Fall 2009 Class Agent Letter

Fall 2009


Another homecoming at Luther College is now history!  This year’s homecoming was extra special as we 49ers celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of our college graduation.  Where were you living and working or going to school in the fall of 1949?

Twenty-eight members of our class planned to return for the weekend, however a few did not make it for various reasons.  Friday evening, October the 2nd, the alumni dinner was held in the Dahl Centennial Union dining hall.  The turnout was huge.  Following the dinner, the Celebration of Distinguished Service was held in the Center for Faith and Life.  The college Jazz Orchestra began the program.  The Class of 1959 presented Luther College with a check in the amount of $1,001,496.46, as a golden anniversary gift.  WOW!  The main event of the program was the presentation of Luther’s Distinguished Service Award to eleven graduates, including OLIN STORVICK from our class.  As of this date, fourteen members of our great class have received the prestigious award.

Saturday noon, the college honored four members and spouses from the class of 1944, plus we 49ers and spouses and friends, at a luncheon in the Mott-Borlaug room in the Dahl Centennial Union.  Then came the football game with Simpson College, staged in the most miserable of weather conditions.  The entire Midwest had had several days of drizzle and rain, which included the game.  The beautiful football field was a “plowed mess” before half time.  HURRAY----Luther won the game.

As you may recall, Marilyn and I invited all class members, spouses, and friends to our home following the game.  Many did come and had lots of time for refreshments and visiting.  It was fun for us to host a very informal time for all sorts of reminiscing.  One conversation topic was recalling the number and names of deceased classmates.  The known list includes 106, and the names and dates of death are included.  If you know of an error or omission, please inform me.

Daniel Lien -6/12/2007
Katherine (Nordgaard) Malmer -1/1/1980
Philip Megorden -6/23/2009
Kenneth Mestad -8/23/1999
Wally Mikelson -4/22/1999
Hilmar Mostul -1/3/2001
Charles Nelson -1/1/1988
Arthur Newell -1/1/1982
Phillip Nordlie -6/24/1999
Carleton Nordschow -8/22/2002
Ralph Norland -1/1/1994
Danny Olson -8/11/2006
Guy Olson -6/20/2003
Stanton Olson -1/17/1999
Thomas Orvick -1/1/1985
Paul Orwoll -10/18/1998
Phillip Pederson -1/1/1990
Glen Peterson -1/1/1984
Lyle Quam -6/26/2005
Stanley Raabe -1/1/1993
Jack Rochow -7/1/1995
Donald Rollins -1/1/1991
Dorothy (Giere) Root -12/12/2008
Frank Rosado -3/21/2005
Rosalie (Otters) Rosholt -2/21/2008
Ray Rueter -5/23/2002
Ted Rugland -8/8/2007
Rosella Sando -4/4/2009
James Seim -2/6/1997
Royden Severson -6/20/2003
Gladys (Hemma) Shanklin -9/10/2009
Caroline (Kjome) Shodean -1/1/1993
Reuben Sorensen -12/12/1999
Bo Sorenson -5/24/1999
Audrey (Hanson) Sorlien -3/23/2006
Truman Stelloh -6/6/1994
Peter Swiggum -8/1/2009
Homer Taylor -4/2/1996
William Thoresen -1/1/1992
Elwood Toft -1/1/1982
Paul Tolo -9/29/2008
Geraldine (Solomonson) Ulvilden -2/18/2006
Karsten Ulvilden -1/1/1980
Ollie Ulvilden -6/9/2006
Richard Ulvilden -12/9/2007
John Wadsworth -1/1/1998
Alfred Waters -1/1/1982
Agnes Welsh -1/1/1984
Harvey Wilkins -10/7/2007
Bill Williams -7/31/2004
Esther (Dixen) Wojahn -7/22/1999
Ruth (Barth) Woodall -12/28/2003

I know that we are asked to share some of our resources with many and various very worthy organizations and institutions.  Of the 177 living members of our class, a few more than one-half did make a gift to our college in the past year.  I urge you to consider a gift to Luther in the near future.  The larger the gift, the better, but do not worry about the amount.  Any gift is sincerely appreciated.  If you haven't already, you can make a gift today at givenow.luther.edu. Thank you. A list of givers from calendar year 2009 will be included in the Spring 2010 letter.

