Luther Alumni Magazine

Class Notes, 1939–1999

1939–1949 / 1950–1959 / 1960–1961 / 1970–1979 / 1980–1989 / 1990–1999


Louise (Naeseth) Hubbard of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., celebrated her 101st birthday. Her town celebrated by organizing volunteers of all ages; each volunteer donated 101 minutes to help clean up a local trail created by Hubbard and her husband, Fred, made from a former garbage dump. Everyone enjoyed the celebration and worked hard. Hubbard walked the entire trail, receiving many thanks. 


Lowell Gangstad has been directing church choirs at First Lutheran Church in Northwood, Iowa, for 60 years and has no plans to retire anytime soon. The Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette featured Gangstad in a front page story on June 17. He says he will continue directing until “Either nobody shows up for rehearsal, or I can’t raise my arms to direct.” Gangstad and his wife, Leila (Hestenes) Gangstad ’58, married in 1958 and have lived in Northwood ever since. He taught music in the Northwood-Kensett (Iowa) schools for 39 years.


Marva (Paulson) Baldwin of Evergreen, Colo., is retiring after 33 years of directing community, public school, and church handbell choirs. She has been a state and district officer of Handbell Musicians of America as well as a clinician at handbell functions. She coauthored a handbell education book and represented the U.S at several international handbell symposiums.


Dick Edwards of Menomonie, Wis., joined the board of directors at Lutheran Social Services in Milwaukee.


Glenn Borreson of Holmen, Wis., is the author of a book of local history, Look out Below! Ski Jumping in Western Wisconsin’s Trempealeau County. His research on the subject was inspired by five of his Borreson uncles who were competitive ski jumpers, including Gilbert Borreson ’28.


Beverly (Erickson) Bodelson is semi-retired and teaches English as a second language to adults at English for Internationals in Roswell, Ga. 


David Hanford of Columbia, S.C., is a life coach and a church mission consultant.

Bill Pettit is provost at Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) Center for Health Sciences, senior associate dean of OSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, associate dean of the Department of Rural Health, and a professor in the Department of Family Medicine. In April 2017 he received the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association Doctor of the Year Award.

Robert Sathe is chairman of MCF Advisors in Covington, Ky.


Catherine (Turner) Boulanger of Highland, Ill., retired, volunteers through Woman’s Club as the local president and serves on the General Federation of Women’s Clubs district board. She also volunteers once a week at Fairmont City Library as a bilingual aid.

Keith Johnson of Pine Hill, N.J., retired from a lifetime of working under the (virtual) sky, having served in five planetariums across the nation (including Luther’s). Most recently he was the initial director of the Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University, where he worked for 12 years.


Sue (Johnston) and Lyle Luzum have donated their 170-acre farm near Calmar, Iowa, to the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust—the largest donation ever made to SILT. The donation includes their home, outbuildings, and equipment. Lyle’s family has farmed the land since 1873, but they decided to pass it on to SILT as a way to profit future sustainable farming practices.

Kurt Sandstrom of Pittsburgh is a self-employed consultant with experience in Logistics Business Development.


Duane Sauke of Rochester, Minn., was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives for District 25B in southeastern Minnesota.


Mark Hengesh of Weeki Wachee, Fla., retired as band director at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Wendy (Obernolte) Schatz retired as principal of Notre Dame Catholic School in Cresco, Iowa. Her career has come full circle, from the time that she attended St. Joseph’s grade school in Cresco to now retiring from the same institution after a 43-year career in elementary education.

Steven Sorenson is president of the Senior Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Wisconsin and is celebrating 40 years of practice in Ripon, Wis., this spring. He continues to teach law and business at Ripon College and delivered his 100th seminar on legal ethics this past year. 


Barbara (Elmer) Marshall Nickell of Salina, Kan., was selected as Kansas Wesleyan University’s 2016 Faculty of Distinction honoree. This annual Kansas Independent College Association award honors a faculty member at each school for outstanding achievements in and out of the classroom.

Judy Olson of Austin, Texas, retired after 42 years of teaching secondary English and theatre.


Kari (Yung) Saba is Deputy Chief Development Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority.


Steve Connell retired as director of the Pride of the Dutchmen Band at MOC–Floyd Valley High School in Orange City, Iowa. The Pride of the Dutchman Marching Band earned a national reputation as one of the finest marching bands in the country with performances in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, Orange Bowl Parade, Fiesta Bowl Parade, Hollywood Christmas Parade, Waikiki New Year’s Eve Parade, and NFL Monday Night Football. He began a new career as director of athletic bands at Northwestern College.


Brad Schneider of Verona, Wis., retired after 38 years of teaching band in public schools in Iowa and Wisconsin. He serves as government relations chair for the Wisconsin Music Educator’s Association and was honored to direct one of the bands at the annual UW–Madison Summer Music Clinic.

Marcus Thomsen of Millersville, Pa., was appointed associate dean of the faculty at Franklin and Marshall College. He is also professor of chemistry and a member of the faculty at the college.


