Elizabeth (Currer) Wolf ’41 (Faribault, Minn.) passed away peacefully on May 5, 2018. She was a 1936 graduate of Minnehaha Academy before she went on to earn her two-year teaching degree at Winona State Teacher’s College. She founded the first kindergarten in Stewartville and then taught in Faribault before she married Woodrow Wolf. They became parents to three children and Beth went on to teach in Morristown and in Nerstrand. Later, she finished her four-year degree at Mankato State Teachers College and taught at Jefferson School until her retirement in 1983. She worked in many groups such as Christian Women’s Club, the P.T.A., and the Pioneer 4-H Club. She was often asked to sing solos for weddings and funerals, and formed a trio group in which she sang for forty years. She was a member of Golden Notes, the Rice County Historical Society, and the Faribault Area Senior Citizens. Always active in church work, she was Sunday School Superintendent, the choir leader, and President of United Methodist Women. She loved nature, especially her garden, and was a collector of memorabilia of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Norman Rockwell, Charles Schulz, the Dionne Quintuplets, and her unique inspirational nativity sets.


Ervin Schmidt ’50 (Rochester, Minn.) died February 26, 2018. Erv graduated from Winona High School and Winona State College. He was a self-taught electrical engineer and, after a short stint as a carpenter, he went to Mayo Clinic and worked as a research technician. One of the first things he developed was EMG in the early 1950s. Once it was developed, he continued by making EMG carts in his basement. He later worked at IBM until he retired. Ervin married Melva Knoll in 1951 had two children, Nancy and Gary. Ervin and Melva were always together and relished any activity that would get them outdoors for long periods of time. Erv taught scuba diving for nearly 30 years and sailing for another 20. A talented photographer, nature in all its forms was his favorite subject. They participated in the Christmas Bird Count for years. While wintering in Texas, they took the courses to become Texas Master Naturalists, and were one class short when Erv lost his vision.

Russell Lund ’57 (Andover, Wis.) died May 13, 2018. He graduated from Galesville High School in 1948, served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 to 1954, and graduated from Winona State with a degree in education (1957) and master’s in counseling (1969). His first teaching job was 1958 in Holmen, where he coached basketball, baseball and football – the last of which is helped start and led them to a 4-0-1 record in their inaugural season. He later taught and coached in Tomah and Markesan before returning to Galesville in 1966, where he coached football, basketball, baseball and track. In football his overall coaching record was 70-16-1, with six undefeated teams in 12 years. His football teams won 41 games in a row from 1968 to 1972, were ranked number one in the state in 1969 and 1970, and he was named La Crosse Tribune’s Coulee Region Football Coach of the Year in 1970. In 30 years of coaching basketball, his teams were 375-240, with six conference championships and four regional championships. His baseball teams over 25 years compiled a record of 343-108, winning 13 conference championships and appearing in the state tournament seven times. In five years of coaching track, his teams won three conference championships and two sectional championships. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1990, the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1993. He was the first coach to be inducted into all three Hall of Fames. Russ spent an incredible 72 seasons as a head coach and 24 seasons as an assistant. He retired from teaching in 1989 but continued to be an assistant coach in the basketball and softball programs for several years.

Gene McDermott ’59 (Faribault, Minn.) passed away February 28, 2018. He graduated from Farmington High School, and then served in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Guam during the Korean War. After his military service, he attended Winona State University receiving a degree in education. He furthered his education at Mankato State University with an advanced degree in business education. Gene was initially a teacher and coach prior to his role as assistant director at the Faribault Vo-Tech Institute and worked hard to initiate the GED program in Faribault. Prior to retirement Gene was the principal at Montgomery-Lonsdale High School, and worked part-time for Burns and Sims Security at various locations. Gene and Marilyn (Wendy) were married in 1959 and enjoyed 58 years of marriage. Gene enjoyed spending time with family and friends at the family cabin at Shields Lake and was an avid sportsman enjoying pheasant hunting with his dogs, and snowmobiling. He also enjoyed playing and watching sporting events, especially the Vikings and Twins.

