Luther Alumni Magazine

Class Notes, 1961–1999

1961–1969 / 1970–1979 / 1980–1989 / 1990–1999


Tom Haugen of Decorah was awarded the Karl L. King Distinguished Award by the Iowa Bandmasters Association. He was recognized for his 38 years as a band director in Minnesota and Iowa, 19 years supervising music education student teachers for Luther, and 45 years of judging concert bands, jazz bands, marching bands, choirs, and orchestras.

Glen Huebner of Alexandria, Minn., was recognized for distinguished service and inducted into the Class of 2017 Centennial School District (Minn.) Hall of Fame.

Dick Larson of Castle Rock, Colo., was inducted into the Colorado Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in January 2018.


Paul Olsen is retiring from coaching men’s cross country and track and field at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., at the end of the 2017–18 school year. The spring 2018 track and field season will be his 50th and final season with the Augustana Vikings. Upon retirement, Olsen will have been the head coach at Augustana for more than 100 seasons, 52 in cross country and 50 in track and field. His teams have competed in 118 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) championship meets—52 in cross country, 49 in outdoor track and field, and 17 in indoor track and field. Of the 118 CCIW meets in which the Vikings have competed, they have finished first or second in 94 and have never placed lower than fourth under Olsen’s leadership. In cross country, Augustana has qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships 25 times and has been in the top 10 a total of 11 times, placing second in 1980, fourth in 1979, and fifth in 1974 and 1992. Olsen is one of the most senior faculty members on campus in the Augustana English Department. He will continue to teach part time in retirement.


Harold Dahlstrand is executive in residence and assistant professor of business at Elmhurst (Ill.) College.

Roger Kittelson of Forest Lake, Minn., retired as vice president and CFO of Christian Healthcare Ministries.


Bruce Beck of Madison, Wis., is retired.

Phillip Johnson of Oregon, Wis., is retired.


Dennis Flatness is chairman for USI Insurance Services in St. Louis and serves on Luther’s Board of Regents.

Stan Kant of Raleigh, N.C., retired as a psychologist and educator for students with dyslexia, ADD, and other learning styles and learning disorders.

George Kuh of Bonita Springs, Fla., retired from Indiana University in 2010 and continues to actively engage in research and service as adjunct research professor of education policy at the University of Illinois. He also directs the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), co-located at the University of Illinois and Indiana University.


Aleta (Reckling) Chossek of Shorewood, Wis., is author of “A New Life: New York to Chicago,” a part of Family Stories from the Attic, an anthology of essays, creative nonfiction, and poetry inspired by family letters, objects, and archives.

James Hockings, who passed away in February 2013, wrote a book, Zen Slaps from a Cancer Warrior: A Pissant’s Perspective, which has been launched in London, Ontario, where he was a portrait and artistic photographer for more than 30 years. The book chronicles his yearlong fight with bladder cancer. The book’s promotional description reads: “Welcome to an irreverent memoir of a passionate photographer/writer fighting cancer on his own terms, while living a love story. James Hockings is a witty and sometimes profound companion for anyone facing a life-threatening disease. He has written a soulful answer to Hitchens’ Mortality.” The book is available through online retailers and a wide range of bookstores. The book was edited and published by Eric Hustvedt ’69 of Mill Village, Nova Scotia, Canada, through his communications company, Talent Bank Communications.


Lee Kidd lives in London, England. He received a Mansfield College bachelor of arts degree from Oxford University. Kidd is a senior associate at the Royal Society of Medicine and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist for the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy.


Roger Bang is a consultant with First Insurance in Mason City, Iowa, a 96-year-old firm that he has been with for 39 years, 20 as president. He retired from local political office after 20 years—16 as council member at large and four as mayor. Bang never lost an election. His campaign committee consisted of his wife, Peggy, and himself; he never solicited campaign funds and never had a yard sign. Roger and Peggy are residents of the historically significant Melson House. He tries to live a life of gratitude.

Donald Erickson is senior counsel at Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith, and Frederick in Duluth, Minn.


Rick Fromm is managing editor at Decorah Newspapers. He was named the best sports columnist in the weekly division (class III) of the Iowa Newspaper Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest for the second consecutive year.