Kim Outten Stubbs of Nassau, Bahamas, is chief curator at the National Museum of the Bahamas. She was inducted into the Commonwealth Association of Museums’ prestigious Cowrie Circle. Membership in the Cowrie Circle, CAM’s highest honor, signifies a tribute to those members who have played a major role in advancing growth and development of museums in their respective countries.


Rebecca (Hanson) Berman is a researcher at CJE SeniorLife in Chicago.

Christopher Cudworth is communications coordinator for the city of Batavia, Ill.

Mark Gould is the director of music at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Delafield, Wis.

Barbara (Vaske) Norland of Homestead, Fla., is director of development and communications at YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade.

Clark Wicks is superintendent of the Perry (Iowa) Community School District.


Mary (Christianson) Hansen is chief executive officer and administrator at Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union in Rochester, Minn. She was honored as the Outstanding Professional of the Year for 2017 by the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s Awards Committee.

Barbara (Hodge) Miller of Edina, Minn., is executive assistant to the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.

Arne Sorenson received the Leadership in Diversity Award at the Committee for Economic Development’s 2017 Distinguished Performance Awards Dinner in New York City. Sorenson was cited for leading programs that foster diversity in the workplace and champion underrepresented groups, including supporting women and their advancement across the full spectrum of private enterprise.


Judith (Tollefsrud) Halverson is education coordinator at Ochsner Health System/Ochsner Medical Center in Jefferson, La., and recently earned a post-professional transitional doctorate in physical therapy.

Pat (Graetz) Jensen is senior account executive at Express Scripts in Minneapolis.


David Evensen of North Las Vegas, Nev., is general manager for Tectonics.

Mark Johnson is senior IT project manager at Express Scripts Holding Company in Bloomington, Minn.

Julie (Klausen) Moe of Eagan, Minn., is the patient care supervisor for Fairview Health Services in the Hiawatha and Highland Park (Minn.) Clinics as well as Highland Park Urgent Care.

Julie (Kremer) Phillips is broker and assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty Treasure Coast in Stuart, Fla.

David Ray of Custer, Wis., is attorney and top legal counsel for Portage County, Wis.

Tom Vix retired as a high school science teacher at Rushford–Peterson School in Rushford, Minn. He was also the basketball coach for the school and led its teams to a record of 659-230, 15 visits to state tournaments, and three championships, in 1989, 2006, and 2015. He was inducted into the Minnesota High School Basketball Hall of Fame and is considered a legend in the world of high school sports. Vix and his wife, Judy, live just outside of Houston, Minn., where they farm and manage Cushon’s Peak Campground.


Paul Cleven is a quality analyst for Spectrum Brands, Inc. in Madison, Wis.

Mike Kerr is the executive director for TOSA Foundation, Wisconsin Technology Initiative, in Sun Prairie.

Michael Ostermeyer of Mequon, Wis., has joined Polsinelli as a shareholder in the firm’s real estate practice in Chicago.

Marty (Peterson) Parry of Waverly was selected as one of the 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2016, recognized for her courage, competence, and commitment in nursing.

Perry White is president and CEO of Harmony Foundation International in Nashville, Tenn.


Stephen Hopkins is the nonpoint source program coordinator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in Des Moines. He was reappointed by Iowa governor Terry Branstad to serve on the state Watershed Improvement Review Board.

Nancy (Rodenbeck) Wuttke is the Head Start family literacy teacher and academic coordinator for Capstone Community Action in Barre, Vt.


Karen (Slattum) Dyson is a behavioral technician at Melrose Center in St. Louis Park, Minn.

Charles Hoven is director of sales for Inspired Catering and Events by Karen and Gina Stefani in Chicago.


Kari Solomonson is vice president and retail team leader at Peoples State Bank in Wausau, Wis. She received the 2016 Athena Leadership Award from the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, recognizing and celebrating individuals who support, honor, and develop current and emerging women leaders.

Stephen Streufert is the vice president of education at Nature Bridge in San Francisco.


Carla (Meyer) and Mark Hillman ’86 live in São Paulo, Brazil, and teach at the Graded American School of São Paulo. Carla is the middle school learning support teacher; Mark teaches middle school humanities and coaches girls’ basketball.

Sandee (Neitzel) Joppa is executive director of RealTime Talent, a public-private collaborative formed from the work of the business-advisory group Itasca Project in Minneapolis, with the goal of using data to build the world’s best workforce in Minnesota. She also serves on Luther's Board of Regents.

John Niemi is an academic adviser at Johns Hopkins University, Carey School of Business in Baltimore.


Jill Blockhus is director of international partnerships at the Nature Conservancy in Washington, D.C. She lives in Bergen, Norway, working on crafting a new partnership on climate change, greening, infrastructure, and conservation finance, as well as overseeing TNC’s cooperation with the World Bank. She developed and manages TNC’s relationship with the government of Norway, which funds REDD, combating deforestation in tropical countries. Within TNC, she works with the forests and climate policy teams, crafting community engagement, ensuring social and environmental standards, and publishing papers on conservation and development.

