Monthly Reunion Update

We Will Pass This Way but Once....Again

Classmates  who will be at the Reunion.

Linda Akerson Towne

Ernie Andrews

Bill Bakken

Greg Baron

Marlyce Benson Bjeldanes

Dave Bentson

Betty Bergland

Ted Boran

Jim Bradshaw

Chuck Carlson

Nancy Carlson Helmich

Karen Clausen Mooers

Judy Cline Johnson

John Corcoran

Steve Davis

Bill Eibrink

Dick Eide

Gail Ekdahl Dietrich

Gary Engfer

Rob Englund

Howie Engnell

Bill Epple

Judie Erickson Pomerleau

Sharon Fischer Faucette

Nancy Fish Larson

Diane Fondrick

Marlyce Fransen Turnbull

Jim Frazier

Jeri Furness Holt

Karen Gabrielson

Louise Gorgos Botko

Mike Gorman

Warren Grund

Mike Gudmunson

Gerald Guptill

Bill Hanson

Doug Hatling

John Herre

Denny Hoff

Barb Hoglund Newberry

Ginger Holritz Dawson

Marilyn Johnson Cotton

Elaine Johnson Lang

Cynthia Johnson Sherer

Eric Knox

Judy Knudsen Brown

Dennis LaFrance

Paul Larson

Faythe Marty Rich

Jim McCarthy

Maggie McMahon Skaff

Steve Melin

Joe Meyers

Jim Miller

Char Moery Pehrson

Dave Mona

Tom Mosher

Jayne Myrbill Bradshaw

Ron Naslund

Gene Nelson

Jim Nelson

Marilyn Nelson

Darrell Norling

Tom Nygaard

Karen Olafson Hatling

Nancy Olin Corbin

Harold Parady

Joyce Pederson Roberg

Larry Peterson

Kerm Roberg

Sybil Schroeder Gable

Judy Simons Brumback

Mary Skogland Rixmann

Roberta Smith Roberts

Phyllis Sperr Tondelli

Linda Storholm Ferraro

Annette Tacheny Flaherty

Jeanie Tinker Grimes

Fred Torsch

Carol Torstenson McCausland

Jerry Wagnild Tarmann

Art "Skip" Weyrauch

Paul Wold



Haven't we all run across a box of old photos.  That box somehow had a magnetic pull.  So we dusted it off, sat down, and took the time to look through it.

It made us laugh till we cried.  Wow!  We looked so young.  Oh my!  The hair cut, the clothes and we thought we were so hip, cool, and gorgeous.  Even the furniture, drapes, and the cars caught our eye.



What a wonderful trip down memory lane.  Oh, how great it made us feel.

Find that box again, make a copy of that special photo or two and surprise a classmate at the 55th Reunion with a forgotten moment.  Then watch that smile spread across their face.  Hey, feel good moments are few and far between.  Take time to create one.




55th Reunion Menu




One of the many tasks that the reunion committee must do is make menu choices. So on Fat Tuesday ( ironic, don't you think ) six of us met with Hilton executive chef Eric Baker and his staff to sample some of his creations.


First there were crisp delicious salads and hot steaming bread with creamy butter.  Then juicy steak, tender chicken, and mouthwatering fish.  Finally dessert.  Too hard to pick just one, so we decided on the chef's assortment and you can pick your favorite.


Now it's up to you.  Select your entree, write the check, and mail the RSVP to reserve your place at the Beautiful Hilton Ballroom with your Teddie Classmates and friends.


Enhance your reunion experience with a room at the Hilton.

Why should I book a room...

1. Shuttle service to and from MSP Airport.

2. Shuttle service to Mall of America.

3. Mn Valley Wildlife Refuge is just across the street.

4. Bus to River Cruise on Saturday will pick you up at the hotel.

5. Party late on Friday night without having to drive home.

6. Don't have to worry about a DUI.

7. All your friends are going to book a room.


A block of rooms have been reserved for Oct 6th - Oct 9th.

The special room rate will be available until Sept 8th or until the group block is sold-out.

The Hilton has set up a webpage to make it quick and easy to make your reservation. Just click on the link below...


If you wish to book a longer stay or require a handicap access room, call Rachel Lagace at 952-548-0993 or email her at for assistance.





It's in the mail!  It's in the mail!

The invitation is in the mail!


We even kissed the Post Mistress to insure that it is swiftly on its way.


So keep checking the mailbox, for soon your invitation to the Roosevelt 55th Reunion will be in your hands.


