Class of 1984 Spring 2017 Letter

Spring 2017

Dear 1984 Classmates,

As an elementary school employee, I (Sonja) can attest to the fact that teachers and staff members look forward to a snow day with as much excitement and anticipation as the students, but when you wake up to five inches of snow on the first day of spring break in March, the excitement is not the same. I was looking forward to spending my break walking or biking on nearby nature trails and enjoying the spring weather. Instead I got to shovel snow. As I drove to our rec center to walk (indoors), I saw lots of kids out enjoying the sledding hill where we used to take our kids sledding. A teacher friend posted a picture of the trail where she was excited to be cross-country skiing. I guess it’s all about how you look at it. As for me, I might spend the week reading a good book.

You may have 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.

Our classmate, Kurt Gomer, lost his valiant battle with esophageal cancer on Jan 2, 2017. His online memorial can be viewed at

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.

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.

Soli Deo Gloria

Paul and Sonja (Shatzer) Gibbs   and    Michele Minske
[email protected]                             [email protected]


Erik Abrahamson is a personal injury attorney at Abrahamson and Uiterwyk in Clearwater, Fla.

Elaine Geiger is lead developer at Johnson County Information Technology in North Liberty, Iowa.

Jeffrey O’Brien of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is an architect at Ament Design.


Kurt Gomer of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, died Jan. 2, 2017, at age 54, of esophageal cancer. Born in St. Paul, Minn., he graduated from Galesburg (Ill.) High School before enrolling at Luther, where he majored in political science and management and was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. Kurt moved to Coeur d’Alene in 1987 and met Mary Elizabeth Dobson, and they were married Aug. 6, 1988.  Kurt enjoyed his career in the food industry; he managed restaurants and owned two Sizzler restaurants before becoming the food and beverage director for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Casino Resort and Hotel, working until ten days before his death. He loved sports, especially the Seattle Seahawks and the game of golf. Kurt and Mary’s lives revolved around their children: Nate, a junior at Boise State University, and Brooklyn, a senior at Post Falls High School. Kurt also coached little league and youth sports teams in baseball, softball, soccer, and basketball and was his children’s most enthusiastic fan. He is survived by his wife, Mary; son, Nathan; daughter, Brooklyn; brother, Scott Gomer ‘82 (Susa); sisters-in-law, Amy (Bruce) Murrin and Tanya Ryan; mother-in-law, Susan (Jack) Mitchell; father-in-law, Joe (Cindy) Dobson; several aunts and uncles; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Michael Gravett ’86 of West Des Moines, Iowa, died Feb. 16, 2017, at age 55. Born in Red Oak, Iowa, he attended Luther from 1983-86 and majored in political science. Michael was a U.S. Army veteran and a successful insurance agent for more than 30 years, owning Gravett Insurance for 23 years. He married Billie Jamieson on July 14, 1991. Michael enjoyed reading, cooking, playing the piano, and going to the casino. He is survived by his wife, Billie; daughters, Mandy and Stacy; 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren; his father, Roy Gravett; and his siblings. Michael was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia Boeckman.

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.

Jeffrey Anderson
MaryEllen (Palmquist) Anderson
Ruth Anderson
David Aspenson
Bradley Baalson
Gayle (Casebolt) Baalson
David Baisden
Mark Baller
Janise Bengtson
Steven Berg
Michael Bergan
Susan Beyer Lopez
Shelley (Benning) Bhuyan
Steven Birchard
Lisa (Schomburg) Bocquin
Barbara (Carr) Boeding
Lindy Borske-Hubbard
Bruce Broman
Dwight Bullard
Eric Bunge
Kimberly (Gisvold) Burfeind
Christian Carron
Robert Cassidy
Tammra (Klopp) Cassidy
Jon Christy
Brenda (Henessee) Clark
Jeffrey Clothier
Susan (Nelson) Collins
Cynthia (Kolstad) Cooper
Brett Darrington
Michael Dotseth
Christine (Franson) Dyslin
Brenda Eldridge
Scott Ellingson
Charles Ellis
Kari (Tollefson) Espinosa
Jodene Evans
Brian Ferguson
Ruth Fiedler-Eaton
Amy (Silseth) Ganske
Susan (Orwoll) Garcia
Paul Gibbs
Sonja (Shatzer) Gibbs
Kim Gleason-Hink
Deborah (Klovstad) Haag
Christina (Miller) Hahn
Ellen Hanusa Wonderlin
Steven Harder
Lee Hash
Susan (Engen) Heinzeroth
Jolene Hennessy James
Patricia (Schroeder) Hetrick
Ruth Heuer
Stacy (Whiteaker) Hillegas
Karen (Skagen) Hiller
Paul Hink
Sara (Andreasen) Hopkins
Stephen Hopkins
Rachel (Wichmann) Hottel
Duane Hovick
Brenda (Schultz) Howard
Claire Imsland
Saori (Sato) Iwatsuka
Curtis Johnson
David Keay
Alan Klepper
Kirsten (Tranvik) Klepper
Kathy (Fjelland) Kolden
Mark Koukkari
David Krogan
Daniel Kuester
James Kust
Tim Lecander
Philip Leininger
Mary (Nelson) Manges
Anne (Mattson) McAnallen
Bradford McKay
Roslyn (Burgess) McKay
Birgitta Meade
Michele Minske
Karen (Bruess) Nemecek
Jean Nesta-Berry
Michael Newcomer
Marjorie Noyes
Toby Olsen
Bruce Olson
Elizabeth Paetz Jackson
Debra (Nowack) Parrott
Solveig (Eiler) Perrett
Debora Petersen
John Piller
DeAnn Possehl
Bradley Prestemon
Jodi (Bowen) Punke
W. Todd Punke
Kathryn Rathjen-Tulppo
Robert Reese
Cynthia Reitz
Marti (Tomson) Rodamaker
Knute Rotto
Pamela (Carrington) Rotto
John Sacquitne
Wendy (McComb) Scheerer
Kay (Wiederhoeft) Simmons
Michael Sorenson
Chris Storlie
Rhonda (Volden) Storlie
Rebecca (Ostermeyer) Sullivan
P. Sean Taylor
Doris (Pfister) Thompson
Henry Tieman
Ann (Aspenes) Ulring
Scott Ulring
Ingrid Urberg
Anne Vaaler
Sara (Baumgardner) Vaughn
Beth (Solberg) Vivant
Nancy (Lenz) Western
Thomas Wiebe
Steven Wilke
Deborah Will
Barbara (Huisinga) Willoughby
Darcy (Keehner) Winston
Carter Woodruff
Rebecca (Dowd) Wright
Nancy (Rodenbeck) Wuttke
Jennifer (Johnson) Zuppan

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].