Class of 1949 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Dear 49ers,

I am authoring my spring 2017 class letter on Wednesday, February 15. The Luther women’s and men’s basketball teams are playing at Simpson, and the women have just defeated the Storm and finished second in the conference. They will have a first round bye in the forthcoming conference tournament and will host a second round game. The Luther men have experienced a long season and will not participate in the conference tournament. Only the top six teams have that privilege.

Just recently I read the obituary of Avis Dieseth. Bob, her deceased husband, along with David T., Arnie Anderson, and yours truly played many, many games of hearts during our years at Luther. Bob, Arnie, and I roomed in the same house on Leif Erikson Drive and hosted most of the card games. David T. had about a two-block walk from his home to participate. It is difficult for me to believe that all three men and two spouses (Arnie did not have one), are deceased! Only Marilyn and I remain on the green side of the grass.

Without any class news, I will continue on with another personal event. I have participated in a bridge-playing four-some here in Decorah for many years. One of our group members is Dr. Elwin Farwell, Luther’s sixth president, who served from 1963 to 1981. We play once a week for perhaps 45 of the 52 weeks. During the months of March through October, we play at the Oneota Golf and Country Club each Wednesday (men’s day),after our evening meal. During the other months, we play at each of our homes on Tuesday afternoon after our Rotary Club luncheon. This past October both Dr. Farwell and his wife, Helen, experienced health issues and they became residents of the Aase Haugen Home here in Decorah. YES, we are still playing bridge after each Tuesday Rotary meeting, but now Elwin has become our “permanent host.” He is doing quite well and, as always, he does not like to lose!

Another comment—at the conclusion of a December bridge session at Aase, where Weston Noble ’43 was also a resident, I spoke briefly with him in a corridor on my way out. Not very long after that event, he died.

It has been a long winter here in Decorah. COLD, but not extremely cold. I still attend many events at our college and sincerely enjoy them. Christmas at Luther is about as good as it gets. In mentioning our college, please make a contribution if at all possible. Any amount is truly appreciated.

Till next time—best wishes.

Francis Peterson
[email protected]

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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.

Leona (Nordeng) Amdahl
Gordon Christianson
Joann Dirks Anderson
Alice (Ranum) Drake
Luther Forde
Maretta (Vangsness) Grindeland
Merlin Hagen
Nora (Forde) Hendrickson
Lavern Hillesland
Gordon Howland
Alfred Jacobs
Christabel (Adix) Jacobs
Walter Korsrud
Ruth Lunde
Paul Nelson
Barbara (Orwoll) Nordschow
Francis Peterson
Betty (Anderson) Sanders
Donald Skaar
Mary (Ramsland) Sordel
Rachel (Noer) Spencer
Olin Storvick
Lorraine (Bergland) Wangsness
Ruth (Mikelson) Ziemann

Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If an error has been made, please accept ourapology and contact the Luther Development Office at 800-225- 8664, or email [email protected].


Avis (Gilberts) Dieseth of Waukee, Iowa, died Nov. 27, 2016, at age 88. Born in Sand Creek, Wis., she graduated from Luther in 1949 with majors in English and music education. Avis married a Luther classmate, Robert "Bob" Dieseth, on June 17, 1950, and they moved to Fergus Falls, Minn., in 1952. For many years, she worked as the choir director for First Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, directing multiple choirs, from cherubs to the senior choir. Avis founded two retail businesses in Fergus Falls: Nordic Galleri, featuring Scandinavian gifts, and the Homestead, which sold country furniture, gifts, flowers, and quilting supplies. In 2003 Bob and Avis moved to in Urbandale, Iowa, to be closer to their son, John, and his family. In Urbandale Avis served as an accompanist for the children's choir of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, where she and Bob were active members. Avis is survived by her sons, John (Jane) Dieseth and Paul (Susan) Dieseth; brother, Dennis (Noreen) Gilberts;three grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and many other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Luther Regent Emeritus Robert Dieseth; daughter, Baby Dieseth; and daughter-in- law, Georgia Dieseth.