:  $101,034 from 27% of the class

Class of 1971 total giving in 2012:  $67,826 from 26% of the class

Class of 1972 total giving in 2012:  $88,460 from 29% of the class

Your gift can boost the impact your class has on current students!  Please use the enclosed envelope or visit to show your support.  Thank you!

This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012. 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. 

Lee Afdahl*
Kathleen Ausen*
Roger Bang*
Ann (Birdsall) Beasley*
Timothy Becker
Sandra (Korsrud) Behensky
Kathryn (Melcher) Benke*
Thomas Berkland*
Margareta (Jern) Beyer*
Jolene Birkelo*
Richard Bjorlo*
Dale Blyth
Arland Braaten-Lee
Harold Bradway*
Robert Carlson*
Thomas Claude*
Nancy (Borlaug) Clefisch
Adrienne (Leseth) Coffeen
William Decker
David Dettmann*
Nancy (Sotebeer) Diley
David Dorheim*
Karen (Janssen) Egan*
Ann (Furman) Esse*
Charles Findley
Barbara (Tidball) Fonkert*
Marlin Fretheim
Richard Fullriede*
George Gentes
Jacquelyn (Larsen) Gonzalez
Elaine (Gottschalk) Grimes*
Joyce (Oberheu) Gromko
Sandra Groth
Sheryl Hansen
Catherine (Stadler) Haugen*
Mark Haugland
Fred Hedberg*
Nancy Heerens-Knudson*
Lois (Lebakken) Helland
Mark Helland
Jean (Pederson) Hindson
Diane (Vlahovich) Hinrichs*
James Hinrichs*
Dennis Hjelmeng
Laurel (Jameson) Holland*
Steven Holland*
Bonnie (Price) Holst Cummings*
Gary Holstad*
Keith Holtan
Roger Johanson
Kathryn (Selzer) Johnson*
Robert Jordan
Gloria (Huseby) Keseley*
Susan (Carlson) Klevan
Mary (Xavier) LaBelle*
Stephen LaBelle*
LouAnn Larson-Gaston
Becky (Richardson) Le Duc
Scott Lee
Kristine (Bjerva) Leix*
Dennis Linderbaum*
David Lokensgard
Rolf Lokensgard
Steven Loven
Susan (Feurig) Ludvigson*
Merlyn Marten*
Deborah (Martin) McCabe
Ronald McCabe
James McCaffrey
Jo Anne McCullough Klein*
Larry Mens
John Metcalfe
Shosh Meyer*
Christine (Forland) Moore
Rolf Mosbo*
Carol (Monson) Noren*
Kenneth Olson*
Connie (Marlow) Overholt*
Louise (Borreson) Paulson
Beverly Petersen
Jerry (Hefti) Putnam
Mark Reinertson*
Sharon (Rose) Rendack
Luther Rotto
Marc Sather
Kathleen (Reynolds) Schneider*
Janette (Eide) Seger*
Jana (Steensland) Severtson*
John Severtson*
Rebecca (Linnevold) Shaw*
Danny Shen*
Kay (Kvale) Sheppard*
Stephen Sheppard*
Jerilyn (Jenson) Smith*
Stephen Smith*
Marwood Snell*
Carolyn (Myhre) Solberg*
Steven Sorensen*
Carol (Berg) Tack*
Bruce Tammen*
Nancy (Arnold) VanderVort
Eddie Voll
Barbara Wangsness
Marjorie (Olien) Watts
William Watts
Mary Waudby*
Marilyn Whisler-Marrone
Steven Wicks*
William Wickum
Debra Wilson*
John Wood
Mary (Lavere) Wood
Robert Wright*
David Wulf
Jonathan Wulff

* made a gift in each of the last five consecutive years.

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].

Jim and Diane Hinrichs