Fifty-eight people including 36 classmates and one teacher, Marc Nelson and wife Sharon, gathered at the Coon Valley Legion on Aug. 24 to celebrate 55 years since graduation. Gary Gilbertson was the master of ceremonies and his wife Judy our photographer.
Borgens from Westby provided a delicious meal and Marty and Lynne Stenslien provided the lefsa. Alan Berg said a prayer and blessing. There were flowers, candles, a page in the booklet of all of their pictures and a moment of silence for our 30 classmates who are deceased; Gail Aasen, Ron Asher, Louise Amundson Knutson, Gerald Bjerkos, Judy Brendum Ostrem Meixner, El Ray Dock, Walter (Wally) Erlandson, Ruth Graham Christianson, Judy Johnson Haar, Carol Hagen, Russell Helwig, Karen Johnson Pike, Verna Klomsten Brye, Brian Koula, Duane Leitke, Richard (Dick) Manske, Karen Newburg Hundt, Norman Oliver, Fred Olson, Karen Olson Swenson, Steve Ostrem, Judy Perkins Berger, Joyce Rockwell Joosten, David Ross, Ronald (Ron) Rudie, Nadine Stellner Cox, Joyce Stendahlen Swiggum, De Verne Struxness, Paul Veum and Michael Volden.
We also honored all of our veterans and commented that many went to Vietnam but they all came home. Wayne (Satch) Gilbeck who was a “tunnel rat” is doing well and now lives at the Tomah VA Hospital. Gary Gilbertson commented that we are the first class to be post World War II babies and many of our parents went to war or maintained the home front. Many of the classmates are related, even twins (Schultz girls) and the five Gilbertson cousins were in attendance. We thanked our teachers and coaches for giving us a good education. Marc Nelson said he remembers our class with fondness. Gary also commented that from our booklet we are a class that has made a difference in the many professions and community involvements. Marty Stenslien told a few sports stories from the “old days” and we celebrated Terry Storbakken’s famous basketball shot.
Prior to the reunion, a group of classmates had a tour of the Westby Fine Arts Center thanks to Gary Gilbertson and Peter Engh. They were very impressed and the group decided to donate monies from our funds to the Center. There were door prizes and art prints and old pictures from previous reunions given away.
Attending from the local area were Alan Berg, Dennis and Jaynne Blihovde, Annette Constalie Easterday and Dennis Von Ruden, Tom and Corrine (Corky) Gilbertson Olson, Gary and Judy Gilbertson, Jenny Gilbertson, John and Sharon Gilbertson, Paulette Haakenson Ross, Kathy Hoff Trussoni, Tony Jefson, Les and Linda Kuester, Judy Lenser Tollackson, Gary and Marilyn Leum, Bruce and Karen Nordstrom, Dan and Judy Schultz Hofslien, Marty and Lynne Stenslien, Rodney and Cathy Villand, Richard and Joan Weimar and Marc and Sharon Nelson; from other parts of Wisconsin, Eugene and Susan Kay Ecklor, John Elliot, Terry and Linda Erickson Storbakken, Calvin and Jeanette Knapp Hurlbert, Phil and Paully Oinonen, Peter and Nancy Weissenberger Roehl, Lyle and Gail Shields Shumate, Diane Smith Chambers, Steve and Pat Power. Out of state attendees included Bob and Mary Christianson from Indiana, Jeanne Larson Weaver from Alabama, Lane and Julie Olson Backus from Arizona, Bruce and Dawn Rudie from Illinois and coming to his first-ever reunion from Utah was Richard Hovinghoff.