Luther Alumni Magazine

Class Notes, 1959–1999

1959 / 1960–1969 / 1970–1979 / 1980–1989 / 1990–1999


Milt Kramer of Manchester, Iowa, was inducted into the Iowa League of Cities Hall of Fame at the group’s annual meeting in Des Moines. Kramer is the state’s longest serving mayor, with 43 years of service to the city of Manchester. Kramer’s original impetus for seeking public office in 1970 was to improve his teaching skills. “I was a social studies teacher, and everyone thought it would be a good fit,” he explains. “I figured it could help me teach my class.” A popular council member, he was encouraged to run for mayor in 1974. He won, was sworn into office Sept. 16, 1974, and has held the position ever since. In 13 elections, he has run unopposed 10 times.

Wally Smeby of Mason City, Iowa, is adviser for the Jan Again Foundation, an organization named in honor of his late wife, which supports mental health education and outreach. The foundation awarded grants totaling $68,000 to six organizations in north Iowa in 2016.


Janet (Block) and Jack Jarmes ’61 live in Muskego, Wis. They are retired and run a civic education program called Project Citizen. Jack is the Wisconsin state coordinator. He also took first place in the 100-meter dash in the 75- to 79-year-old age group at the USA Track and Field Meet at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis.


Sandra (Sellers) Hanson of Brooklyn, N.Y., was named the 2016 recipient of the 25th Francis Andrew March Award by the Association of Departments of English.


Emily (Homstad) and Joe Bodensteiner of Rhinelander, Wis., donated their family home in Decorah to the Winneshiek County Historical Society. The Greek Revival home at 509 W. Broadway was built in 1860 by Joe’s great-grandparents, and the only occupants have been four generations of the family and Luther faculty renters. The Historical Society is beginning plans for restoration.


Dave Rovang of Forest Lake, Minn., has retired as a U.S. Air Force and Northwest pilot.


Lorraine (Carter) Borowski is director of the Decorah (Iowa) Public Library. In recognition of her service to the association and for her work at the Decorah Library, she was named the Iowa Library Association’s Member of the Year at the organization’s statewide conference held in Dubuque. She has been at the library for more than 25 years, starting at the circulation desk and working her way up to director.


Mark Reinertson retired from UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics after 40 years of service as a pediatrician in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


Joyce (Sponheim) and Duane Baun ’71 of Detroit Lakes, Minn., are retired.


Tim Christ is pastor at Joy Lutheran Church in Richmond, Texas, and serves as the dean of the South Texas Mission District of the North American Lutheran Church.

Brent Christianson is retired after 21 years as the executive director of Lutheran Campus Ministry in Madison, Wis. His poem “Reading Bly in the Waiting Room” was published in the Oct. 18 Journal of the American Medical Association, and his book My Beloved, My Friend: The Song of Songs for Couples will be released by Judson Press in January 2017.

Greg Dahlberg was elected to the board of directors for Leidos Holdings Inc. in Reston, Va.

Loren Esse works in pharmacy delivery for HyVee Drugstore in Des Moines, Iowa.


Peg (Hall) Beatty was recognized by the Iowa Chapter of American Board and Trial Advocates for her significant contribution to the Iowa Mock Trial Program and her vital role in teaching Iowa’s youth about the American justice system and the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. Beatty was one of the first inductees into the Educator Coach Hall of Fame at the 2016 Iowa Mock Trial State Tournament. She is a retired teacher and volunteers as the Decorah Middle School Mock Trial Coach.

Beverly Norfleet-Tumbleson and Harla Tumbleson ’70 live in Seattle. Beverly is a licensed psychologist, and Harla is the owner of Full Moon Farms and dean of Yonder Mountain Institute of Metaphysics.


Laurel (Schletty) Hoff retired as Anoka (Minn.) County’s community health and environmental services director following a 38-year career in nursing and public health. She was awarded the Jim Parker Leadership Award from the Minnesota Department of Health and State Human Health Services Committee. The award, formerly called the Community Health Services Leadership Award, was established to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to community health services at the state and local levels through their commitment and leadership. According to a state health department press release, Hoff was chosen for the award “for her commitment to public health and leadership in improving public health in Minnesota. She is a strong advocate and distinguished leader in the field of public health and is highly regarded by her colleagues as a true public health leader, mentor, and friend.”

Sue (Berger) Oltrogge is manager of administrative services for Deloitte in Minneapolis.


Ed Kennedy is a SVP/CFO at Peoples Bank of Commerce in Cambridge, Minn.

Rene O’Donnell-Hanlon is a seasonal park guide at Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Okla.