Joseph Schiltz ’59 (Bloomington, Minn.) passed away on January 20, 2018. Joe was born and raised in Caledonia before moving to Winona where he graduated from Winona State University. He moved to the Twin Cities after graduation where he met and married Judy Stoss of St Paul. Joe spent most of his professional career in the housing industry helping people gain home ownership. Joe loved to be involved with his two kids’ activities, taking turns at the leader of the Cub Scout pack and hockey coach or just playing catch with the kids in the backyard. Later, as the kids grew, he volunteered for the St. Vincent de Paul food shelf and spent time as a life-long member of the Knights of Columbus. In recent years, Joe loved spending time with his grandchildren and having his Wednesday morning coffee meeting with his buddies. He and Judy were lifelong members of St Bonaventure Catholic Church where they worshipped, volunteered and made many friends.


Thomas Brown ‘62 (Buffalo City, Wis.) passed away February 28, 2018. Tom was born in Winona, growing up in a house with seven brothers. He graduated from Winona High in 1953, and loved playing and watching hockey – he was a member of the only Winona High School hockey team to make it to the state tournament (in 1952). Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served on a search and rescue team in Japan during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged and returned to Winona to attend Winona State College where he earned a degree in education. Tom worked as an art teacher for several schools and school districts throughout his career, most notably Central Junior High now known as South Middle School in Eau Claire. Students loved Mr. Brown and to this day the family hears from previous students of the positive impact he had on their lives. He retired after serving in the Eau Claire School District for 30 years. Tom married the love of his life, Mary Therese Burbach, in 1959. They lived in small towns along the Mississippi River before moving to Eau Claire where they raised their family. Following his retirement, Tom and Mary moved to Buffalo City where Tom continued shared his love for the Mississippi River with his family. Together they enjoyed camping, boating and fishing with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He also loved ice fishing and of course golfing.

Sylvia (Martin) Bruegger ’63 (Wabasha, Minn.) died June 6, 2018. After graduating from Wabasha High School, she attended Winona Teachers College, where she received a B.A. degree in teaching. In 1972, she received her master’s degree from Winona State College. Sylvia taught in rural schools throughout the area, beginning at Greenfield School. She later taught in schools located in Oronoco, Hammond, Reads Landing, Dumfries, Urne, and finally in Pepin, Wisconsin before retiring in 1982. Sylvia married John A. Bruegger in 1941, and together, they farmed in rural Wabasha. Sylvia was a faithful and active member of Wabasha United Church of Christ, as well as a past member and Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star, and of the Retired Rural Teachers Association. For many years, she was the leader for the Pepin Hill 4-H and directed their one-act plays. Sylvia and John belonged to the Wabasha County Farm Bureau for many years, and she was also very active in many other community organizations. Her interests included traveling throughout the U.S. and the world, reading, sewing and quilting. She also enjoyed being a member of her 500 card club, and she enjoyed her sewing club gals for more than 50 years. Her greatest joy was spending time with her loving family.

Donald Hemming ’65 (Tucson, Ariz.) died on March 4, 2018. Don graduated from St. Charles High School and taught in the St. Cloud School system for 33 years, 31 of those teaching in the science department at Apollo High School. He loved to fish, hunt, 4-wheel, turn beautiful wood bowls, garden, and most of all be with family and friends. He leaves behind his wife, Bonnie, of 52 years and his two children.