Lee Olson is the reinsurance manager for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis.

John Whitham is staff physician at Wellmed at Wooldridge in Corpus Christi, Texas.


Ranae (Keoppel) Gipp of Decorah is retired.

Jerry Roppe is principal biologist for Permitting and Environmental Group at Avangrid Renewables in Portland, Ore. He has been named International Ambassador to the International Organizing Committee for the fourth Conference on Wind Energy and Wildlife Impacts to be held in Estoril, Portugal. He will also be coauthoring several presentations and posters at the meeting, which expects 300–400 attendees from around the world.


W. D. Foster-Graham of Mounds View, Minn., is retired.

Martha Preus is a project team leader for GFA Consulting Group in Hamburg, Germany.

Carl Schultz of Fort Myers, Fla., is a retired emergency room physician. He works part time at an internal medicine clinic, is a licensed yacht captain and commodore of St. Charles Yacht Club, and volunteers with the Admissions Department of the U.S. Naval Academy.


Tom Hellie concluded his term as chair of the board of directors of the Council of Independent Colleges in January 2018 and will retire from his position as president of Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., in June.

Steve Lovick is director of IT at Rheem Manufacturing in Fort Smith, Ark.


Cora Leland is an accountant in the tax department of Avitus Group in Billings, Mont.

Gregory Nicoll is financial adviser at Financial Decisions Group in Waterloo, Iowa.

Janice Rambow Beatty is a sickle cell/thalassemia nurse specialist at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.


Ron Evans is chief executive officer of White’s Residential and Family Services in Wabash, Ind.

Karen (Thulin) and Brian Rude ’77 live in Coon Valley, Wis. They were selected as festmaster and frau for the 2017 La Crosse (Wis.) Oktoberfest.


Keith Ellingson of Indianola, Iowa, is retired.

Mary (Hamilton) Schultz of Waseca, Minn., retired from teaching in the Waseca public schools.

Steven Stricker of Berwyn, Ill., retired as village administrator for the Village of Burr Ridge, Ill., after 27 years of service.


Steve Demorest is a professor of music education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. His article “Stop Obsessing over Talent—Everyone Can Sing” was published online at

Gregg Hemish is a senior app developer for Blue Cross Blues Shield in Eagan, Minn.

Curt Tryggestad was named executive director of Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, Minn.

David Vohsman is senior site reliability engineer for Agilent Technologies in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Pam Helgerson-Dome of La Crosse, Wis., is retired.

Julie (Jensen) McGowan is a manager of compliance and audit at Michael Coglianese CPA in Bloomingdale, Ill.


Dennis Flodeen of San Diego retired from teaching at Adams Five Star Schools in Thornton, Colo.


Tim Selbo is senior pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, S.D.


Ginger (Felland) Brudos is a clinical psychologist and pediatric neuropsychologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford Children’s Health in Palo Alto, Calif., and in private practice.

Kris (Thomas) Dreifuerst is tenured associate professor of nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee and serves as president of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

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

Brad Lewis of Las Vegas, Nev., was appointed executive director of the Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission.

Di (Reque) and Eric Storvick live in Mankato, Minn. Di is community liaison at Educare Foundation, and Eric is a physician and department chair at Mankato Clinic.


Patty Beech owns Patty Beech Consulting in Duluth, Minn. She is a senior instructor in the social work program at the University of Wisconsin–Superior.

Kristi (Sprague) Glesne is senior learning and development coordinator for Lands’ End Business Outfitters in Dodgeville, Wis.

Matthew Teslow is a sales associate at Bieber Insurance and Real Estate in Waukon, Iowa.


Sandro Raniolo is president of retail and vertical e-commerce EMEA at Ralph Lauren in London, United Kingdom.


Brent Benrud is senior associate general counsel at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Tim Jacobsen is cofounder and executive producer of FuseFX in Burbank, Calif. He received the 2017 David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television at the Producers Guild Awards for his work in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

Jennifer (Munn) Saner teaches music at Onalaska (Wis.) High School.

