Luther Alumni Magazine

Class Notes, 1939–1999

1930–1939 / 1950–1959 / 1960–1969 / 1970–1979 / 1980–1989 / 1990–1999


Eugene Nordby of Madison, Wis., was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal in December. The article, “Older than the Packers and Still Living the Good Life after More than 100 Years,” highlights Eugene’s life growing up in a small Wisconsin town, serving his country during World War II, embarking on an innovative and distinguished medical career, and enjoying a marriage of nearly 73 years with the late Olive Jensen Nordby. Eugene was recognized for his military service during a Green Bay Packers game last season. Today he enjoys baking krumkake, listening to John Grisham books on his iPad, and staying active by walking and playing pool. He turned 101 in April 2018.


Jean (Cooper) Weymiller celebrated her 65-year wedding anniversary with Franklin “Doc” Weymiller on December 27, 2018. The couple’s life together was featured in the Waukon Standard’s Wedding Guide 2019.


Helen (Hagen) Hanson of Monona, Iowa, is retired.


Tom Berven retired from coaching the Neenah (Wis.) High School varsity boys’ tennis team after 48 years, and last September, Neenah High School named its tennis courts in his honor. In addition to coaching, Tom has run the Neenah Parks and Recreation summer program for 51 years and is a member of the following halls of fame: Neenah Joint School District, Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches Association, Fox Valley Tennis, Luther College, and Austin (Minn.) High School.


Lee Afdahl has been director of music and organist at First Presbyterian Church of Rochester, Minn., since 1991. He is frequently a conductor and clinician for handbell conferences, choral workshops, and church music conferences internationally, including in England, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. He is an active organ recitalist and published composer and arranger of handbell, instrumental, and choral music, with over 70 compositions and arrangements in print.

Gary Knutson of Chatham, Ill., retired from Guardian Building Products.


Trina (Smith) Dobberstein of Berea, Ohio, has served Baldwin Wallace University as vice president of student affairs and dean of students since 2005. She was honored with a 2019 Pillars of the Profession Award by NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The award is designed to honor sustained professional distinction and significant lifetime contributions to the higher education field. Trina was recognized at NASPA’s March 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Marilyn Draheim of Stockton, Calif., retired from the School of Education at the University of the Pacific.


Kathryn Bohstedt is an education consultant at West Music Company in Coralville, Iowa. She was honored with the Florida Music Education Association’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award.

Dave Triebes retired after 15 years as CEO of Samaritan Albany (Ore.) General Hospital.

Joyce (Hildenbrand) Turnbull gave a TEDx talk in October titled “Japanese American Experience: Kindness Overcomes Discrimination,” in which she spoke about racial discrimination against immigrants. Joyce’s mother was sent to Heart Mountain Internment Camp during WWII. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, as a Japanese American in the 1950s and ’60s, Joyce also experienced racial discrimination. Her mission is to spread understanding through compassion and acceptance.


Steven Berry retired after more than 30 years as medical director at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jim Bies of Sioux Falls, S.D., retired after 33 years as Augustana University’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Robert Schultz and Binh Danh launched a Kickstarter campaign with the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Va., to publish War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials. The art book memorializes the U.S. Civil War in a new way, employing photography, poetry, essays, and the fruitful example of Walt Whitman.


Denice Hoggatt of San Antonio, Texas, retired after 35 years from onsite customer service globally with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Ann Leon of Madison, Wis., is retired.

Michael Osterholm is Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He will co-lead a $5.4 million research project that focuses on supply chains and global disruptions for the most critical drugs for life-saving and life-sustaining treatments. Outcomes of this research will improve the health care supply system’s ability to maintain a steady and adequate supply of critical medicines and supplies worldwide.


Paula (Hermeier) Meyer was named a co-chair of the 2020 Delaney for President Campaign in Iowa.


