Class of 1983 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Dear Classmate,

Spring has indeed sprung! Imagine being a student again on Luther College’s campus. February is a month where you quickly dart from one building to the next to prevent too much exposure to temperatures well below zero and winds blowing through the valley at 30 miles per hour. This February has been quite different—spring-like weather lasting days/weeks and snow melting to small puddles. Wouldn’t it be great to be a student again, filling your brain with so much knowledge, and experiencing all a private liberal arts college has to offer? Yes! It is important to continue to make those things happen for new Luther students.

Ok, back to reality, and writing this letter to our class! It is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and beginning in 2017, Luther launches its commemoration with an exciting series of events to take place over the course of this calendar year—a series the college has titled, “The Reformation of Everything, 1517-2017: Exploring a Movement that Changed the World.” I am not going to go into a talk about what the Reformation has done, however, I do want to say that the Reformation has had a great impact and legacy in the world and continues to be relevant in today’s world. See how Luther College plans to commemorate this through events, performances, and exhibitions on their website.  

We pause to remember an acclaimed graduate of Luther College, an educator and conductor for the Nordic Choir, Concert Band, and guest director for many—Weston Noble ’43 passed away December 21, 2016, at the age of 94. What a remarkable man! He had a 57-year tenure as a conductor and teacher at Luther. We were so privileged to study under this great man. I recall singing in Messiah every year, not because I was in choir, but just because I was a student at Luther. This man touched the lives of students that never sang in one of Luther’s many choirs. On May 13, at the Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall, there will be a celebration of life for Weston. You can read more about Weston’s life at headlines/?story id=739476.

My daughter studied abroad this past January; she studied art and drawing in Italy, where they spent time visiting museums, churches, and more in Rome, Florence, and Venice. What a great opportunity for students to broaden their horizons and deepen their understanding of the world! Many students take this opportunity to study somewhere other than Luther for a month. It is a very broadening experience and opens the world up. It helps one to understand people better and understand the world we live in (not just the town we live in). The world gets smaller when we travel. Check out the student blogs from those who traveled in January. Also, check out the Alumni tours—upcoming tours include a New England coastal cruise in September, Holocaust tour in Europe in July, and Vietnam and Cambodia adventure in November. Alumni can experience the world too!

Continue to support Luther College. Share your stories; we would be happy to share your story in our class letter—past Luther experiences are always great to read about. Share your resources by joining Luther’s Loyalty Society—donors are recognized for making gifts at any level for three or more consecutive years.

Thank you for your continued support. Have a great spring and summer!

Michele (Mertens) Stevens     and    Martha (Anderson) Looft
[email protected]                  [email protected]


Earl Sides of Rock Rapids, Iowa, is a driver for Regional Transit Authority/RIDES. He began directing church choir at Rock Rapids United Methodist Church in September 2016.


Grace (Heyden) Condon of Urbandale, Iowa, died Oct. 18, 2016, at age 56. Born in Mason City, she grew up in Plymouth before enrolling at Luther, where she majored in English. Grace married Brian Condon on July 13, 1991, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Des Moines, and they made their home in Urbandale. She worked as a quality assurance analyst for Telligen and treasured her friendships with coworkers, current and past. Grace loved to spend time with her family and her two dogs and two cats. She also enjoyed camping and fishing with her relatives and friends. Grace is survived by her husband, Brian; nine siblings: Stanley (Myrna) Heyden, Kenneth (Ruth) Heyden, Carol (David) Huebner, Joyce (Ken) Kleven, Marilyn (Gus) Engels, Myrna (Jeff) Burger, Gloria (Heyden) Friedrich ’77 (Greg), David (Jo Lynn) Heyden, and Paul (Linda) Heyden; brothers- and sisters-in-law: Alyce Ann (Patrick) Lawler, Phil (Janiece) Condon, David (Jane) Condon, Kevin (Melanie) Condon, Clem (Diane) Condon, Bernard (Tammy Reiling) Condon, Sheila Condon, and Maureen Condon; and many nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her father, Arnold Heyden; mother, Milda Heyden Willis; stepfather, Wayne Willis; father- and mother-in-law, Clement and Alice (Walsh) Condon; and sister-in-law, Kay Condon.