Don't stick it under that stack of bills on your desk, but make the decision to join us and send the RSVP back as soon as you can.


Let's see who is first.

Send RSVP with check to.....

RHS Class of 1961

2824 East 22nd Street

Minneapolis, Mn.    55406




I have attended three RHS61 reunions, and look forward to my fourth in October.  It sounds like a lot of fun and a good excuse for me to get on a plane and head “home.”  I’ve lived in Texas for 41 years, but Minnesota still holds a large part of my heart.  The first reunion I attended was our tenth.  If any of you remember me from high school, you know I was a bit on the “chunky” side.  After high school graduation I attended the University of Minnesota, lost 38 pounds, married the man of my dreams and had a baby 5 weeks before the reunion.  So no one ever saw me “skinny,” as I hadn’t lost the baby weight yet.  Bummer!  I also attended our 35th reunion, where I reunited with my fellow class clown, Doug Kahn (RIP).  That was a real treat.  And I also attended our 50th, where for me the bus tour of the Twin Cities was the highlight.  I hope to see many of you at the 55 reunion in October (I finally lost some of that “baby weight).  I’m really looking forward to seeing Denny Hoff, because he had a huge crush on me all through high school.  Plus, the cruise on the St. Croix sounds fantastic!

RoseAnn (Rosie) Jennrich Reddick

Hi Classmates,

We have the greatest class, website, reunion committee of anywhere, I think.  We were a big family a long time ago and just as you keep track of family, it is so great to hear the tales and adventures of classmates over the years.  Relationship is so important, I think, and especially now, in these years.  If any way possible, make plans to join the class in October to enjoy, to share and to participate in all that we will have to do.   Honor one another by at least trying to come and if not in person, be sure to communicate with the committee something you would want to share with the class.  We walk this way but once, and I do pray that many will make this year's reunion a priority. 

I think the 50th reunion was my highlight; I have only been to two since we graduated.  But, we are in California.  My only request at this moment is that any pre-parties be long enough so that if planes are late getting in we have a chance to participate.  Thanks for the hard work and time you committee members are donating to our class.  We are blessed!

Jan (Huckaby) Butler

Enjoyed the memories sparked by classmates who shared their memories--mine are exactly the same! I wonder why none of us can remember the reason for our lunchroom protest. I have another memory, not mentioned, and that of our Honor Society Senior Trip to New York! If you recall, we were the end of Senior Trips! I remember sleeping on the floor of the train! I recall the one rule--no one is to go to Greenwich Village ( not safe) and one of our brightest-- her name is now Brown I believe--wanted to go there first. Remember the fancy restaurant we went to and paid our huge bill with a mile high pile of dollar bills. And we had the poor violin player playing lots of songs with no tip! It was a great trip-- I thought we were "good" so don't know why there were no more trips-- guess it is part of us being a handful! I also remember getting hit in the head by a hockey puck, great hockey teams, by the way, and I am sure that puck was hit by Eric Knox! Great memories! 

Barb Hoglund Newberry


When I was asked to write about, “Why I am going to the 55th RHS Reunion,” I immediately thought of my mother. No, she won’t be at the Reunion!  But, one of her favorite sayings was, “You can’t make NEW old friends!”  There’s something about shared experiences and memories from our early years that form an unforgettable bond.

My memories include playing football and hockey at RHS with guys I had played those same sports with since third grade! Summers were filled with significant life questions, such as, “Should we play tennis, touch football, golf, or go swimming at Lake Nokomis or bike to Minnehaha Falls?” I played outdoor games with neighborhood kids until it got dark and we were called home. We have some really old  ‘long time’ friends from those years. Wouldn’t it be fun to reconnect with those friends?

But aside from my fading memories of days past, I’m most interested in knowing how the story of life has unfolded for us since. I wonder what paths we took in family life, careers, travel, and interests. Where did we live, what’s brought us meaning and joy?

We’ve all changed, and life has come to us in both challenges and satisfactions. Wouldn’t it be great to share our stories, and maybe even find some wisdom and perspective, and encourage each other as we do?  Look forward to seeing you at the 55th RHS Reunion, and afterwards.

Ernie Andrews

Hi Classmates!

I’m going to our 55th class reunion and I can’t wait!

What perfect timing for this event.  I’ve reached the saturation point of election news, the daily polling updates and the political robo calls.  What a wonderful escape from all the chaos in the world, to be lucky enough to escape for 2 days and to step back to our past.  Our carefree youth and the freedom we had.  A time to reconnect with old friends and bring back memories of our much simpler life.