Steven Fink was inducted into the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame during the IHSBCA Clinic at the Marriott Hotel in Cedar Rapids in January. Steven pitched at Luther from 1974 to 1977 and still holds the career strikeout record with 269. His 19-14 career ranks fourth for career wins and includes a third-best 22 complete games. He also still ranks fifth among Luther pitchers all-time with his 2.74 ERA and 34 games started. Since Luther, Steven has coached high school baseball and taught physical education in Iowa.

Carrie (Aalrust) Marion is director of quality and community outreach at Prestige Health Choice in Tallahassee, Fla.


Jan (Bakker) Knutson was featured in the GazetteXtra’s “20Q: Catching up with Janesville Parker Choral Director Jan Knutson.” The 20Q Interview Series introduces readers to people involved in the area’s arts and entertainment community and provides insight on that person’s artistic interest and unique personality.

John Linnell was featured in the Rural Monitor’s article “Understanding the Many Roles of COPD Foundation State Captains: Q&A with John Linnell.” Ever since he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2005, John has been passionate about spreading disease awareness. In addition to his volunteer work as a COPD Foundation Wisconsin state captain, he serves on the U.S. COPD Coalition Board of Directors, the COPD Patient Powered Research Network Governing Board, and the executive board of trustees for EFFORTS, an international patient-based, patient-driven coalition for those with respiratory diseases. He also assists with COPD research efforts at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Illinois–Chicago, along with serving on the Department of Defense scientific peer-review panel for respiratory health research. He is on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health–National Occupation Research Agenda’s council for research and recommendations. He lives in rural Viroqua, Wis., and is a member of the local health system’s Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Cecelia (Nybro) Manlove of Louisville, Ky., retired as a health insurance executive. She is active with her church and local nonprofit organizations.

Paul Pribbenow is president of Augsburg University in Minneapolis. He was named Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). He received the award at AFP’s International Fundraising Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Pribbenow was cited for helping to triple Augsburg’s annual fundraising from $10.5 million in his first year to almost $35 million ten years later, and for transforming the culture of philanthropy at the university.

Cathy (Hemmy) Sherfield of Butternut, Wis., is retired.


Greg Carrier is customer care advisor II at ACT in Iowa City, Iowa.

Barbara (Vaske) Norland is president at BKVN Consulting in Homestead, Fla.

Donna (Peterson) Rasmussen is soil and water conservation district administrator for Fillmore County, Minn. She received the 2018 Outstanding Soil and Water Conservation District Employee Award at the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ annual convention. She was cited for her oversight and coordination of the Root River Watershed One Plan in partnership with five other water conservation districts and for her work as chair of the regional Basin Alliance for the Lower Mississippi in Minnesota (BALMM). In 2014, she helped to form the Friends of the Root River, a nonprofit group composed of citizens who work to take care of the waterway. Donna accepted the award from John Jaschke, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (pictured).


Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, has been chosen by his CEO peers as Chief Executive magazine’s 2019 CEO of the Year. Arne will receive his award at a dinner gala in his honor on July 25 at Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City.

Mark Werning is vice president of customer experience at Landjet in Davenport, Iowa.


Curt Tryggestad is executive director for the Perpich Center for Arts Education, the dedicated state agency supporting arts education for Minnesota. Their mission is to provide all Minnesota students the opportunity to develop, enhance, and integrate their artistic and academic abilities to their highest potential. Curt was recently appointed to Arts Schools Network (ASN) Board of Directors, a diverse group of arts leaders from across the country committed to the mission of providing leaders in art schools with quality resources, support, and networking opportunities.


Karen DeBauche teaches band at Urbana (Ill.) Middle School. She was named the 2018 Middle School Teacher of the Year for the Champaign-Urbana Area by Napleton Toyota of Urbana. Last fall, she was also one of five national finalists for the Dr. William P. Foster Initiative, which recognizes quality programs serving historically disadvantaged student populations.

