Horizontal line

Horizontal line



The 50th Reunion is divided into three parts: 1) The Friday gathering at Marshall and Dinkytown; 2) Banguet; 3) Mixer afterwards.

NEW! 61st REUNION in 2022

Horizontal line

The Invitation

WHAT: Marshall High Class of ‘61 celebrates 61 years.
WHEN: Friday, October 28, 2022, 1:00-4:00pm
WHERE: Double Tree/Axel’s
2540 No. Cleveland Ave
Roseville. MN 55113
REGISTER: Send $15 per person to:
D.(Stroschein) Thibodeau
2504 Cherrywood Rd
Minnetonka, MN 55305
(Please respond by Oct 1st)
WHO: Everyone! Spread the word!!
Hors d’oeuves and soft drinks provided Cash bar available
Questions? Marlyn Swanson Schmitz 763.390.7206 or Bob Edgell 602.999.2147

Doubletree Inn

The 61st Reunion was conceived at a luncheon in Minneapolis early 2022 and it grew from there. The ‘Lunchmates' at the lunch were Marlyn, Dee, Sharon and Sandy. They began recruiting classmates to help find the alumni who were at the 50th reunion and verify their email addresses.

All loose ends came together in October and the event proceeded smoothly.

Those attending were: Dean Westergard….Jerome Kruchten….Arnie Bigbee….Bob Koors….Bill Torkildson….Tom Spivak….Henry Drews….Ken Holmstrom….Kent Fredeen….Eugene Bjerkebek…. Dave Scavo….Kalman Schellenberg….Jack Saari….Cathy Colstad….Patty Dagen….Don Becchetti….Sharon Hughes….Marlyn Schmitz….Joanne Nordlie….John Larson…. Sandy Maxwell….Dee (Diane) Thibodeau

The event was held at Axels in the Doubletree Inn, Roseville. Jack welcomed everyone and Sharon asked the alumni about an event they never forgot. Dee asked a question of everyone where they would like to travel to or go and why.


Marlyn read a letter from Kersti and showed a picture of her and her husband, Johan.


Johan and Kersti Ulander

Dear Classmates!

Isn't it weird how fast time flies? It's been more than 10 years since the last reunion that I was so excited to be able to attend together with my husband Johan. The 50th class reunion was a wonderful event, for me especially, but also for Johan whom I have told so much of my memories of my AFS year. To recognize old friends, my favorite teacher Bob Rose and to be part of the group again was great fun. And the fact that we were able to walk through our old High School was certainly memorable. I have learned that the building is no longer there so it was just in time. The year in Minneapolis meant so much to me and gave me a special feeling for your country and (at least then) a new language and maybe that year also gave me a broader mind and I think it taught me more empathy. I have benefited from my American year all my life, also in my professional life. I cherish that and thank you again for that. I wish I could have attended this reunion too even if it will be somewhat smaller.This time it is not possible though. The journey is a long trip but that would not have prevented me. Anyway I will think of you on the day and I hope you have a nice gathering. I am sure you will! Good organizers as you are.

Me and my family are doing well. Our two sons have both celebrated their 50th birthday and live with their families within walking distance from our home in central Stockholm. That is a blessing.

Our 5 grandchildren are a source of joy. Vilhelm, Erik, Elsa, Emma and Astrid are 16, 14, 11, 10 and 7. When you have your reunion our family of 11 will be celebrating Johan`s 80 years birthday in Fuengirola which is a town in southern Spain, between Malaga and Marbella. Olé! We are very happy that we will all be together. Johan has had a big battle with cancer and during two years ( 2020 and 2021) he went through heavy treatment and a big operation. It was a hard time during these two years and the Pandemic didn´t exactly make it easier. I was not allowed to visit him at the hospital. He( and we all) is very thankful for the excellent medical care he got and he is recovered and back on track.' Well dear Classmates we have to realize that we are older now but don´t let that prevent us more than necessary. We should also realize how important it is to take care of our given time. So I wish you a fine and fun reunion with lots of good talk and good ideas for making life good. AND start planning the next event quite soon and I will do everything I can to be there!! Carpe Diem as the Romans said. Skål for every Marshallite and love from Kersti and Sweden.


Marlyn told the classmates about a golf charity tournament that Sandy has helped organize and worked at for years. The event is named “Tee It Up for the Kids” and raises money to send active duty military sons and daughters to a summer camp. The charity event has been renamed the Sandy Maxwell Tee It Up for Kids.


Marlyn also shared with the alumni that Diane (Stroschein) Thibodeau, who is on the Board of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, received the prestigious "Richard Olding Beard Award."

Richard Olding Beard, MC, established the first continuously operating nursing program founded in a university. Beard was a physician at the University of Minnesota in 1908 when he proposed the creation of the School for Nurses. The Board of Regents approved the plan and established the first nursing program founded in a university in the United States in 1909. Until this time, all training and preparation for nurses occurred in hospitals in an apprenticeship model and lacked education in sciences, liberal arts and the opportunity to practice skills outside of a live patient setting. Beard recognized the need for higher-level education for nurses and for women. His pioneering advocacy for lifting up the nursing profession was expressed in his writings and speeches in which he espoused the "educated spirit of the nurse."