Ivadean (Groen) Isensee ’65 (Stewartville, Minn.) died on February 12, 2018. She attended schools in the Stewartville area until 10th grade and graduated from Chatfield High School in 1936. Following normal training, she taught in country schools for the next five years. Ivadean married Larry Isensee in 1939. While being a homemaker, Ivadean took college courses part-time and in the summer, graduating from Winona State College in 1965. She taught special education in Chatfield and later in Rochester at Edison Elementary School until her retirement in 1978. Music was a large part of Larry and Ivadean’s retirement, providing music to many nursing homes and special gatherings in the area. Ivadean was the rhythm section playing piano and drums and Larry provided the melody with his sax and violin. They were also members of the Stewartville Community Band and the Chatfield Brass Band. Her other interests included playing bridge and 500, crocheting afghans for every grandchild, gardening, power-walking and dancing – polka, schottische, Charleston or waltz.

Robert Blahnik ’67 (Spring Valley, Minn.) passed away April 9, 2018. He grew up on a dairy farm near Spring Valley and graduated from Spring Valley High School. Bob enrolled at Rochester Junior College before attending and graduating from Winona State University in 1967 with a degree in education. He worked in the Byron School District teaching civics, American history, and driver’s education for a couple years. Bob realized he wanted to further his education, so he enrolled at the University of Iowa to study law. He started his law career working for Clem Snyder in Preston in 1972. From 1976 to 1987 Bob dedicated his skills as the “country lawyer” for Spring Valley. In 1987 he merged his practice with Baulder, Baulder, and Maus law firm until retirement in 2011. In 1973, he married Patricia Boucsein. Bob enjoyed spending time on his farm, fishing, reading western novels, and loved to spend time with his family, especially his grandkids. He was an active member at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, the Nursing Home Board and Spring Valley Mutual Insurance.

Kay (Woodward) Burt ’67 (Lewiston, Minn.) passed away May 3, 2018. Kay grew up on her family’s farm just outside of Utica. In 1955, she was united in marriage to Marlyn Burt, and together they had four sons. After becoming a mother, she returned to college and received her teaching degree from Winona State University. She had a love for teaching and spent 25 years at Lewiston-Altura, until retiring in 1993. Kay loved the outdoors and could often be found hunting, fishing, and 4-wheeling. Kay is survived by her four sons.

Gary Baxter ’68 (Montfort, Wis.) died February 26, 2018. Born in Dodgeville, he lived in Madison before Montfort, where he graduated from high school in 1953. Gary married Shirley (Volenec) Baxter in Rockville, Maryland in 1956 while serving in the U.S. Army. Gary and Shirley traveled throughout the United States, eventually making Fennimore, their home. Gary attended UW-Platteville and received a degree in education. He received his master’s degree in education administration through Winona State University while teaching 8th grade science in Fennimore. He served as superintendent of Wauzeka schools before settling in Prairie du Chien, where he was the principal at BA Kennedy (K-8) for 25 years. After retiring in 1992, Gary continued to be passionate about education, serving as interim superintendent at River Ridge school district and finally working with at-risk students through the CESA 3 alternative school program. Gary was a nature enthusiast and enjoyed all aspects of the outdoors with friends and family. He loved annual deer and duck hunting trips, fishing in both summer and winter, and planting trees and native prairie on his property near Fennimore. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Shirley; his children.

Gerald Dahling ’68 (Rosemount, Minn.) died April 5, 2018. He graduated with a B.S. from Winona State after beginning his collegiate work at MacPhail School of Music and Dramatic Art. He completed his Master’s Degree of Science from the University of Minnesota, followed by a PhD in biology from Harvard University. He worked as a professor of Botany at Macalester College, until he sought a law degree at William Mitchell College of Law and began practicing law as an intellectual patent attorney in Greenfield, Indiana, moving shortly thereafter to Indianapolis where he raised his family and continued advancing his career. Jerry enjoyed a successful career in law for more than 40 years and held positions as Senior Vice President in offices all over the world, including living in Lyon, France where he headed up the Patent departments of Sanofi Pasteur. Jerry married his first love, Edell Villella Dahling, in 1969. While their marriage ended in the mid 1990’s, they were married for 26 years, and remained very close. Jerry held much enthusiasm for life with many hobbies and interests. He enjoyed traveling, photography, gardening, fine arts, movies, food and wine tasting, entertaining, and scenic drives.