So, I’m hoping to see you in October and re-kindle friendships and share (exaggerated) memories.

Judie Erickson Pomerleau

Somehow, several years ago, a group of us got together and started planning our 35 year Roosevelt High School Reunion.  We’ve had fun since planning each Reunion with fresh ideas and with GREAT classmates.

This October 7-8, 2016, will be our 55th Reunion (very hard to believe!) on a beautiful Minnesota Fall weekend.  Once again we can renew our friendships with our ’61 classmates.

Come join us at this very special event in October, for our 55th Reunion. See you there!  Go Teddies!!

Jayne (Myrbill) Bradshaw

We have been part of our Reunion Committee for the last 5 events simply because we think it is important to gather every 5 years to check in with each other and renew old acquaintances.

This year we think will be awesome with a wonderful hotel that holds such events.  The day after our Friday evening event, will be a restful 2.5 hour cruise on the St. Croix River on a chartered river boat.  Leaves will be colorful and an opportunity to see the new bridge being  constructed between Minnesota and Wisconsin.  There are only 2 of this kind of bridge in the US.

See you at the Reunion.

Jim Bradshaw

To:  RHS Class of 1961

I find it hard to believe we now face our 55th high school reunion!  Wow!  I recall my parents going to their 50th (and more) all-school reunions in the Red River Valley. Then, I thought, they are old! So, here we are now—old.  Or?  Those of us still kicking fifty-five years later should celebrate this occasion--while we also remember those no longer with us.  I plan to attend events in October and look forward to seeing former classmates, especially those—like me--for whom work, moves, and life made it difficult to stay in touch.  Like most, I presume, I have retired after forty-two (total) years of teaching, the last quarter century in a history department teaching U.S. history.  I often wanted to talk with Mr. Heller about how the field had changed, but I never had a chance.  Now, I look forward to catching up with “old” classmates in October when we have a chance:  to reflect on the past and exchange ideas about the future, this new stage in our lives!

(This—unpaid--message is brought to you by the hardworking reunion committee, eager to engage the class of ’61 in the fall--and the live phone caller, Rob Englund.)

Betty. A. Bergland







Fall, for many of us, is a favorite time of the year, the leaves are changing and the air is so crisp that you can almost smell the apples being picked. The great outdoors literally calls to you. It is the perfect time for a walk, a hike, a bike ride, or just sitting on a bench and taking in nature. Fortunately, we have the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge just across the street from the Hilton Airport Hotel, the visitors center is just steps from the front door with information and brochures illustrating every kind of wildlife you can experience. A perfect place to join other classmates for a walk, a visit, or a morning run.

Visit their website at and plan to add a fantastic outdoor experience to add to your reunion weekend.



St. Croix River Cruise

Saturday - October 8, 2016


Fall on the St. Croix will bring brilliant red and gold colors and the Roosevelt Class of 1961 will be there for the show.

From the Port of Stillwater, we will take a beautiful two and one-half hour afternoon cruise on the scenic St. Croix River.

Buffet Luncheon included.   Beverages available.

Transportation will be provided from the Airport Hilton to the boat docks in Stillwater.


Countdown to our 55th Reunion


For your pleasure and amusement

Our entertainment for the 55th Reunion will be three women dressed in leopard singing original tunes.


They have been together for more than 25 years, traveling and singing their comical songs to the delight of many kinds of audiences.


Their lyrics hit close to home when they sing Blue Legs or Big Butts and make us nod knowingly with a special reunion tune that suggests "You haven't changed a bit! I'd know you anywhere!"


You don't want to miss laughing along with your classmates as we enjoy each other's company at the 55th Roosevelt High School Reunion.

Oct 7-8, 2016


Laughter is good medicine.

We should do more of it!




Dear Teddies,

Even though I have not lived in Minnesota for over 50 years AND even though Stew and I have moved, geographically, 10 times, and had 16 different addresses, coming “home” to my Roosevelt High School reunions has always been a priority. I was very blessed to have a wonderful group of friends while at Roosevelt. Many of these friendships started at Minnehaha Grade School or at Nokomis Junior High leading up to high school. Some of us even commuted back and forth together to the “U.” The wonderful thing is that most of these close friends are still in touch - mostly  through Christmas cards. Unfortunately, the only time we really see each other is at our reunions. As time marches on, it becomes more important to embrace these precious friends in person. All of the above is just a preamble to saying I will be there with “Mr. Judy Knudsen” who, amazingly, has a great time, also. I look forward to seeing you at our 55th.

