Class of 1966 Fall 2017 Letter

Fall 2017

Dear Friends,

We have a pond on our farm. It is the first thing you see as you drive down our driveway. It was originally designed to mitigate the flooding of our driveway, but we loved it for its aesthetic beauty as much as its utilitarian one. Then several years ago during the spring thaw, the pond “blew out.”  Where there had been beauty, there now was an ugly mud hole. We began the process of its restoration, but it soon became obvious that if we were to do this right, it was going to take time and, of course, money. We got our pond back after about two years of work. It was a long time to be without it. We missed it, but what we didn’t realize was how much other people missed it as well. Our 8-year-old grandson said all he wanted for his birthday was the pond back. The UPS delivery man asked when it would be fixed, because he looked forward to seeing it on his deliveries.

How lucky we are that our forefather scholar/ farmers had the vision to build Luther College in such a beautiful setting. Students and alumni have always appreciated this fact, but how many more people from the area drive by or walk through the campus on a Sunday afternoon?

Education can happen anywhere—in an inner city former warehouse, a strip mall, or hut in a foreign country. We, however, were truly blessed to receive a good education in a beautiful setting. Natural beauty lifts our spirits and makes our hearts sing. Luther’s beautiful setting is a gift to everyone. It is up to people like us to ensure that this education and natural beauty continue to inspire.

Congratulations to all of you. Our class is now ranked 9th in participation of giving to the Luther Fund. Our gifts do make a difference.  As college costs rise, we can help ensure that all students have an opportunity to attend Luther, not just the very wealthy. Soli Deo Gloria.

We were saddened to hear of the death of John Norback, March 10, 2017. I received a beautiful letter from John’s wife, Kathleen Ley. A portion read, “With great courage, John faced Lewy body disease calmly and fought bravely to the end. His years at Luther were precious to him, but his illness kept him from attending the Class of ’66 reunion.

We rejoice with Glenn Borreson on the publication of his book entitled, 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.

We also rejoice with retiree Dennis Christian.

Mary (Henzler) Deters
1966 Class Agent
[email protected]


Glenn Borreson of Holmen, Wis., is the author of a book of local history entitled, “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 the Gilbert Borreson ’28.

Dennis Christian of Minneapolis is retired.


John Norback of Middleton, Wis., died March 10, 2017, at age 73. Born in Minneapolis, he lettered in high school football, basketball, and tennis and played competitive tennis during his four years at Luther, while majoring in mathematics and physics. After his Luther graduation, John continued his education, receiving master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, in mathematics and quantitative analysis. He taught mathematics at Marion College for six years and spent the remainder of his career in the Food Science Department at UW-Madison, solving business problems for the food industry, applying math and software tools.  John also served as director of the WISPLAN Computing and Telecommunications Unit and taught in Mexico, Tunisia, Australia, Uganda, Bangladesh, Japan, and England. In 1993 he married Kathleen Ley, and together they formed Norback Ley & Associates LLC, a food safety software company. Their work helped businesses, governments, and universities around the world reduce and eliminate hazards in their food systems. John loved to hunt and garden at his farm in Sauk County. He also enjoyed fly fishing, being on the shore of Lake Superior and walking its beautiful beaches, dinners at home with family and friends, and applying his talents to encaustic art, acrylics, oils, wood cuts, and sculpture. John is survived by his wife, Kathleen Ley; sons, Sebastian, Nathaniel, and Christopher Norback ’90; grandson; five siblings, Sally Polarski, David (Sher), Tom, Joan Verdegan (Colby), and Carol Forsberg (David); and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father.