Nancy (Hansen) and David Runningen live in Caledonia, Minn. Nancy is a district assessment coordinator. David is an elementary physical education director at Houston Public Schools.

Ann (Olson) Wendling of Landrum, S.C., is a self-employed public health consultant and medical director.


Connie Houdek is a licensed spiritual practitioner and coordinator of youth and family at Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago.

Steve Pitzenberger of Lansdale, Pa., is retired.

Robyn (Lundquist) Sloan is retired from teaching high school biology. She instructs driver’s education part time for St. Vrain Valley Schools in Longmont, Colo.

Lisa (Ask) Whannel of Estes Park, Colo., is retired.


Barbara (Noe) Koch of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is retired from Mercy Medical Center. She continues to be a volunteer musician at Faith Lutheran Church in Marion, Iowa, and in the community.


Brian Andreas of Decorah had a book-signing event for two of his recent books, Bring Your Life Back to Life and Something like Magic, at the Luther College Book Shop in December.

Hans Brattskar of Geneva, Switzerland, is ambassador and permanent representative of the Norwegian Mission to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations.

Bonnie (Olson) Johnston is a medical technologist at Kittitas Valley Healthcare in Ellensburg, Wash.


Debi (Effertz) Burns teaches music at Perry Township Schools in Indianapolis.

Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, was named 2016 Washington Business Journal CEO of the Year. According to the Washington Business Journal, the award recognizes high performing CEOs who have demonstrated vital leadership and business savvy to guide their organizations to success. The Business Journal said Sorenson was selected for his strong record of innovation at Marriott, commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and contributions to the Greater Washington, D.C., community. He is a member of the Luther Board of Regents.


Laird Edman is professor of psychology at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. He collaborated with Julie Yonker from Calvin College, James Creswell of Booth University College, and Justin Barret of Fuller Theological Seminary on a study of more than 2,500 participants. His article “Primed Analytic Thought and Religiosity: The Importance of Individual Characteristics” was published in Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, a top journal in the area of psychology and religion, produced by the American Psychological Association.

Robert Paul is a realtor at Re/Max Results in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Ellen Rockne was co-organizer of Flood-Kin, a fundraiser for Decorah flood victims.

Curt Tryggestad was named the 2017 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. He is superintendent at Eden Prairie (Minn.) Schools.


Thom Davis is assistant professor of education at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Michael Dougherty is the vice president of quality personal systems at HP Inc. in Houston.

Scott Gomer is director of marketing communications at WIDA in Madison, Wis.

Geoffrey Lauer of Iowa City, Iowa, is director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa. He accepted the Iowa Association for Justice’s 2016 Public Service Award on behalf of the organization.


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


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

Mike Bergan of Decorah was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives for District 55.

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.


Trish (Esping) Koussis is program manager in the Office of Computational Science in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in College Park, Md.

Lynne Rothrock of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is an adjunct professor in applied voice at Coe College and an instructor for Theatre Cedar Rapids, where she teaches various levels of adult classes in cabaret singing, teaches a Cabaret for Teens camp, and directs two fully produced cabaret shows in the TCR season. She also performs as a member of Divapalooza and has produced Lynne Rothrock’s Christmas Cabaret in Cedar Rapids for 14 years.

Mark Schmidt is senior manager of process and development engineering at ON Semiconductor in South Portland, Me.


Bill Kass is senior health inspector for the City of Minneapolis Health Department.

Martha (Stormo) McGrory is a pediatric nurse practitioner of craniofacial/plastic surgery at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minn.

Jane (Dalen) Miller of Decorah was inducted into the St. James (Minn.) High School Athletic Hall of Fame. She is an accountant at Luther.


Kris (Wolander) Trecker of Plano, Texas, is educational vice president and human resources officer at Integer Holdings Corporation.


Lisa (Wolfs) Farley of Monticello, Iowa, received the Governor’s Volunteer Award from Iowa governor Terry Branstad for her 20 years of mentoring at Helping Services for Northeast Iowa.

Jamie (Boyer) Gurholt is donor and volunteer engagement coordinator at Beloit (Wis.) College.

Greg Larson of Brownsville, Texas, is a varsity football/softball coach at Brownsville Hanna High School.


David DenHartog is chief learning officer for Athlos Academies in Boise, Idaho.

Edward Grima Baldacchino is an intellectual property attaché at Permanent Mission of Malta to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Paul Reimann is sales and customer service supervisor at J&P Cycles in Anamosa, Iowa.


Kate Egerton is a writing coach at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.


Jenny (Spickerman) Christiason is a pediatric nursing clinical adjunct instructor at Allen College of Nursing in Waterloo, Iowa.