Judy Knudsen Brown


The 55th  RHS RE___NION won’’t be the same wiithout U..

Dear RHS 61’ Classmates,

We left for California in 1968, married with 2-year old Peter and
Stephanie on the way, so Len could pursue graduate school. Over the
years we have realized the valuable, wonderful place and people we
left behind. Each time we return to Minnesota we return to a second
home complete with family, friends, familiar places, and memories
new and old.

Here are 12 reasons why we love to return home….
1.  Knowledge that there are friends who understand our
    childhood and “growing up” years without a lot of explaining.
2.  The music and dances of the 60’s.
3.  Decent White Castle hamburgers and real A&W root beer
    and a hot fudge sundae from Bridgeman’s.
4.  Experiencing world class canoeing in the boundary waters.
5.  The hope of catching a nice walleye on a northern MN lake.
6.  To see real seasonal changes including thunder-boomers and
     a blizzard.
7.  Visiting our extended family members “in person”.
8.  Check to see if the ruling on the 61’tournament can be
9.  Attending a smorgasboard at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
     in pursuit of lefse, potato sausage and edible lutefisk.
10. Listening to a Minnesota College Choir.
11. Checking up on Gopher and Viking football and their latest
12. Reconnecting with the special RHS 61’ gang who warmly
     welcome each other (and us) back with hugs, humor and a
    “pat on the back.” 

Lots of appreciation goes to all those who
have worked hard to keep us connected via the website.
“Wherever you live… “You can take US out of Minnesota
but you can’t take the Minnesota out of US”.
 “At this point, “Don’t put off anything for some other
year—especially our 55th reunion”.

A quote from Dr. Suess
"How did it get so late so soon? Its night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?".

We hope to see you at the reunion! xxoo
Your classmates,
Marlyce and Leonard Bjeldanes, El Cerrito, CA



Roosevelt Memories

I always thought our class was special. Turns out there’s nothing unique about that. To a certain extent, everyone seems to think there was something special about their class.

On the other hand, maybe there was something special about the Roosevelt Class of 1961. In the two decades after we graduated I had a chance to talk with four different teachers, Ann Jolly, Ralph Blake, Wayne Courtney and Jim Heller. All four of them said they had heard about our class even before we got there…from friends who taught at Folwell, Nokomis or Sanford.

The word was out, and it was not all bad. The consensus: “This group is going to be a handful.”

I guess the odds were in our favor. With 777 grads going through the line, we were the largest graduating class in the state that year.

In our wake, we left a lunchroom strike that made local, regional and national news. The reason behind it pales, but the coordination was a huge success. We might have been a decade ahead of ourselves in protests, but we did It well. We followed the rules on the up and down staircases, but we were not shy about sticking up for our rights.

We were a neighborhood school, and we took pride in that neighborhood. It didn’t matter which junior high school you attended, places such as Beek’s Pizza and Charlie’s A&W Root Beer helped define us. I still remember the St. Helana’s crowd waiting until 11:45 p.m. Friday so they could enjoy their peperoni pizza at 12:05 a.m. Saturday.

I had a chance two weeks ago to speak in Little Falls, Minnesota. I mentioned driving through Royalton on my way to Little Falls and how Royalton had replaced our team in the 1961 High School Basketball Tournament. At least six different people came up to me later with details of that weekend and how it is still remembered there.

I think of that basketball team often. I started playing with Dave Nelson when we was a 7th grader at Folwell who could dunk a basketball. I came home to tell my father, the basketball coach at Minneapolis South, about Nelson, along with Bill Bowman, Uldis Jansons and Len Bjeldanes. Once I got to Roosevelt I met Fred Warn and added his named to the list of players to be both feared and respected by other city schools. I think Fred was the best combination football and basketball player in the state that year. Nelson, along with Henry’s Mel Northway and Duluth Central’s Terry Kunze, were the three best basketball players in the state.

As a student at the University of Minnesota I argued long and hard with Kunze about the outcome had we been able to meet Central in the finals of the State Tournament. Many years after we got kicked out of the tournament the High School League asked its former executive directors to submit their memories of their teams. The man in charge of the League in 1961, said he was proud of his accomplishments and regretted only one decision…the one to kick Roosevelt out of the 1961 Tournament because two of its players had played in a DeMolay tournament that summer. Not a single player on our team ever held it against John Totushek or Warren Scamp. It was an unfortunate outcome, but they were teammates, and that’s what mattered. At our post-season banquet that year, Coach Courtney told us, “What happened to you guys was totally unfair, and may wind up being one of the biggest disappointments of your life, but if you can react to those things as well as you’ve reacted to this, you’ll be just fine.”

