Luther Alumni Magazine

Class Notes, 1957–1999

1957–1959 / 1960–1969 / 1970–1979 / 1980–1989 / 1990–1999


Eli Crogan of Watertown, Wis., was honored as Luther's 2017 Alumni Coach of the Year and returned to campus to speak at the Norse Awards Program on Feb. 19. Crogan coached basketball for 40 years, including 22 years at Watertown, before retiring at the end of the 2004 school year. In addition to Watertown, he coached high school ball at Soldiers Grove, Fennimore, and Wayland Academy, as well as some college basketball at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. Crogan was a scout for the NBA's Houston Rockets from 1975 to 1977. He also coached baseball for 20 years.


Marilyn (Miller) Anderson of Decorah presented the program "Christian Churches in Israel and Palestine: Protectors of the Holy Sites" for the December Lutheran Church Women's Advent-Christmas potluck.

Lois (Stole) Berg of St. Anthony, Minn., is retired.

Paul Heltne of Chicago was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Sandra (Sellers) Hanson of Brooklyn, N.Y., received the 2016 Francis Andrew March Award for her work as a teacher and administrator at LaGuardia Community College.

Gary J. Olson has published a book, All Things through Christ, a memoir of his 50 years of ministry as an ordained pastor. The book is available on


Dennis Christian of Minneapolis is retired.


Laura (Blackmore) Bachman is an editor for Frederick Thomas USA from her home in Burlington, Wis.

Dave Hagemeier of Sioux Falls, S.D., is retired.

Alex Rowell of Eden Prairie, Minn., is retired. He is chairman of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, serves on the executive committee of the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, and is chair of the program committee for Minnesota Youth Athletic Services. He was invited to join the 2019 NCAA Final Four Advisory Council.


Nel Becker of Plymouth, Minn., is retired.

Michael Fossum of St. Cloud, Minn., retired after 34 years as a financial associate with Thrivent Financial.

Karen (Schiesser) Montgomery of Northfield, Minn., is retired.

Meg (Funfar) Nielsen is outreach development director at Triangle Community Ministry in Madison, Wis.


Diane Alshouse of Roseville, Minn., is a retired district court judge.

Pam (Espinosa) McFarland of Fresno, Calif., was recognized as a Lawyer of Distinction within the top 10 percent of lawyers nationwide.


Chuck Findley is principal broker and owner of Chuck Findley Real Estate in Grants Pass, Ore.

Beverly Petersen of Rockford, Ill., retired after working 30 years for the Social Security Administration.

David Schroeder is a tax professional for H&R Block in Oconto, Wis.


Paul Grabow of Richardson, Texas, is retired.

Francine (Zitterich) Hedberg is an editor/proofreader at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Patricia Holman and Phil Wangberg '70 are retired in Albuquerque, N.M.

John Huey Jr. is managing director at MidAmerican Aerospace in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


Chuck Beatty is an otolaryngologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He was elected president of the American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society (a.k.a. the American Triological Society).

Pat (Holtorf) Branstad is an instructor of German at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.

Jim Froisland is chief financial officer of Titan International in Quincy, Ill.

Richard Nading retired from the U.S. Army after almost 30 years of service and has worked the last 10 years with Green River District Health Department in Owensboro, Ky., where he develops and presents programs for tobacco/substance abuse prevention and cessation to students from fourth grade through college in seven counties.


Terry Bizzell is president and CEO of Asset One Foundation in Lovejoy, Ga.

Ele Clay is a pastoral intern at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Renate (Fabricius) Hunter retired after 19 years of teaching social studies full time and 23 years as a substitute teacher with South Winneshiek Schools. She still substitutes once in a while and is a social dance and country-western dance teacher at Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar.


Aaron Schmidt of Chandler, Ariz., is a retired teacher.


Jill (Wolding) Osburn is executive director of external relations at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minn.

Gene Whannel of Estes Park, Colo., is a real estate broker for RE/MAX Realty.


Kristin (Wallestad) Palmer and Keith Northway '79 live in Wheaton, Ill., and Rochester, Minn. Kristin is retired. Keith works for the Rochester (Minn.) School District.


Steve Buck of Ames, Iowa, is temporarily retired.

Martha (Gesme) Nielsen of Palatine, Ill., is a key account manager for Scandinavian Airlines. She recently received SAS's Global Sales Colleague of the Year Award at their Global Sales Days in Stockholm, Sweden.


Keith Bruening is vice president and treasurer at Bruening Rock Products in Decorah. He is also the head bowling coach for Decorah High School.

Mark Lamb is executive vice president at JLL Valuation and Advisory Services in Dallas.

Jeff Papke retired from the U.S. Army after 35 years, 11 months, on April 1, 2017, after serving at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Ford Hood, Texas, as a health systems administrator.

Tim Ruff Welch is minister of music at St. Andrews Mexican Anglican Church in Chapala, Mexico. He is also the choral director of Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, conductor of Coro Municipal de Zapopan, and director of Los Cantantes del Lago.

Mark Werning is chief operating officer and board secretary at American Bank and Trust Company in Davenport, Iowa.