Thomas Fishbaugher ’68 (Fillmore County, Minn.) died March 11, 2018. He grew up in rural Harmony, Minnesota and graduated from Harmony High School in 1964. Tom then attended Winona State College, graduating in May of 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in bio-chemistry. In 1968, Thomas married Barbara Lee Matson. Shortly after their marriage, Tom and Barb acquired the farmland and home adjacent to Tom’s parent’s farmland and homestead and raised their family there. Thomas was drafted into the United States Army and served in the Vietnam War from September 1968 until July 1970. He earned the ranking of Staff Sergeant (E-6), was a member of the First Air Cavalry Division and saw heavy combat while serving in the infantry as a machine gunner. Thomas was a highly decorated veteran and was honorably discharged in 1970, having received a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, 2 Air Medals (for completion of 60-or-more Combat Assaults), Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Vietnam Campaign Medal, 3 Presidential Citations, and a Decoration of Valor. Upon his return from serving in Vietnam, he resumed the operations of the family farming business alongside his father, Francis. Thomas was also employed for many years at the Granger State Bank of Granger, Minnesota, and the First Southeastern Bank of Harmony, Minn.

Richard Root ’68 (Hastings, Minn.) passed away February 18, 2018. Dick was born in the Spring Valley area, grew up in a farming family, attended a one-room school house and participated in football, basketball, and track and field (his favorite). He got a BA degree in teaching from Winona State, taught PE and coached sports. He spent almost three years serving in the Army, stationed at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. He got a second degree in math and started his career as an accountant, working for the firm he would later become part owner of, Rahn, Neisen and Root, CPA. Dick loved participating in many sports, especially golf, hiking and riding bikes on trails. He was a loving and caring man with all he met and knew. Dick is survived by his wife, Jewel and his children.


Phyllis Hoppe ’71 (Winona, Minn.) died May 31, 2018. Phyllis graduated from Winona Senior High School in 1967 and from Winona State University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in social studies and library studies. Phyllis received her teaching certificate from both Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 1971, Phyllis began her librarian and teaching career with Highland High School in Wisconsin. In 2004, Phyllis retired from the Government of United States of America Social Security Administration, after 26 years, receiving Civil Servant of the year 2003, among many other accolades and achievements throughout her career.

John Philo ’71 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away March 17, 2018. Moving from New Hampton, Iowa, to Rochester in 1958, John graduated from John Marshall High School in 1963, where he excelled as a student athlete in football, wrestling and golf. He was appointed to the Naval Academy and graduated from Winona State University with an education degree. John married the love of his life, Vicki (Raymond) Philo, in 1968. He was an educator, starting in Wisconsin and moving back to Rochester in 1978 to teach at Byron High School. Throughout his life, John also tutored many using his math skills. John was an avid outdoorsman in his early years. He loved to hunt and fish with his son, Jeremy, and many friends. He enjoyed many trips to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to visit his granddaughters.

Carl Sarich ’71 (Mountain Iron, Minn.) passed away June 25, 2018. Carl graduated from Gilbert High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University. He joined the United States Army at age 20 and served 33 years in the Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve; being promoted to Captain in 1981. Carl retired from the Mt. Iron-Buhl Schools in 2007. He was a football coach for Eveleth Gilbert, Hibbing Community College, a longtime head coach at MIB, and inducted into the MIB Football Hall of Fame in 2016. After his retirement, Carl was employed as a courier for Edward’s Oil Co. He loved football; fishing, especially ice fishing; and motorcycle rides. He is survived by his wife, Raija Sarich and three stepchildren, among others.

