The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Duluth
We remember the friends of UMD who have left us.
Elizabeth W. Backstrom, a graduate of the Duluth State
Teachers College, passed away in January. Elizabeth worked as a cashier
and bookkeeper at Piggly Wiggly until 1972.
Dolores Volk in 1954. He was an active member of the
business community in the areas of banking, real estate, and his own
fabric business. As past state chairman of the North Dakota chapter
for Employer Support of the Guard Reserve, he earned the Secretary
of Defense Medal for outstanding public service.
Lurine Bridges Bussa ’28, of Duluth, passed
away in March. Lurine married George Bussa in 1928. She and her husband
owned and operated the Duluth Heights Store. Lurine loved knitting,
crocheting, and was also an avid gardener.
Mildred G. Carlson, ’53, of Duluth, died in
December. Mildred worked for the U.S. Government Social Security Department
in Washington, D.C., St. Paul, and Duluth, before retiring in 1969.
Mildred loved nature and wildlife, especially birds.
James P. Corson, ’49, of Bloomington, MN, passed
away in March. After 39 years of service, he retired as assistant
editor-in-chief of West Publishing Company. His passion for music
and education was shown in his involvement in the Minnesota Orchestra,
the Oregon Bach Festival, Music in the Park, Oregon Shakespeare Festival,
UMD, and the University of Minnesota’s Elder Learning Institute
and Friends of the Library.
Clifford G. Drill, ’37 and MA ’52, of
Burnsville, died in January. Clifford grew up in Duluth and was married
to Clara Johnson in 1938. Clifford was a respected educator for 40
years, as well as a junior high
George M. Elioff, ’53 of Ely, passed away in
January. George and Mary Gornick were married in 1953. George worked
for the Reserve Mining Company until he retired in 1984. He served
in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, and was
a member of American Legion Post 248 serving two terms as commander.
George was also part of the Disabled American Veteran’s Kolstad
Patricia Gustafson, ’60/’80, of Sarasota,
FL, passed away in January. After graduation, she taught in Proctor,
Two Harbors, and the Duluth Business University. She later worked
at A&E Supply Company. Patricia and her husband, Jim Gustafson,
were married in 1961.
Howard G. Hanson passed away in May in his home. Howard
was a professor at UMD from 1947 to 1985 when he retired as chair
of the Physics Department. In 1963 he was awarded a National Science
Foundation Faculty Fellowship in Sweden and was inducted into the
Academy of Science and Engineering at UMD in 2002.
Donald Henricksen, ’52, of Duluth, passed away
in April. He served in the Navy in World War II, and married Phyllis
Joyce Harris in 1947. Donald taught English in Willow River and Owatonna
until 1966. He moved back to Duluth to manage Big League Game Co.,
a business he started after inventing a table top baseball game while
in the service. Donald’s favorite pastimes included hunting,
fishing, reading, and sports, especially baseball, which he played
professionally for a year.
Alan Holmes, ’64, of Brookings, SD, died in
October. He was employed by Southwest State University.
Dr. William Loy, ’58, died in November. William
received his master’s degree from the University of Chicago,
and his doctorate from the Twin Cities campus in 1967. As a resident
of Eugene, OR, he worked as a geography professor at the University
of Oregon from 1967 until 1997. He led the creation of the first and
second editions of the Atlas of Oregon; his work on the first edition
earned him a commendation in 1977 from the Oregon Legislature. In
2002, William received one of the university’s highest honors,
the Distinguished Service Award.
Gerald R. Lundberg, ’61, of Virginia, passed
away in March. After graduating from Denfeld High School, he owned
and operated Ernie and Jerry’s Skelly Services. He served in
the U.S. Army from 1955-1957, later marrying Barbara Hansen in 1957.
While attending UMD, he worked for D.M. & I.R. Railroad in Proctor.