Lynda (Hedrick) and Dave Satre ’90 live in Mount Airy, Md. Lynda, a mother of 10 children, published a book, Parenting Sensibly: Turning Messes into Successes, which looks at the parenting journey and lays a firm foundation to help navigate the daily struggles of parenting. More information can be found on her website,


Brent Asplin of Cincinnati is chief operating officer at VillageMD.

Vanessa (Grima Baldacchino) Frazier, Malta’s ambassador to Italy, received the Pigna d’Argento prize, given annually by the Academia di Sicilia and the mayor of Palermo to people who have excelled in their field while focusing on Sicily.

Jennifer (Graham) Ness is director of client output management at Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis.

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

Craig Yarde is pastor of Canton (Ill.) Assembly of God Church.


Reynolds Cramer was presented the Iowa Egg Council Partner Award. He is chief executive officer of Fareway Stores in Boone, Iowa.


Shari (McCallister) Bruck teaches at Zion Lutheran School in Denison, Iowa.

Dirk Buettner of Glendora, Calif., is a home services specialist II at Bank of America.

Kate (Spencer) Klimesh works in business development at Aase Haugen Homes in Decorah.

Jon Kohnen is a Q-comp peer evaluator at Anoka-Hennepin (Minn.) School District 11.

Cathy (Severson) Sedacca is principal and EVP director of sales and marketing at Sage Business Credit in Minneapolis. She was named a 2017 Finance and Commerce Top Women in Finance honoree.


Mark Bjerke is regional sales manager of LogRhythm in Decorah.

Jose Carballo of Pella, Iowa, is an international customer service manager for IPP.

Brent Hill is a professor and chair of biology at University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

Tim Nybroten is evangelism pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oro Valley, Ariz.

Nathan Potter is senior product strategist at Underwriters Laboratories in Laramie, Wyo.

Anjie Shutts is a partner and attorney at Whitfield and Eddy in Des Moines, Iowa. She received the Polk County Bar Association Award of Merit at the group’s annual meeting and law clerk luncheon on June 13, 2017. The award is given by the PCBA Board of Directors and is the highest honor in the organization. Anjie achieved board certification in family trial law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Board certification is the highest honor an attorney can achieve.


Sarah (Ruble) Sladek is author of Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations Are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success, released by ASAE.


Cynthia Farrell is senior vice president of human resources at ABILITY Network in Minneapolis.

Bethany (Bierman) Krepela is a major gifts officer for Fraser in Minneapolis.

Steve Smith is information technology director for Winneshiek County in Decorah.


Kari (Gjerde) Kempf is a behavior consultant at Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Derek Lee is owner of Bear Creek Archeology in Cresco, Iowa.


Brian Berg of Mission Viejo, Calif., is director of sales technology for Pacific Life.

Jesse Boeding is director of product marketing at Blackboard in Washington, D.C.

Jean (Nietz) Ciola is a chiropractor at Agada Chiropractic and Integrative Health Center in Minnetonka, Minn.

Kirsten (Alworth) Doescher is the community support agent for PerBlue in Madison, Wis.

Jared Johnson is director of worship, music, communications, technology, and children’s ministries at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Kristi (Carlsen) McConnell is an ESL specialist at Dauphin County Technical High School in Harrisburg, Pa.

Chris Mitchell teaches eighth-grade science at Oregon (Wis.) Middle School.

Jill (Monis) Schwanz is senior quality manager, CPD, at Clearwater Paper in Shelby, N.C.

Beth Shumate has been named Montana state parks administrator. She has served as manager of Hell Creek State Park and most recently as the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks state trails program manager. She lives near Clancy, Mont.


Jeff Driver is a business analyst for VGM Homelink in Waterloo, Iowa.

Pawan Sharma of Keller, Texas, is the senior clinical report development specialist for Medtronic Core Clinical Solutions in Minneapolis. She is in charge of global clinical data solutions.

Carolyn (Johnson) Vreeman is executive president of Vreeman Consulting and consultant for Public Works Water in Minneapolis.


Andy Eley teaches vocal music at Anamosa (Iowa) High School.

Rebecca (Olson) Sjöwall lives in Los Angeles. Her singing was featured on the band Sparks’ album Hippopotamus. It debuted on the United Kingdom album charts at number seven.