Lois (Dubbels) Bergman ’76 (Hinkley, Minn.) passed away April 22, 2018. She graduated from Byron High School in 1966 and from Concordia College in St. Paul with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She then pursued a career in teaching, and later received a master’s degree in counseling and educational psychology from Winona State University in 1976. Lois married twice, first to Eugene Gavin in 1969, and in 1976 to Peter Bergman. Lois and Peter were married for 11 years and had a daughter together. In 1983, Lois won a hard battle against cancer, which fueled her passion for life and travel. She and her husband, Peter, along with their daughter, then moved to Honduras in 1984. They lived and taught there for two years before returning to the U.S. She moved to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and worked at the St. Francis Indian School. She fell in love with the native culture and was blessed to be invited into the Lakota community as an adopted sister. In 1990, Lois returned to Minnesota to continue her career in social work with Pine County. A lifelong learner and healer, she also studied homeopathy at Northwest Academy of Homeopathy, and became a Homeopath in 2007. She was an author and editor of multiple publications, a longtime practitioner of Reflexology and a Reiki Master. She was involved with multiple nonprofit organizations, including Open Arms MN, Relentless, and the Rural AIDS Action Network.

Robert Dashow ’77 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away February 6, 2018. After graduating from John Marshall High School, Robert served in the U.S. Army at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., from 1965 to 1967. Following his military service, he attended Rochester Community College and Winona State University, earning a degree in business. For many years, Robert was a real estate developer in the area and worked with his father to run Dashow Real Estate. Included in their development projects, were the Buckridge and Apple Ridge developments. In 1972, he married Dolores “Dolly” Jainga. They made their home in Rochester, and soon welcomed their beautiful daughter, Josephine Marie, into their family.

Richard Kraus ’78 (Edina, Minn.) passed away from cancer on February 21, 2018. He graduated from Winona State University and married Dawn Root in 1976. He had a 36-year career in human resources at Apogee Enterprises, Federated Insurance Companies, and Saint Mary’s Hospital. He was devoted to his family, faith, work, and community. Rick is survived by his loving wife, Dawn and his children.

Catherine (Master) Nichols ’78 (Lake City, Minn.) passed away July 7, 2018. Cathy was born in Minneapolis but grew up in Bloomington, MN. She attended Winona State University and received a degree in elementary education with a focus in special education. During college she met the love of her life, her husband of almost 38 years—her beloved Mark also known by the nickname, Pete. She loved teaching and taught elementary special education for 14 years. After retiring from teaching, she built a successful hotel business and was involved in numerous community organizations, working tirelessly to make her town a vibrant environment. She raised two wonderful children, Emily and Patrick, and interacted with her grandchildren daily. Cathy enjoyed spending time with her many friends and hosting get togethers in Lake City and Minneapolis. She loved to travel and had plans to travel the world with her husband and friends during retirement.

Nola (Blencoe) Olson ’79 (Taylor, Wis.) passed away November 30, 2017. Nola was a 1955 graduate of Jackson High School in Hixton. In 1954, she met Lyness Olson at a dance in Taylor, and they were married in 1957. Later that year, she began her teaching career at the East Franklin School in rural Taylor, a one-room school. A few years later, she moved into town to teach at Taylor Elementary, where she taught 4th grade for many years. In 1974, she also became the part-time elementary principal. She continued to teach and act as part-time principal until 1990. When Blair-Taylor consolidated, she became the full-time elementary principal from 1990 until her retirement in 1997. Outside of her school life, Nola was involved in many organizations, and her faith was of great importance to her. She also loved her flower gardens, jigsaw puzzles, bird watching, baking, and traveling. In 1969, Lyness and Nola became the parents of their only child, a daughter, Lynette, and in 2011, her granddaughter Aleah was born, whom she was extremely close with.

NOTE: The fall 2018 issue of Currents incorrectly published Ms. Olson’s date of passing as March 17, 2016. We would like to offer our apologies to her family for this error.