In 1964, Gerald moved to Virginia and worked for Jones and Laughlin
Steel for 29 years. He also worked as a consultant for Quurum and
Richard M. Nelson, ’50, of Duluth, passed away
in March. Richard earned an athletic scholarship to the University
of Minnesota before enlisting in the Marines to serve in World War
II. He returned to UMD to graduate with a bachelor’s degree
in physical education in 1950. Richard and Patricia Sjoberg were married
the same year. Richard taught and coached for nearly 34 years in the
Duluth school system.
Beuford R. Nielson ’53 of Omaha, NE, passed
away in December. Beuford and his wife, Donna, were married in 1953.
Mabel V. Norman Lund, ’54, of Tamarack, MN,
died in February. Mabel went on to teach in Utah and Wisconsin before
retiring in 1965. Mabel had a busy retirement, including a hot air
balloon ride on her 90th birthday, a dune buggy ride on her 95th birthday
and a motorcycle ride on her 100th birthday.
Steve Pietila, ’99, of Minneapolis, passed away
in December of 2002.
Margaret L. Ruppel, ’68, of Orr, MN, passed
away in March. Margaret taught art and language arts at Chester Park
in Duluth for 22 years. Margaret and Laurence Ruppel were married
in 1979. The couple lived in Duluth until 1991 when they retired from
teaching and moved to Pelican Lake, near Orr.
William G. Savolainen, ’65, died in January.
William and his wife, Gretchen, were married in 1965. William was
in the United States Army Reserve for six years. He worked for Peavey
Grain Company in Minneapolis before becoming the general manager of
Pacific Northwest in Portland. For the last 19 years, William has
been with The Hasson Company Realtors in Lake Oswego.
David F. Schnorr, ’56, of Duluth, died in March.
David and Marjorie Winsand were married in 1957. David served as a
sargeant in the army during World War II. He taught industrial arts
for 36 years in Silver Bay before retiring in 1992. David was a life
member of the VFW and American Legion. David was also an active member
and lobbyist for the Minnesota Education Association.
Lila E. Schwartz, of Duluth, passed away in April.
She lived in Two Harbors for most of her life and attended the Duluth
State Teachers College. Lila started teaching in a one-room schoolhouse
in Castle Danger, Mahtowa, and Floodwood, retiring in Two Harbors
in 1973. She married her husband John Arlie Schwartz in 1941. She
was an active member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Two Harbors
for many years. Lila was also a Silver Star member of the Alpha Delta
Kappa Honorary Teacher’s Sorority as a 50-year member. She was
also involved with The Salvation Army Home League, Lake County Cancer
Society, Lakeside AARP, Golden Age Club, and Harbor Mates.
Gerald A. Singer, ’49, of Duluth, passed away
in March. He served in World War II and married Betty Axelrod in 1952.
She preceded him in death in 1987. He and Joanne Jacobson were married
in 1989. He worked for his father’s clothing business, L. Singer
and Sons, before establishing Stadium Lanes and the Carlton House.
Jerry enjoyed spending time at his cabin on Island Lake.
George Starr, UMD Emeritus Faculty member, of Duluth,
passed away in June. Starr taught in the field of Secondary Education
and was a strong leader in the beginnings of Environmental Education
Robert E. Waksdahl, ’70, of Duluth, died in
March. Robert worked for Minnesota Power until his retirement in 1995.
He and Diane Stone were married in 1966.
Roger R. Wilander, ’68, of Duluth, passed away
in December. Roger taught in the Duluth Public Schools for 16 years.
He later worked for the U.S. Postal Service, retiring after 13 years
of service in 1995. He also served as a private pilot in the Army.
Roger and Kay Mickelson were married in 1969.
Thomas Zakula, ’54, died in February. Thomas and his wife, Marlene, were married in Chicago in 1957. Thomas served in the United States Air Force from 1946 to 1948. Thomas worked as an equipment engineer for Western Electric for 15 years in Chicago. He later worked as a mathematics and electronic drawing instructor at Lake Superior College before retiring in 1975.