Dear 1955 Classmates:
Greetings from southern Arizona, where it is currently about 80 degrees and very sunny. It was not as warm in late January and February—unusually cold and rainy. But Mary and I will take it since the alternative was northern Minnesota, which was unusually cold and snowy. I don’t know where all of you were this winter, whether in a snowy area or a sunny and dry one or somewhere in between. Wherever, I hope your winter and early spring have been enjoyable and that you are in quite good health, and especially avoided that dreadful flu.
Perhaps the biggest news from Luther involves the Music Department. I’m sure many of you have heard of the passing of Weston Noble ’43 in December. He was 94 and had been in a care facility in Decorah for the last year. He was one of those who will be well remembered in the annals of the college. There is a celebration of his life scheduled for Saturday, May 13, in the CFL. It will be an impressive event, no doubt.
Also, Andrew Last ’97, assistant professor of music, has been named the next Nordic Choir conductor. In a very few years at Luther he has distinguished himself as conductor of Collegiate Chorale and the first-year men’s Norsemen. He starts his new responsibilities in the fall and will do very well upholding the Luther choral reputation and tradition.
Other news from Luther notes that President Carlson and the Board of Regents are in the process of developing a strategic plan to guide the college for the next three to five years. This is an activity that good schools undertake periodically to keep abreast of changing times rather than drifting from year to year with no clear sense of contemporary relevance. These are challenging times for colleges and universities, and Luther is not immune. Competition from more and new educational institutions and rising costs of a degree are real. It is to the credit of Luther that it is facing this challenge head-on.
Also, since 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, the college has planned a series of events in observance. You can find more information by going to www.luther.edu and navigating the site. As part of the observance of the Reformation, this winter the Minneapolis Institute of Art offered a major exhibit with artifacts from Germany dating to the days of Martin Luther in the 16th century. Mary and I were able to attend. It was exciting (since my doctoral field was Reformation) to see original woodcuts, altar art, the pulpit from which Luther preached his last sermon, and the table from his home where he often (it is reported) sat and drank beer and discussed religion and life with his fellow reformers. And there was much more to see and read.
At Christmas, and more recently, I receive notes from classmates, and I am happy to pass along points of interest. Al Berg lives in Oregon and recently moved into an independent living facility where he continues to enjoy a friendly hand or two of cards. David Borreson and Jan remain active with a trip to Catalina Island and a cruise on the Rhine River in Europe planned. They continue with their RV trips and Dave keeps at fly tying and fly fishing, and perhaps elk hunting in the fall. They live in Colorado. Ron and Connie (Mosby) Larson once again attended the Christmas at Luther performance and pronounced it the best yet. They stay busy in their Wisconsin community. Ruth (Novak) and Jim Roy are enjoying life in their recently built new home in northern Minnesota. Herb Payer say he just completed four months of therapy needed after taking a tumble. He continues with an exercise program. He says that life is good otherwise, but he has not yet won the lottery. Don Peterson and Diane continue to live in Cable, Wisconsin. He shared his career and hobby paths—started a chemical manufacturing company in Wisconsin and Canada; sold it and entered art gallery ventures in Minnesota, Texas, and Canada; sold out, but kept some inventory which he marketed, and still does, online (allianceartpublishing.com). Along the way he took up cross country and downhill skiing, attending a camp instructed by Olympic coaches and another in Austria where European national teams trained. He also took up flying and has owned four planes including three Beeches and a Piper. Alas, he said he missed our 60th due to poor knees which now make walking difficult. Clarie (Renslo) Streng-Broste and Dennis live in Texas where they recently downsized to a home on a golf course. Clarie says they will have to take up golfing. They plan a cruise to Australia and Singapore this spring, and a trip to Norway in August. They spent Christmas in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Ted and Janet (Campbell) Tweed continue to live in Waunakee, Wisconsin. Jan is currently working with a high school woodwind ensemble preparing for competition with the goal of competing at the state level. Ted was recently presented with a Burch-Sturm Fellowship, a Wisconsin Lions Club award, recognizing long-term community service.
As for me, I enjoy good health given my age. Mary and I spend nine months in Minnesota and three in Arizona, about 45 miles from the Mexican border. The scenery is in contrast to back home–high mountains and valley desert with cactus, mesquite, and flowers of all sorts, if there is enough winter rain. We get back to Luther two or three times a year, but missed Christmas at Luther this year due to a nasty cold. We stay active with swimming, biking, walking, exercising, and visiting historical sites, museums, and galleries. We also take the lead hosting a Luther reunion each July in northern Minnesota. Each year the crowd has increased—close to 70 last year. Periodically, we sort through the accumulation of stuff from 61 years of marriage—lots of memories. Mary is working especially on family and travel photos. I am working on converting years of 35mm slides to a computer file. I am also working on a family history, for the benefit of the next generation. I encourage you to do the same. If nothing else, start a journal with your earliest memory and then do key memories one year at a time. It will be your lasting footprint. Think of it as family roots. If you don’t do it, who will?
Meanwhile, I’d like to hear from each of you. Classmates say they enjoy the personal items. We all do things that can be shared, maybe even as an encouragement to others. Send something!
As always, I remind you (though I don’t need to) that Luther needs, and continues to welcome, your gifts to the Annual Fund or any other fund which is near and dear to your heart. There is no need for me to go into detail with members of the Class of 1955, among the most generous of classes in percent of members making gifts. Thank you for your past and continuing support. It is greatly appreciated.
Have a good spring, a happy Easter, and a pleasant summer.
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.
WITH SINCERE GRATITUDE:
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.
Myra (Aafedt) Ahrens
Maren (Torrison) Blatchford
Ilah (Olson) Breitbach
Marjorie (Morem) Ellingson
Rosemary (Nelson) Fjelstul
Alice (Peterson) Head
Mary (Buchholz) Kipfer
Constance (Mosby) Larson
Kathryn (Sanger) Larson
Helen (Vatthauer) Lewis
Jan (Rovang) Melenich
Mildred (Lunde) Meyer
†JoAnne (Bales) Ohlhaber
Lois (Grangaard) Paulson
Betty (Fey) Peterson
Frances (Trosin) Rehborg
Jean (Tucker) Rolle
Patricia (Olafson) Savoie
Janet (Campbell) Tweed
Lilly (Hamre) Womeldorf
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]. († deceased)