Kristen Harpel-Huhner ’82 (New Prague, Minn.) died June 9, 2018. She from Montgomery-Lonsdale High School and attained a degree from Winona State College with a double major in social work and Spanish. She began her career as a social worker while living in Georgia after her marriage to Philip Simon in 1983. When they returned to New Prague, they owned and operated Simon’s Bar. After the couple divorced, Kris started with Norex, Inc. as a technology manager in 1996 through the present. She married David Huhner in 2001. Kris was involved in many ministries that touched the vulnerable and injured, such as Healing Hearts Ministry, Hope House, Weight Watchers as a leader, and Le Sueur County ARC. She was also very involved at St. Wenceslaus Church as a Eucharistic Minister, a mime for the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, and on the parish coordinating counsel. She particularly enjoyed her Bible studies with her “Bonus Sisters”. Kris enjoyed fishing, playing cards, reading and traveling.

Linette (Stoen) Ritter ’84 (Rushford, Minn.) died March 1, 2018. She was a 1980 graduate of Decorah High School and then received her bachelor’s degree from Winona State University in 1984. Linette was united in marriage with Kevin Ritter in 1986. She worked for the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons from 1984 to 2015. Linette enjoyed golfing and traveling, especially for the winters the last three years to Gulf Shores, Ala. She is survived by her husband Kevin and three children.

Dennis Etbauer ’86 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away January 14, 2018. He graduated from Wessington Springs, S.D., High School and received his bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from South Dakota State University. He started his career in Winona, with his wife, Marilyn, living there 11 years. In 1979, they moved to Rochester, beginning his 31-plus year career at Olmsted Medical Center. His career started at OMC as Director of Laboratory Medicine. He continued his education obtaining his master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Winona State University and finished out his career as Vice President for Specialty Services at OMC. Dennis enjoyed golfing, hunting, boating and fishing on the Mississippi River near Wabasha. He was involved in Sertoma Club in Rochester for many years. Dennis and Marilyn enjoyed winters in Sun City West, Arizona.


Rachel Hill-Smith ’97 (Johnson Creek, Wis.) passed away on February 21, 2018. She was a 1992 graduate of Johnson Creek High School and received her bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications in 1997 from Winona State University. Rachel met the love of her life at Spacesaver in Fort Atkinson where she had been employed in the marketing department. On Oct. 27, 2001, she was united in marriage to Donald Smith. Rachel had been employed in the marketing departments at Fort Memorial Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Medseek in Madison and Bethesda Lutheran Homes in Watertown. She was most recently employed at Quartz in Madison. Rachel was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Johnson Creek, as well as a member of the Johnson Creek Fire Department for over 20 years, being one of the first females on the department. She loved taking trips with her family to Tennessee and Disney World.

John Johnson ’97 (Rochester, Minn.) died March 1, 2018. He attended Rochester Central Lutheran School and later graduated from Mayo High School in 1986. John served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and the Philippines. He attended Rochester Community College and later received his bachelor’s degree from Winona State University. John worked for Benchmark Electronics for many years. In 2002, he married Amy Weller. He loved going on walks and bike rides with his family and little dog, Dexter. They also enjoyed canoeing and kayaking together in Chester Woods. John loved playing catch with his son and attending sporting events. He was also a huge fan of KFAN radio. He played Rochester Youth Hockey during his elementary and middle school years. He was also an avid softball player for many years.

John Mason ’98 (Crystal Lake, Ill.) passed away April 12, 2018. After graduating from Woodstock High School in 1994, he attended Winona State University where he met the love of his life, Michelle. He graduated from WSU in 1998 with a degree in criminal justice and he and Michelle were married in 2001. In 2007, they welcomed two beautiful twins, Natalie Christine and Zachary David. John received his teaching degree in 2003 and began working at Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, Illinois where he was a beloved teacher of US history, sociology and law. An avid sports fanatic, John took up coaching and truly found his passion and calling in life at Prairie Ridge High School, where he was a football and basketball coach for the Prairie Ridge Wolves.