Jim Whitesell of Synder, N.Y., was inducted into the Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.) Hall of Fame. Whitesell led Lewis’s men’s basketball team for 12 seasons, guiding them to 10 winning seasons, eight seasons with at least 18 wins, four seasons of 20 wins or more, and five trips to the NCAA Tournament. His best season came in 2001–2, when he led the Flyers to 25 wins, matching the school record set by the 1985–86 team. Whitesell’s 214 wins and his .629 winning percentage rank third all-time in Lewis history. Whitesell just completed his fourth season as associate head coach for the State University of New York at Buffalo men’s basketball team, helping the Bulls to their third NCAA tournament appearance in four seasons. He was named head coach in April.


Brian Beatty is director of business development at RACOM Corporation in Des Moines, Iowa.

Paul Cleven is a laboratory specialist at Energizer Holdings in Madison, Wis.

Kristi Doden is a self-employed communications coach and TRE provider in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Rick Grothaus is director of education systems in the Germantown (Wis.) School District.

Paul Tweed of Fall Creek, Wis., is a teacher and director at the Wildlands School. He also manufactures retro guitar amplifiers in his basement. His hand-wired Tweed amp, available on, is a clone of the revered Leo Fender 1950s 5f2a Princeton amplifier, mimicking the sound quality of the rare and sought-after amplifier.


Eric Bunge stepped down as managing director of Northern Stage in White River Junction, Vt., and continues to lead special projects and act as a resource for the staff and board. Eric took the position in 2013, and under his leadership, the theatre built and opened the Barrette Center for the Arts in 2015. Prior to leading the Northern Stage, he founded the Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro, Minn., and was managing director for 23 years. He was also managing director at the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minn., when he was recruited to Northern Stage.

Brett Corson retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel from the Army Reserve after 30 years. As a reservist, he served as both a combat engineer and, after earning a law degree, in the Judge Advocate Unit at Fort Snelling. Corson was commissioned as an officer in 1991 and was deployed twice: in Afghanistan in 2003–4 and in Iraq in 2007–08. He was awarded the Bronze Star for exceptional service in combat and serves as Fillmore County attorney in Preston, Minn.

Craig Gahnz-Kuhar is assistant choir director and vocal coach at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif.

Chris Storlie was named chief executive officer of Deco Products Company in Decorah.

Pat (Haugen) Wright is creative director for Pat Wright Creative and founder of Hello Cookie, an online source for fresh-baked cookies delivered to businesses across the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.


Kevin Dotseth is a system architect for John Deere Financial in Johnston, Iowa.


Cayleen (Sternhagen) Garigliano teaches English at Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, N.J.

Jamie Skjeveland is superintendent for the Crosby-Ironton (Minn.) School District.


Kristi Elliott is a staff physician at the VA Brainerd (Minn.) Community Based Outreach Clinic and the women’s health medical director for the St. Cloud (Minn.) VA Health System.

Scott Kauls of North Oaks, Minn., was named one of Forbes’ 2019 Best-in-State Wealth Advisors.

Susan (Krueger) Souhrada is site director at Clover Woods Camp and Retreat Center in Madrid, Iowa.


Darrel Gerber is technical manager at Common Securitization Solutions in Bethesda, Md.

Jamie (Boyer) Gurholt is executive assistant to the vice president of development and alumni relations at Beloit (Wis.) College.

Marco Raniolo is a shipping executive at Emirates Shipping Line in Hong Kong.


Eric Carlson is lead pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Clive, Iowa.

Paul Reimann is retail store manager for J&P Cycles in Anamosa, Iowa.


Kristin Evenrud is front-end manager at Oneota Community Food Co-Op in Decorah.

Teresa Grettenberg is a marketing specialist for Fannie Mae in Washington, D.C.

James Heaton is associate professor of surgery at MGH Center for Laryngeal Surgery in Boston.


Dean Southern has been appointed the Dorothy P. Schmitt Chair in Opera, serving as director of opera and artistic director of opera theatre at Cleveland Institute of Music.