There is another way that you can provide assistance to Luther.  You may know of a student or two in your community who does not have a Luther connection, except through you. There is a scholarship program that began last year, and it’s had great success.  Watch your mail for a form (or click on this link https://www2.luther.edu/admissions/form/) that allows you to nominate outstanding high school students who will graduate in 2010 and 2011.  Should they enroll at Luther, they will be awarded a one-time $1,000 scholarship toward their first year’s tuition.  Think about it; you can be instrumental in establishing a new Luther connection.

I hope that all will enjoy the forthcoming holiday season.  In addition, if you have any information that you would like to share with classmates, please send it to me before next spring, at which time I will author another newsletter.  My email address is [email protected].

Francis Peterson
Francis Peterson


Francis Peterson
1949 Class Agent
[email protected]

DAVID BLANCHAR of Sioux Falls. S.D., died Oct. 28, 2008, at age 83. From 1945-47, he served as a chaplain’s assistant in the U.S. Army at Ft. Sheridan, Ill., and was honorably discharged. David earned a master’s degree in church music/organ from Northwestern University in 1951, and he played for a year at Luther Memorial Church in Madison, Wis., before accepting a teaching position at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.  In 1957 David joined the faculty at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., and he played the first pipe organ at East Side Lutheran Church and was church choir director from 1957-65. After completing a Ph.D. in musicology/research at the University of Vienna, Austria, from 1965-1967, David played organ and directed choirs at the First Congregational Church, Calvary Episcopal Cathedral, St. Lambert’s Catholic Church, and Church of the Good Shepherd.  He dedicated several pipe organs and was guest organist at many churches. David retired from Augustana in 1981.  He continued to play part-time at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Arlington, Wis., until he celebrated his 60th year in church music in 2005 and officially retired.  He was instrumental in organizing the first ecumenical church service in Sioux Falls in 1981. David also served on the board of directors for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and assisted Mr. J. Lombard when the opera came to Minneapolis.  He also was very supportive of the Sioux Falls Symphony, enjoyed many concerts, and critiqued for the Argus Leader.  His legacy also includes many piano and organ students throughout his career, who now serve as teachers and organists in schools and churches throughout the nation. David enjoyed travel and had visited 26 countries and hosted several trips abroad.  He is survived by four children, six grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, HELOISE (YLVISAKER) BLANCHAR ’49, in 1962; his second wife, Darlene, in 2005; and a daughter.

MAURICE “MAURY” JENSON of Stillwater, Minn., died Feb. 24, 2009, at age 86. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in World War II. At Luther he was a member of the football team, where he earned the nickname "Bulldog" from his friends. He and his wife, JEANE (ARNESON) JENSON ’47, owned a Ben Franklin store in Arlington, Minn., for seven years. They returned to South St. Paul in 1960, and Maury completed a master's degree in business education at the University of Minnesota. He pursued a career in education and was a business administrator for the Stillwater School District from 1967-86. He was an active member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Stillwater for 42 years. Maury was also an avid Norwegian, who delighted in discovering Norwegian relatives. He was a founding member of the local Syttende Mai Society, a member of the Nordsmenn Federation, and active in other Norwegian heritage clubs and activities. He and Jeane visited Norway six times. He was a longtime member of Stillwater Country Club and the Rotary Club, and he was a local hospital, food shelf, and Meals on Wheels volunteer, and served other community organizations. Maury is remembered for his positive outlook and kindness to others. He enjoyed spending time with his family, golfing, and following various sports teams. He is survived by his wife, Jeane; three children, including JERILYN (JENSON) SMITH ’71 and JEFFERY JENSON ’75; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by three brothers, JIM JENSON ’41, C.E. “HAP” JENSON ’43, and PAUL JENSON ’48; and a sister, LOIS JENSON ’51. He was preceded in death by a brother, SHERMAN JENSON ’41. Memorials may be sent to Luther College.

