Class of 1948 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Dear Members of the Class of 1948,

Greetings from Luther and happy spring semester! As I write to you today in late March, Luther students are enjoying the last few days of spring break. Earlier this month, the Development Office participated in Luther’s second annual Giving Day on March 9, which proved to be a fun day of sharing Luther love all over social media and raising money for the Annual Fund. More than $500,000 was raised that day; thank you to all who made gifts!

You probably heard the news about our beloved Weston Noble ’43, who died Dec. 21, 2016. A celebration of his life will be held on campus at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall. More details about Weston’s life can be found in the Winter 2017 issue of the Luther Alumni Magazine and on Luther’s website.

While we’re on the subject of music, it was announced in January that Andrew Last ’97, assistant professor of music and conductor of Collegiate Chorale and Norsemen, has been appointed to the post of Nordic Choir conductor and director of choral activities at Luther. He will begin his new duties at the beginning of the 2017 fall semester. You can read more about Andrew Last on Luther’s website, and you can find lots more as well, including students’ J-term course blogs and other course blogs, Alumni Office travel tours and events, links to alumni profiles, comparisons and rankings, life after Luther, etc. It’s easy to find web content that interests you at by clicking the search button next to the “info for” drop-down box at the top right of the page. Type in the word “news,” click on the search button, and you’ll get all of the Luther news, for your reading pleasure.

Attached to this letter is the list of all who made gifts to Luther in calendar year 2016. Thank you for your generosity! Did you know you can sign up for monthly giving to Luther? It’s a great way to ensure a gift is made each year. Those who make a gift at any level for three or more consecutive years become members of Luther’s Loyalty Society. Visit for more details. Regular giving to Luther is a great habit to cultivate!

Do you have memories of past Luther experiences you’d like to share? I’m sure your classmates would enjoy reading about them; send me your stories!

I’ll write again in the fall,

Sue (Franzen) Drilling ’78
[email protected]

Your gift. Put to work, right away, where it is needed most.

Last year more than 10,000 alumni, family, and friends supported Luther’s Annual Fund with gifts from $5 to $100,000. Your gift makes a difference for each and every student at Luther, and we are grateful for your support.


This list includes all gifts received January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. 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.

Roger Anderson
Vernon Bly
Alice (Michelson) Collings
Evelyn (Fruechte) Estenson
Eleanor (Barsness) Fuller
Ray Fuller
Margaret (Nelson) Fure
Wilmer Fure
Helene (Rowe) Furst
Georgann Johnson-Tenner
Donald Olson
June (Olson) Pritz
James Reinertson
Cora Shiffer
Jean (Nesheim) Swiggum
Marilyn (Evanson) Veglahn
Harold Ziemann

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].


Betty (Forde) Baccarini of Clarkston, Mich., died June 30, 2016, at age 91. Born in St. Francis, Minn., she graduated from Starbuck High School in 1943, before enrolling at Luther, where she majored in music. Betty's talent as a pianist was evident at an early age, and she gave her first solo piano recital at the age of 12. She was recruited by her parents to accompany and travel with them in their endeavors. Betty’s mother was a violinist and violin instructor and her father directed several town bands. After graduating from Luther, Betty continued graduate work at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., before moving to New York City, where she studied privately with instructors from Juilliard and performed at Carnegie Hall on three different occasions. In 1955, while teaching at St. John's College in Winfield, Kan., Betty met and married John William Baccarini. After the couple movied to Oklahoma City, Betty began teaching music at Oklahoma City University. Over the next seven years, the couple welcomed four children into their home. She continued teaching vocal music at high schools and colleges and giving private piano and voice lessons. Betty also composed and arranged music and worked with local musicians to perform with their voices and instruments in church and lay venues, accompanying them on piano. She was active in the Lutheran Women's Missionary League and American Association of University Women and often volunteered at senior centers, giving presentations on classical music. Betty is survived by her sister, Nora (Forde) Hendrickson ’49; four children: Louis Baccarini, Laura Wozniak (Michael), Anna Rosinia, and Michael Baccarini (Kimberly); eight grandchildren; and thirteen great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, John William Baccarini, and by three brothers: Ralph Forde ’52, John Forde ’54, and Richard Forde ’55.

Richard “Dick” Coxson of Buffalo Center, Iowa, died Aug. 21, 2016, at age 88. Born in Chicago, he graduated from Augustana Academy in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1944, before enrolling at Luther, where he majored in business administration and mathematics. After his Luther graduation, Dick married Ferne Ellingson ’50 on June 13, 1948, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Buffalo Center, Iowa. They lived in Decorah, where Dick began working as an accountant. He and Ferne moved to Estherville, and—having obtained his CPA license—Dick opened his own practice. In 1955 they moved to California (Lakewood then Bellflower) and Dick worked for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. After a number of years at PMM&Co., he started a new CPA firm in Century City, Calif., later moving his offices to Cerritos, Calif., to be nearer to his home. During the time Dick had his own practice, he and Ferne spent several very enjoyable years in Hawaii. In 1992 Dick retired from his full-time accounting practice, and he and Ferne moved to rural Buffalo Center, Iowa. He loved doing jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, and cryptograms; having family and friends around, telling stories, and his 2:00 nap; and having decorations out for the holidays. Dick is survived by eight children: Pam (David Fairley) Coxson, Jan (Bill) Lynch, Alan Coxson ’79 (Mary), Philip Coxson ’78, Debbie (Coxson) Hack ’81 (Ted), Ruth (Rob) Menagh, Tom (Linda) Coxson, and Rob (Grace) Coxson; thirteen grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren. Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Ferne (Ellingson) Coxson ’50, on August 26, 2015; brother, Emmett Coxson ’51; daughter, Ruth Menagh; great-grandson; brother-in- law, Jim Goetz; and niece, Kristin Goetz.

Freda (Struxness) Jacobsen of Decorah died Sept. 14, 2016, at age 94. She was a Luther attendee and a gifted artist and musician—an excellent painter and accomplished organist. Freda is survived by her son, Steven Jacobsen ’69 (Edie [Held] Jacobsen ’69); daughters, Julie (Jacobsen) Allen ’74 (Tom Allen) and Karen (Jacobsen) Hansen ’79 (Paul Hansen ’70); sister, Irene (Struxness) Sawatzky ’46; six grandchildren; and seven great- grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Theodor Jacobsen ’42, who died August 30, 2016; son, Mark; nine brothers and sisters, including Edward Struxness ’35, Erling Struxness ’38, David Struxness ’40, Ester (Struxness) Magladry ’47, Ruth (Struxness) Storvick ’47, Alborg Struxness-Rogness ’51, and Solveig (Struxness) Korot ’54; and father, Edward Struxness (Class of 1906). Memorials can be made to Luther College.