Pat (Graetz) Jensen is a senior account executive in the Health Plan Division at Express Scripts in Bloomington, Minn.

Gina (Cleven) Olson is worship and music director at Zion Lutheran Church of Cottage Grove, Minn.

Marilee (Kelly) Vogel is director of finance at Winona (Minn.) Health.


Laurie (Peterson) Jeddeloh is director of pastoral care at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colo. She received the 2016 Outstanding Local Leadership Award from the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Gaone Masire of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, visited Frieda (Amunyela) ’85 and Usko Shivute ’82 in Windhoek, Namibia, last December.

David “Chip” Norris is group president for Alerus in Minnetonka, Minn.

Beth Shepard is associate archivist for Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Mark Steege is president of Titan Developments and Investments in Rochester, Minn. He is also on the boards of the Rochester Downtown Alliance and the Rochester Family Y.


Faith Broman is nurse manager at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Earl Sides is a customer service representative for Alpha Omega Publications in Rock Rapids, Iowa.

LuAnn (Schultz) Wachsmuth is senior director of youth development for Buehler YMCA in Palatine, Ill.


Ruth Anderson is director of music ministries at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron, Ohio.

Kathy (Fjelland) Kolden of Mesa, Ariz., is senior internal auditor at Apollo Education Group. She is a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner.

Elizabeth (Godel) Michealson is an RN, CNN, and acute dialysis nurse at Essential Health in Fargo, N.D.

Tina (Koenig) Ray is a chaplain at Ministry Home Care Hospice, where she works with patients in the field and at a hospice house, the House of the Dove, in Marshfield, Wis.

Merry (Counsell) Spiers teaches English/language arts for Worth County R-III Schools in Grant City, Mo.


Judy (Huedepohl) Collins is a special education teaching assistant at North Chicago (Ill.) High School.

Greg Gerber of Salt Lake City is senior talent acquisition partner at CarrerKarma360.

Janet (Sandquist) Jans has taught choir, classroom music, and band at South View Middle School in Edina, Minn, for nearly 30 years. She recently received the Middle Level Educator of the Year Award from the Minnesota Middle School Association. In supporting letters of reference from her colleagues, she was praised as a “master of her subject area”; a collaborator with staff, parents, and community; and a leader. Principal Tim Anderson wrote that she is “someone who embodies the notion of going the extra mile . . . she serves as an advocate for students and families and is known by her colleagues as someone who works for inclusion and success for all learners.”


Monte Amundson is director of talent management at Midwest Dental in the greater Minneapolis–St. Paul area.

Carol (Brekke) Behm is an infection preventionist at Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinics in Hillsboro, Wis.

Dale Kruse is visiting assistant professor of voice and lyric theater at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. He is also the music director for the Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera education program, summer camp, and children’s chorus. He is currently serving as past-president and membership chair of the Minnesota NATS Chapter. He was recently awarded the 2016–17 American Prize in conducting—opera/music theater, community division, for his world-premiere production of Memory Boy, by Reinaldo Moya, with the Minnesota Opera: Project Opera vocal training program.

Glenna (Gosch) Schneider is an involuntary market team lead at Zurich North America in Schaumburg, Ill.

Katy (Wobig) Sojka is a retired teacher and principal. She recently published her first children’s book, The Blurter, about a kindergarten boy who has a terrible time following the sharing rule and has a bad habit of blurting out answers and stories.


Lisa (Manzey) Adelmann of Bloomington, Minn., is a partner with McCracken Manzey Consulting.

Shari Exo is a youth librarian for the city of Hillsboro, Ore.

Deb Hanson-Gerber of Dunkirk, Md., has been a member of the President’s Own United States Marine Band since September 1991, and recently took part in the 58th inauguration of the president of the United States. The band provided music for the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, led the second division of the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, and performed at the Salute to Our Armed Forces Inaugural Ball.

Carla (Meyer) and Mark Hillman ’86 work at Graded American School of São Paulo, Brazil. She is a learning specialist, and he teaches humanities.

Tim Pinnow is assistant vice president of academic affairs and director of graduate studies at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.


Callista (Bisek) Gingrich recently released a film with her husband, Newt Gingrich, titled Divine Mercy: The Canonization of John Paul II.

Susan (Waldo) Miller earned a master’s degree in nursing with a concentration in education from Framingham (Mass.) State University. She is on the nursing faculty at Middlesex Community College.

Tim Olson is founder and managing partner at ETHOS Design Group in Ankeny, Iowa.


Chris Hubbs is senior director demand planning at Gander Mountain in the greater Minneapolis–St. Paul area.

Tom Pietz is lead pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Rubicon, Wis.


Danette and Shawn Bristle work at Mohave Community College in Bullhead City, Ariz. She is an accreditation liaison/compliance officer, and he is campus dean.


Barb (Hughes) Anderson of Kohler, Wis., is a self-employed owner/licensed marital and family therapist.

Julie (Graham) Askelson is principal of Waterville (Iowa) Elementary School.