A bunch of us from that team still get together every so often to talk about that great season. Our favorite memory is defeating defending state champion Edgerton (Minnesota’s version of Hoosiers in a Williams Arena prelim to a Minnesota Gopher game in which we were roundly booed by some 17.500 fans wanting to see David knock of Goliath just one more time.

I learned that we had been kicked out of the tournament in a 5:45 a.m. phone call from our manager, Rog Mahre. For the next 40 years, whenever he would call me, his opening words were, “We’re back in.” It doesn’t matter how many months or years have passed, I still flash back to that morning.

I still see Rog every winter in Phoenix. My wife and I cruised the coast of Norway two years ago with Len Bjeldanes and his wife, classmate Marlyce.

The years at Roosevelt were special and it’s always fun to get together at least every five years to relive old times.

By the way. I know a lot of your moms and dads and today you look just like them…only maybe a little older.

Dave Mona


1961 Classmates

I'm very  excited about our 55th reunion coming up in October of 2016.

It's so much fun to see all the old friends and to meet classmates I never really got to know. Looking back on it, how could you know 800 classmates?  There are about ten people that were in my kindergarten class that attend the reunion. That means we've know each other for 67 years. How can you top that?

Everyone should make an effort to attend this fun event. Remember, "we only pass this way but once"!

Best regards

Ron Naslund



I am so looking forward to coming to our Roosevelt High School 55th reunion as I have in the past and enjoy seeing and visiting with my classmates.  We are a very loyal bunch and I have always felt that the Roosevelt class of 61 was the best Roosevelt has seen.  We were the doer’s and shakers...remember the lunch room boycott?  We got National News coverage on the Huntley/Brinkley nightly news. I remember, Mr. Courtney my homeroom teacher, asked me if I had anything to do with the boycott…I fibbed and said no.  He was also in charge of the Student Council Room where I worked which was a great place for students to hang out.  We conducted the Ethnic committee meetings there and talked with students about such things as being caught smoking…we were so democratic. 

Our athletic programs were the best, basketball always in the state championship playoffs.  Mr. Courtney was the coach for the basketball team so the players were in the Student Council Room a lot and I use to bet the guys a nickel for each basket they made. Hockey, my favorite was awesome and in state championship playoffs.    Football and the baseball teams also great!  Remember Fridays when we could wear pants to go to the football games?  Oh and how about our cheerleaders and marching band and Rockettes so many memories

Our teachers were so great and really cared about us.  it was like a home away from home for me at least.  I have also been in contact with some of the teachers over the years. We also have the best Roosevelt High website thanks to our talented people who designed and run it.  It is so nice to see who has a birthday coming, being able to contact people and learn about classmates and teachers who have passed away. 

I am in contact with many of my classmates during the year and at Christmas but so much better to catch up in person on what they and I have been doing the past 5 years.  

It is also great to visit my hometown see my old neighborhood rekindle childhood and high school memories.  I encourage and hope many of our classmates attend to the 55th Roosevelt Reunion…put the date on your bucket list and bring back the fun memories.  Beeks pizza Bridgeman’s ice cream anyone?

Maggie McMahon Skaff

One-Year Out Reunion Notice

You often hear it said that most people have virtual calendars that they carry around in their heads that extend out one full year.

So guess what, most people?

One year from today exactly-October 7, 2016-our Roosevelt High School Class of 1961 will be celebrating our 55th class reunion!

Now it's true that 55 isn't the nice round number that 50 was, but it is a larger number by five full years and let's face it, most people, none of us has any guarantee that we'll be around when the next big, round numbered reunion rolls around in 2021, if in fact we even have one then.

So now's the time to get out your virtual or actual magic marker and circle or brush over October 7, 2016 and start laying plans to make this one of your personal red letter days for next year.

The date and site of the reunion celebration-Friday night at the Hilton Minneapolis/St.Paul Airport Mall of America-have already been set.  The reunion committee is still considering various other even options for this weekend and we'll provide you with details of these in future mailing.

But for now, for those of you with radar that extends out one full year, that blip you see one year from today is out 55th high school reunion!  Pin it!

Rossevelt Class of 1961 Reunion Committee