NORMAN FORDE of Williamsburg, Va., died Jan. 20, 2009, at age 84. He proudly served with the U.S. Army for more than 61 years. During World War II, he served in the infantry division, receiving wounds in combat. He earned a B.D. in theology from Chicago Lutheran Seminary in 1952, and he graduated from the Philadelphia Episcopal Divinity School in 1960. Norman returned to the Army and served during the Vietnam conflict as a military chaplain. During his military career, he earned the combat infantry badge, bronze star, purple heart, and many other commendations. Norman retired in 1982 with the rank of Colonel. In retirement, he served as chaplain at Ft. Meade and the National Security Agency. Norman held many permanent positions and was interim rector at several congregations, and he served as a host for many Luther alumni events in the Washington, D.C. area. Norman is survived by his wife, SHIRLEY (FIBICH) FORDE ’52; two children; and four grandchildren.

DOROTHY (GIERE) ROOT of Mounds View, Minn., died Dec. 12, 2008, at age 88. She served in Army Nurse Corps in China-Burma-India Theater during World War II and earned the master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Minnesota in 1963. Her professional career included several positions in the field of nursing administration. Dorothy was actively involved with efforts for social justice. Her curious mind fostered interests in books, music, and travel. She is survived by her brothers, FREDERIC GIERE ’47 and ROLF GIERE ’50. Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Frank.

NORRIS FREDRICKSON of Zumbrota, Minn., died July 1, 2009, at age 85. Following high school, he entered the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, and was honorably discharged in 1946. Norrie taught and coached at Chester (Iowa) High School for a few years, then worked briefly for Boeing Airlines in Renton, Wash. He moved to Zumbrota and started a 32-year career as a State Farm Insurance agent, retiring in 1985. Norrie played baseball at Luther and for the town team in Mabel, Minn., and he played ball for the Blue Goose team until he was 50 years old. He also enjoyed golf, pitching horseshoes, and camping, and he was an avid spectator of his grandchildren’s activities. Norrie wintered in Arizona for 23 years, where he biked and swam daily and played many games of cards. He was a regular at the morning coffee group, and he enjoyed delivering vehicles for Grover Auto. He was a volunteer firefighter for 22 years and a member of Stary-Yerka VFW Post # 5727. Norrie was a lifelong member of Minneola Lutheran Church. He is survived by his wife, Arlene; five children, including NANCY (FREDRICKSON) SAVRE ’73, MARY (FREDRICKSON) KRUEGER ’74, and SUSAN (FREDRICKSON) BUGLIOSI ’82; 11 grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

ROSELLA SANDO of Waukon, Iowa, died April 4, 2009, at age 85. She attended Luther and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. Rosella taught business classes in the Colesburg, Blairstown, and Cresco (Iowa) schools. She was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church and the Waukon Civic Club.

PETER SWIGGUM of Decorah died Aug. 1, 2009, at age 87. From 1942-45, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Peter graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1952, and he served Lutheran congregations for 35 years in Maxbass, N.D.; Whalen, Minn.; and Ridgeway and Dysart, Iowa. In 1986 he retired to Decorah, where he enjoyed gardening and spending hours in his woodshop creating furniture and gifts for his family and others. In his later years, Peter delighted in entertaining his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, JEAN (NESHEIM) SWIGGUM ’48; four children, including MARY (SWIGGUM) MONROE ’72, JOANNA (SWIGGUM) PETERSEN ’77, and MARGARET (SWIGGUM) LITTLE ’77; eight grandchildren, including SARAH (MONROE) CLARK ’99; four great-grandchildren; a brother; and a sister, MAXINE SWIGGUM ’49.

Homecoming 2009