Shannon (Fullerton) Leffler is vice president of human resources at GEODIS in Brentwood, Tenn.

Mark Workman is a chiropractor for the Joint Chiropractic in Cary, N.C.


Todd Baxter is chief nursing officer at Texas Health Hospital in Carrollton.

Kurt Clopton of Marshfield, Wis., recently published a comic novel titled SuperGuy.

Wendy (Jaycox) Davidson is president, U.S. specialty channels, for Kellogg Company in Elmhurst, Ill. She received a Top 20 Business Women in Illinois Award from the National Diversity Council. She is vice chair of Luther's Board of Regents.

Mike Gerdin is chairman and CEO of Heartland Express in North Liberty, Iowa.

Alesia Hruska-Hageman is associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Todd Pyka is clinic director for West Central Wisconsin Behavioral Health Clinic in Independence.

Diane (Johnson) Smith earned a professional certificate in case management from the Commission for Case Manager Certification and is a clinical review RN for the Radiology Department at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.

Troy Terry is a sales consultant and sales manager for St. Joseph Paper and Packaging in South Bend, Ind.


Andrea (Goehner) Barth is vice president of hotel accounting for Schulte Hospitality in Louisville, Ky.

Mitchell Thompson is an integrated producer for 3e/Life Time Fitness in Chanhassen, Minn.


Carrie (Hamby) Faust of St. Paul, Minn., is a sales director for Collective, which is based in New York.

Tim Knutson of Wauwatosa, Wis., is author of Wistopia: An American Dairy Tale.

Laurie Lower is an accessibility services associate at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass.

Matt Rebro is vice president of business development for HKS in Chicago and for Russell in Davenport, Iowa.

John Vaaler is finance director, forestry, with John Deere in Moline, Ill.


Brita (Granlund) Carbonell of Decorah volunteered as a nurse in medic tents at Standing Rock, where she helped people resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Leslie Maunsbach is head of internal communications for Autoliv in Stockholm, Sweden. She recently hosted a class of January Term students at the company’s headquarters and invited other members of the leadership team to speak with them. She is also a freelance writer and owner of Leslie Maunsbach Communications.

Eric Melear is assistant conductor for the Vienna State Opera in Austria.

Derek Pendergast is vice president for the University of Iowa Foundation in Iowa City.

Steve Smith is shared information technology director for Winneshiek County and the city of Decorah.

Kimberly (Anderson) Thole is an instructional coach for the Sparta (Wis.) Area School District.

Amy Vollendorf is a program support specialist and M.A., education specialist, for the Wayzata Public Schools in Plymouth, Minn.


Kate (Glenney) Watts earned a master’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and is a clinical nurse leader in the oncology unit at Texas Health Resources in Fort Worth.


Matthew Bersagel Braley earned a Ph.D. in religion (Ethics and Society Program) and a graduate certificate in human rights from Emory University. He is associate professor for the College of Business and Leadership and Title III academic integration coordinator for high impact practices at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis.

Nori (Greenlee) Hadley is activity director at Arlin Falck Assisted Living in Decorah.

Heather (Crowell) Langan is youth and family director at Mount Olive Church in Hickory, N.C.

Becky Sam is a science faculty member at Culver Academies in Culver, Ind., as well as an independent business owner and team builder.

Kimberly Sweet is a teacher and multiclassroom leader for the Indianapolis Public Schools.

Todd Velnosky is COO, PACE funding, for Rockwood Management and founder of Big Sky Renewables in St. Louis.

Laura (Wangsness) Willemsen of St. Paul, Minn., is lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. She received the 2016–17 Gail P. Kelly Award for her dissertation, “Embodying Empowerment: Gender, Schooling, Relationships, and Life History in Tanzania,” from the Comparative and International Education Society. The award is conferred on an outstanding Ph.D. or Ed.D. dissertation that manifests academic excellence, originality, and methodological, theoretical, and empirical rigor and that deals with issues of social justice and equity in international settings.


Joe Grimstad of Decorah is executive vice president of Decorah Bank and Trust.

Carl Refsal is senior benefits manager at Ferguson Enterprises in Newport News, Va.

Gabriel Scheer is partnership director at Tech Inclusion and director of strategic development at LimeBike in Seattle. He is also a freelance adviser on urban mobility, sustainability, business, and impact innovation.


Hans Davidson earned a supply chain professional certification from the Apics Twin Cities Chapter. He is manager of account management and business analytics at C.H. Robinson in the greater Minneapolis–St. Paul area.

Angela Goepferd earned a medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. She was recognized by Mnlps.St.Paul Magazine as a “rising star” among top doctors.

Sarah Hahn Campbell earned an M.F.A. degree from Naropa University in creative writing and recently published a memoir titled Grief Map with Brainmill Press. She teaches English for the Denver Public Schools.

Jill (Schnettler) and Scott McGregor ’98 live in Yorkville, Ill. She is an associate at Bennett, Groeber, Mullen, and Feltner Certified Public Accountants, and he is regional operations manager at Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers.

Jody Slavick is a research assistant and Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado in Boulder.