Pamela Snell of Decorah died Nov. 8, 2016, at age 55. A Decorah native, in 1979 she graduated from North Winneshiek High School, where she was active in chorus, band, and softball, and served as the yearbook editor. Pam lived in Norway for six weeks following her high school graduation, before enrolling at Luther, where she majored in nursing and participated in choir. She was employed at Mayo Clinic’s Methodist Hospital in Rochester, Minn., as a nurse in the Ear, Nose, and Throat Department, retiring in 2014. Pam loved to travel and Norway was a favorite destination, and recently went on a trip with the Luren Singers. An avid reader, she loved her cats and dogs and was a generous aunt to her nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. When her parents needed help in their later years, Pam cared for them, while continuing to work full time. She loved to cook, try new recipes, watch the Lawrence Welk Show, and study genealogy. Pam loved and embraced her Norwegian heritage and enjoyed events at Vesterheim Museum, Nordic Fest, and Luther College. A former member of the Mabel Lutheran Church, she had been attending Decorah Lutheran Church. Pam is survived by her three brothers and sister: Larry (Corinne) Snell, Randall (Susan) Snell, Jolyn Mikesh, and Frank Snell; eight nephews and nieces: Benjamin (Megan) Snell, Emily (Paul) Block, Stacy (Jason) Lunden, Heather Erwin, Jeremy (fiancé, Crystal Christopher) Snell, Jonathan (Michelle) Snell, Joshua (Morgan Meyer) Snell, and Tyler (Mariana Duarte) Mikesh; aunt and three cousins; and several grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Merlin Snell, on April 18, 2013, and mother, Bernelle Snell, on Jan. 9, 2015; brother-in-law; and uncle.

The Annual Fund – make your gift today:
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.

Janee (Eckheart) Anderson
Mari Anderson
John Balk
Karla (Nelson) Balk
Lisa (Nordin) Baudler
John Birkner
Dagny (Urberg) Brandt
Faith Broman
Paula Brugge
Andrea Bungum
Donald Bunt
Corine (Derscheid) Carlson
David Carlson
Marcia (Smith) Carlson
Kristin (Wurtzel) Church
Charles Clark
Eric Davidson
Patricia (Keller) Day
Scott DeMars
Rebecca Dixen
Jean (Schwake) Donohue
Lori Duning
Susan (Lionberger) Erickson
Teresa (Watson) Fabry
Gary Ficken
Craig Fox
Cynthia Fredrick
Jerry Goettsch
Patricia (Evensen) Goettsch
Thomas Greenwald
Rick Grothaus
Gregory Hager
Mary (Iverson) Hansen
Raymond Hansen
Robin (Friedrichsen) Hanson
Lori (Cedarholm) Hilmer
Barry Hoff
Lisa (Schulz-Fincke) Hoff
Alan Huber
Kent Johnson
Kerry (Kramer) Johnson
Mary (Dirks) Johnson
Susan Johnson
Karla (Olson) Jones
Caryn (Zange) Josephson
Julie Kaasa-Pitzen
Donald Kerr
Jenifer (Hanson) Klein
Jana (Smith) Lecander
Hans Lee
Janene (Bachelder) Leeper
Beth (Beutler) Lind
Sonja (Green) Link
Martha (Anderson) Looft
Mary (Bothe) Madden
David Magedanz
Kimberly (Christensen) Mahlum
Janet (Hernes) Mathistad
Marsha (Key) McCathran
Penny (Knake) Medinger
Kristine (Melaas) Merkel
Brenda (Severson) Meyer
Judy (Finanger) Moen
Catherine Mueller
Bruce Mumm
Pamela (Ditsworth) Narveson
Scott Narveson
Michael Nordgaard
Jonathan Nowland
Katherine (Johnson) Nycklemoe
Susan Oberman Smith
Brett Olson
Kymberly Oltrogge
Catherine (Eichmann) Penning
Gregory Peterson
Keith Pitzen
Dawn (Molenaar) Porter
Virginia (Heitbrink) Porter
David Quinby
William Ramette
David Ranum
Kathryn (Nelson) Rattenborg
Kirsten (Olson) Reitan
Christine Rosheim
Keith Ruehlow
Sherry Sanden-Will
Sissel Schroeder
Timothy Schwefel
Eileen (Betcher) Shoup
Earl Sides
Mark Sill
Kristene Smeby Wilkie
Elizabeth (Hedlund) Solomon
Carter Stevens
Michele (Mertens) Stevens
John Stoneman
Craig Sullivan
Kara (Hebrink) Swenson
Andrea (Ulrich) Thompson
Jon Thompson
Kathryn Thompson
Pamela (Buchan) Thomsen
Carol (Rundahl) Tillman
David Torgelson
David Trepton
Karen (Schlender) Trepton
Nathan Tuff
John Waddle
Lisa (Scheffert) Waddle
Nancy Wagner
Kristen (Norland) Weikum
Jane Wiemerslage
Robbyn (Welch) Wilks
Steven Will
Larry Winter
Carol (Knudsen) Woodruff

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].