Stephanie Agresta is SVP of client service and business development at DiGennaro Communications in New York City.

Kate (Spencer) Klimesh was named administrator at the Riceville (Iowa) Family Care and Therapy Center.


Jenny (Stigers) Bosking is director of development with AbbeHealth and St. Luke’s Foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Paul Melin is principal cloud platform specialist, analytics at Oracle in the greater Minneapolis–St. Paul area.

Lonnie Morken was named Minnesota Volleyball Coaches’ Association Class A Coach of the Year. With an overall record of 679-130, Lonnie is one of only 12 coaches in state history to notch more than 600 career wins. Lonnie is athletic director, health and physical education teacher, and girls’ volleyball coach at Mabel-Canton (Minn.) High School.

Steve Olson is senior network engineer at Paumen Computer Services in Buffalo, Minn.

Anjela Shutts, an attorney at Whitfield & Eddy Law and vice chair of the Iowa Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, is running for vice president of the Iowa State Bar Association. She is a well-known advocate for access to justice in family law and has been working to make it possible for Iowans to more easily navigate their justice system. She volunteers to represent clients for free through the Polk County (Iowa) Volunteer Lawyer’s Project and sits on the advisory board of Kids First, a nonprofit that provides lawyers in divorce and custody cases to advocate for the child’s best interest.

Rhonda (Bublitz) Williams is finance manager at the State of Minnesota Judicial Branch in St. Paul.


Andrea (Hanson) Carter lives in La Quinta, Calif., and recently celebrated 10 years of owning and operating her own marketing and PR firm, Andrea Carter & Associates. She is also the PR director for the Patrick Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament and All-Star Rock Jam Session benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dongi (Holz) Huss is area manager at Arbonne International in Farmington, Minn.

Tim Knutson is director of planned giving at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis.


Nicole (Forde) Delorme is an ASD teacher at Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minn.

Shannon (Miller) Duval is senior vice president of philanthropy with CommonSpirit Health in Denver.

Sharie (Ellis) Thoelke is operations office manager at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minn.

Christa (Gutenberger) Tollefson is assistant library director at DeForest (Wis.) Area Public Library.


Heather (Hendrickson) Allyn is director of compliance and innovation at Grandma’s Place in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Milt Hendrickson was named director of football operations for the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis.

Sarah (Voorhees) Hershberger is pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Shamokin, Pa.

Erin (Blagsvedt) Jorgensen is director of publishing and managing editor of Rental Management Magazine, the official publication of the American Rental Association in Moline, Ill.


Valerie (Yelton) Baul is a driver’s license examiner for the Kansas Department of Revenue in Topeka.

Lea (Donhowe) Lovelace is director of folk art education at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah.

Ross Lund is CEO at ProEx Food Processing and Packaging Solutions in Chicago.

Jennifer (Nelson) Manternach is audit principal at Crosslin in Nashville, Tenn.

Eric Strelow of Tulsa, Okla., earned a Bible school diploma in divinity/ministry from Rhema Bible Training College and a master’s degree in theology/theological studies from Southwestern Christian University. He is an adjunct instructor at Rhema Bible Training College and bid administrator at Ford Audio-Video.

Amy (Shuck) Thompson is director of adult and family services at Olmsted County Social Services in Rochester, Minn.

Josh White is chief medical officer at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vt.


Arika (Anderson) Alana is brand manager of engagement and retention at Kids in Need Foundation in Roseville, Minn.

Emily (Helin) Olson of St. Paul, Minn., is lead equipper at E412 Consulting.

April (Johnson) Remfrey is founder and special education consultant at Remfrey Educational Consulting in Bulach, Switzerland.


Rachel (Knutson) Dahl was named partner at Hellmuth & Johnson in Minneapolis.

Erin Kruger Feddersen of Urbandale, Iowa, is an interior designer with Happe Home.

Matias Nengola of Windhoek, Nambia, is retired.