Peter Eigenfeld is production color solutions executive for Xerox Corporation in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Callista (Bisek) Gingrich was nominated by President Donald Trump in May for the position of US ambassador to the Vatican. With her husband, Newt Gingrich, she runs the multimedia production company Gingrich Productions, is the author of the Ellis the Elephant children’s book series, and sings in the Choir of the Basilica at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Alessandro Raniolo is president of retail and vertical e-commerce EMEA at Ralph Lauren in London.


Bonnie Black is program manager, global sales support for Delta Air Lines in Atlanta.

Tim Jacobsen of Los Angeles received the David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television at the Producers Guild Awards for assisting in the production of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

Daniel Peterson is owner of Arrasmith Capital and the Lodge at Steinthal in Kiel, Wis.

Leisa (Mechling) Wyman is risk management and quality specialist with Adventists Health Central Valley Network in Hanford, Calif.


Bergetta (Berkland) Beardsley is director of donor relations at the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines (Iowa).

Michelle (Snitker) Bolhuis is the financial and budget analyst for dining services at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Julie (Lyng) Jass is strategic alliance manager at Plantronics in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Sarah Tobiason is the district director of special education and elementary principal for the Decorah Community School District.


Jennifer (Spickerman) and Kyle Christiason ’92 live in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Jennifer is a clinical RN staff member at Allen Women’s Health; Kyle is a family physician for UnityPoint Clinic.

John Hatle of Jacksonville, Fla., is professor of biology at the University of North Florida. He was awarded the Terry Presidential Professorship by the university in recognition of his achievements as an outstanding professor.

Katie Nelson is director of development at Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis.


Stephanie Agresta of Little Silver, N.J., helped found the Scale Collective and joined the board of SheWorx to take an equity stake in the company. The Scale Collective gathers 300 investors, female founders of technology companies, and industry experts to help accelerate growth for women entrepreneurs. Agresta is an award-winning, digital-first adviser who helps technology companies, startups, marketing teams, and individuals accelerate growth through relationship management, partnership development, evangelism, and a counsel on marketing, communications, and advertising.

Wendy (Jaycox) Davidson of Wheaton, Ill., wrote a column for I’m a Lutheran, which was featured in Voices of Faith on She is president of US Specialty channels at Kellogg Co. and a member of Luther’s Board of Regents.

Jill Esterly-Jayne is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist with Susan La Freniere & Associates in Marquette, Mich.

Craig Helmstetter is managing partner of American Public Media Research Lab & Analyst Group in
St. Paul, Minn.

Andrew Mangion is chairman of EC English Language Centers, which funded the construction of a village well and partnered with education charity United World Schools to build a school for children in Ban Huoy, Cambodia.


Christopher Engelhardt is head of digital and integrated payments at Discover Financial Services in Grayslake, Ill.

Steven Olson is senior systems engineer at Ideal System Solutions in Minnetonka, Minn.

Laurie Ryan Whalen is the accountant at Dawson County in Dawsonville, Ga.


Rachel Bents is director of healthy living at the YMCA of the greater Twin Cities. She also serves as a wellness coach for ENJOY.


Jill Ness is director of community ministry at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Madison, Wis.

Clint Schnekloth is pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Ark., and the founder and chairman of the board for Canopy NWA, which reintroduced direct refugee resettlement to the state of Arkansas. He is also an adjunct faculty member at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.


Nikki (Flitter) Foster of Brooklyn Park, Minn., presented to the Minnesota Legislature at the state capitol about her struggles with multiple sclerosis and insurance coverage. She has recently been diagnosed with MS and is advocating for protections for those who have these pre-existing conditions.

Elvia (Castillo) Pace is a management analyst—family and community at Head Start in San Antonio, Texas.


Rachelle Evenson is quality control supervisor at Be the Match National Marrow Donor Program in Minneapolis.

Luke Olson is professor of computer science, Willet Faculty Scholar, director of the Computational Science and Engineering Program, and head of the Parallel Computing Institute at the University of Illinois in Urbana–Champaign. He was selected as cochair of the 2019 Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics Conference on Computational Science and Engineering and is associate editor of the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing.

Bobbie (Torgerson) Vickerman of Mabel, Minn., is the county coordinator for Fillmore County.


Nikki Aden is director, real estate counsel for Target Corporation in Minneapolis.

Jon Anderson is associate professor of music composition at Wayne State University in Detroit. His musical composition “Scatter,” an interactive computer music composition for saxophone and Kinect motion camera, was selected for performance at the 2017 National Conference for the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States.

Arika (Anderson) Hage of Lakeville, Minn., is manager at Beautycounter.

Sheri (Osborne) Hansen is the director of communications, advocacy, and public outreach at AIA Minnesota in Minneapolis.


James Deeds IV is a managing principal and senior electrical engineer with KCL Engineering in Des Moines, Iowa.

Dan Kobler is a partner at Campfire Digital in Denver.