Rebecca (Soppa) Schlesser ’01 (Arcadia, Wis.) passed away April 25, 2018. After graduating from Arcadia High School, she went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Winona State and a master’s degree in accounting from St. Mary’s University. Becky was currently employed as a financial analyst with Ashley Furniture Industries. She was united in marriage to Adam Schlesser in 2003, and together the couple had two children, Amaya and Cade. Becky was involved on the finance committee at Holy Family Catholic School, volunteered with the PCCW for the fall festival, coached youth basketball, and enjoyed hunting, ice fishing, gardening, canning, a good bloody mary and spending time with her children and family.

Daryn Allen ’06 (Blue Mounds, Wis.) passed away March 14, 2018. He graduated from Mount Horeb High School in 2003 and Winona State University with a degree in exercise physiology in 2006. In 2007, he married his soulmate and childhood sweetheart, Becky (Towns) Allen, and together they had two wonderful children, Dawson and Lainey.


Glen Buege (Winona, Minn.) was reunited with his sweetheart, Rosie, February 14, 2018. He honorably served his country with the U.S. Army on active duty from 1952 to 1954, then with the Army Reserves until 1960. Glen was employed with various construction companies and later as the head of the maintenance department at Winona State University, until his retirement. He will be remembered for his enjoyment of hunting, fishing, gardening and playing cards. He was a member of Central Lutheran Church in Winona and the American Legion.

Shirley (Wermager) Eiken ’63 (Winona, Minn.) passed away May 28, 2018. She grew up on the family farm and learned the importance of hard work. She carried her saxophone back and forth from school so that she could practice an hour a day. She continued her passion for playing the saxophone through college. She graduated from Rushford High School; BA degree from Luther College; master’s degree from Winona State University; doctoral degree from University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. She was the youngest doctoral degree recipient in the State of Colorado. While attending graduate school she also taught at Cresco and Greeley High Schools, and her first post-doctoral teaching job was at UW-Whitewater. In 1966, she and her then husband, Everett, moved home to Winona to begin a family and forge lifelong teaching careers. Dr. Eiken was a professor at Winona State University for 36 years, retiring in 2002. After retirement, she enjoyed traveling the world, playing with her grandchildren, and prolifically reading everything from novels to current events.

Dianne Morrison (Winona, Minn.) died May 28, 2018. She graduated from Spring Grove School in 1977 and from La Crosse School of Beauty in 1979. In 1980, she married the love of her life, Steve Morrison. She loved planting and caring for her flowers, motorcycling up north, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Dianne also loved to host holiday parties at her home, reading, garage saling, walking the lake, and having long conversations with her co-workers. Her greatest joy were her granddaughters, Abby and Shelby.

Charles Sorensen (Longwood, Fla.) passed away February 23, 2018. He graduated from Moline High School and held degrees from Blackhawk Community College and Augustana College in Moline, Illinois. He also graduated from Illinois State University and Michigan State University, where he received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002. Chuck spent his professional life as a historian, scholar and administrator. His first position teaching history was in a junior high school in Denver, Colorado. After graduate school he taught at Tri-State College in Angola, Indiana and Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Chuck’s career then took a turn toward higher education administration. He served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Winona State University, and finally as Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin Stout from 1988- 2014. He is survived by his wife and partner, Toni Poll-Sorensen, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Derek Harms (Barrington, Ill.) passed away April 8, 2018. As a junior, majoring in outdoor recreational tourism at Winona State University, Derek thrived in his studies, work, activities, and creative expressions—ranging from photography to hosting a campus radio program. He loved all things outdoors and was a caring custodian of nature. Derek enjoyed rock climbing, kayaking, camping, and exploring, as well as snow sports. A staff member at the OERC at WSU, he was a climbing instructor and a canoe guide on the Mississippi River. For the past four summers, he was a counselor at Camp Deerhorn in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. His leadership duties included being a certified lifeguard, a horseback riding instructor, and leader of Voyager expeditions to the Boundary Waters of Lake Superior. Derek was a favorite camp counselor and a renowned performer of folk music– singing and playing guitar, mandolin, and ukulele.