Kirsten (Melby) Corrigan is regional manager of practice transformation at Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Deanna (Lindell) Drum of Anaheim, Calif., is an HR business partner at Healthcare Success.

Katherine (Vertanen) Garity is coordinator of outpatient mental health services at Northwestern Medicine in St. Charles, Ill.

Carrie (Nelson) and Aaron Romine live in Centennial, Colo. Carrie is a controller at Tralee Capital Partners. Aaron is regional director for the U.S. Department of Education.

Tim Schmidt is finance director of the food division of QualiTech in Chaska, Minn.

Clark Shah-Nelson is assistant dean of instructional design and technology at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore.


Cindy Marlow McClenagan is vice president for academic affairs at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas.

Shari (Julson) Seidl is senior global client liaison at the Nelson Company in Green Bay, Wis.

Ann Sorenson is professor of communication at the University of Northwestern–St. Paul in Minnesota.


Anjie Shutts of Des Moines, Iowa, is vice chair of the Iowa Access to Justice Commission and partner at Whitfield and Eddy, PLC.


Kari (Dokken) Lyle is managing director at Deloitte in Minneapolis.

Peter Strube is assistant professor at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, Ill.


Nate Lindall is senior business development representative at Velocity Technology Solutions in Minneapolis.

Bo Nannestad is a global supply chain director at Resolux ApS in Orbaek, Denmark.


Laurie Anderson is vice president of investments at Stifel, Nicolaus and Company in Madison, Wis.

Eric Merten is a fish biologist for the U.S. Forest Service in Cle Elum, Wash.

Heather (Schacht) and Scot Reisinger live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Heather is associate professor with tenure at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. She is also associate director for research at the Center for Comprehensive Access and Delivery Research and Evaluation with the Iowa City VA Health Care System. Scot earned a doctoral degree in higher education and student affairs at the University of Iowa and was recently named dean of adult programs at Mount Mercy University.

Brett Robison is assistant professor of music at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis. He is director of Concert Choir and 9th Street Singers.

Denise Seabold is a telehealth associate at the University of Iowa College of Nursing in Iowa City.

Joe Segilia is general counsel at Terra Tech Corporation in Newport Beach, Calif.

Sam Teigen is operations and finance manager for the Greenwall Foundation in New York City. He ran the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon in 2:40:52 and placed 98th among males and 111th overall.


Valerie (Yelton) Baul of Shawnee, Kan., is a mediator and educator at Best Case Scenario LLC.

Brian Billings is vice president and client operations director of Mercer in Urbandale, Iowa.

Amy Boncher is an associate warden for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Beaumont, Texas.

Gretchen (Goltz) Conway of Peosta, Iowa, is a sector coordinator at Keystone Area Education Agency.

Dave Coyle is an extension associate in forest health at Southern Regional Extension Forestry in Athens, Ga.

Boyd Layton is a physician assistant at St. Alphonsus Medical Group Orthopedics Clinic in Nampa, Idaho. He received a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from the College of Idaho and Idaho State University in 2016.

Lea (Donhowe) Lovelace of Decorah is an adjunct faculty member in the Art Department at Luther and was named the 2016–17 Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator by the Art Educators of Iowa.

Nicole Plymesser Nelson is an artist and teaches art at Jacobson Elementary in Belmond, Iowa.

Greg Strunk is a pastor at Rosemount (Minn.) United Methodist Church.

Becky (Hinrichs) Vianden is director of the Academic Advising Center and career services at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse.


Beth Bjorlo is director of marketing operations at Ingersoll Rand in Davidson, N.C.

Amy (Hammel) Clark is community engagement leader for Thrivent Financial in Schaumburg, Ill.

Jana Evelsizer Olson is associate attorney at Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Maaten, Belay, Fretheim, Gipp and Zahasky in Decorah. She also owns Olson Tax Consulting LLC.

Aaron Sheehan is a visiting voice teacher at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.


Stephanie Larson of Rochelle, Ill., is a self-employed writer and teacher and provides spiritual advice in a counseling setting. She plans to publish her first book, Discover Your Master Chakra, in February 2017. Stephanie is also an Airbnb superhost, and her house is the location of three films in progress by Columbia College and Northwestern University students.

Dawn (Egbert) Munce is director of management services at Realife Management Services in Apple Valley, Minn.

Castine (Toote) Rhoades Williams of Orangeburg, S.C., is senior optimization executive at CampusWorks Inc. in Bradenton, Fla.

Lori (Hagen) Schoenhard is software development manager at Proficient Learning in Wilmington, N.C.

Aaron Swenson is division manager of privacy for John Deere Financial in Madison, Wis. He earned certification as a certified regulatory compliance manager last June.