"Three earn the school’s highest honor for non-nurses.

Michael W. Rohovsky, David A. Rothenberger, and Dee Thibodeau were recognized with the School of Nursing’s Richard Olding Beard Award during a ceremony on Sept. 15."

Dee Thibodeau Awarded


Bill Torkildson entertained the crowd with a story about a class "party."


I told the story of our senior banquet, which by the way was the last one Marshall had, because of us. Before the banquet, one of our classmates said we should have an after party at his parents cabin on Forest Lake. He told 10 people, who told 10 people, who told 10 people, who then told 10 more people, so about 40 people met at the Dairy Queen in St. Anthony Village to head for Forest Lake. One of the classmates had an old 4 door Buick with a 16 gallon keg of beer in the trunk and the tapper in the back seat , so we started out serving beer floats at the Dairy Queen parking lot. My cousin was just getting off work at the nearby Red Owl store and came over to see what was going on. He told me to go home or he would call my Mother. Luckily there were no cell phones in 1961, so I was safe.

The caravan started up highway 8 towards Forest Lake when our classmate saw the caravan and almost the whole class. He decided not to show us wHere the cabin was, so we just picked a spot and started to party. someone picked a cabin and went in, another started a fire, a little close to the cabin, then the Police arrived. Little did we know we were on a Peninsula and they had the exit blocked. Several of the classmates jumped in the lake to get away; the rest of us were loaded in police cars. A red-headed class mate came out of the lake soaking wet and asked what was going on. We said we are going to jail, so he jumped back in the lake. We got to the Stillwater jail and all lined up against the wall. They took our names and ages then started to put us in cells. When they got to me, a pint of lime vodka fell out of my pants and broke all over the floor. The officer was pissed and told me to clean it up. When I was done all the cells were full except the one with 5 girls all 18, so that’s were I wound up.

Then we had to call our parents to come and get us with an officer listening. When I called my Dad it was 5 in the morning and when he answered, I said, “Dad, I am in jail”. All I heard was “click”. The officer laughed and said if a neighbor would agree to bring me home, I could go home with them. The Marshall High rule was if you missed school the day after the Banquet, you did not graduate.

All of us had to go to court with our parents. In the court room the Judge came to the rail, rested his stomach on it and picked out the smallest kid in the court room to come up to the rail. The Judge then asked him if he knew who bought the beer. Would he tell? He said, “no”. The Judge then asked if he knew who broke into the cabin, again, would he tell? He said, “no”. The judge then asked if he knew who set the fire, would he tell? Of course, he said, “no”. The Judge screamed at the parents, “see what I’m up against”!

We were sentenced to clean up the point, which happened to be a big party spot, so lots of trash to clean up.

We got word that the TV station was going to be there to film us cleaning the point, so we all dressed in disguise, I wore my brothers old Army uniform with a black beard and was smoking a big cigar. I looked like Fidel Castro. One OF our classmates dad was a contractor so we had a big dump truck; I think we hauled at least two full loads of trash off that point.

The following Monday our class was called to the Auditorium, and the school principal told us we were the worst graduating class he had ever had! And, that was the last senior banquet Marshall would ever have!

I don’t think we were the worst, were we?


Bob Koors added to the festivity with his story.

Bob Koors

"During our last High School Reunion Bill Torkildson gave a short overview of the experience some of the 1961 seniors had during that crazy night at Forest Lake, MN. Many seniors list this as one of the most memorable events during their final year at Marshall H.S. Unfortunately, others have no idea what took place and wonder why this is such a “big deal’’ for those who were there. Bob Edgell is coordinating to capture many different perspectives of what took place at Forest Lake. There are many stories, and this is just one. Hopefully Bob can assemble events at Forest Lake and provide chronicles and memories for all of us to share.

Forest Lake – A Recollection – by Bob Koors

During 1961, our senior year of high school at Marshall H.S. we were near graduation and had a lot of pent-up energy. The consensus was we needed a party to celebrate. The problem was to find a location that would suit our needs. Someone discovered that Gerald Hoppe’s parents had a cabin at Forest Lake, MN. As Bill Torkildson accurately stated during the last reunion, ten people told ten people,who then told ten people about the upcoming party.

Soon there were fifteen – twenty cars loaded with Marshall H.S. seniors heading to Forest Lake. There was a Shell service station at the turn from the highway to a small dirt road leading to the cabins at Forest Lake. The owner/operator of the Shell station was staring at all the cars turning on the same small road. We should have realized he would call the police. But when you are seventeen – eighteen years old, you make stupid decisions.

When we arrived at the numerous cabins, we found that Gerald Hoppe was not happy with the size of the crowd. Initially he would not divulge the location of his parents’ cabin. After some pressure and threats from the party goers he pointed to one cabin. It was NOT his parent’s cabin. The crowd became restless when no key to the cabin was produced. Suddenly the lock was broken on the front door and students filled the living room of the cabin. It was so crowded that the decision was made to hold the party outside.

It was a very cold night. We needed a fire. Several seniors assembled a pile of leaves. A gasoline can was discovered next to the cabin. Dave Scavo brought the gas can and doused the pile of leaves. The gasoline was lit and there was a small bonfire explosion. For a brief moment everyone was warm and happy. However, the gas can had been leaking and there was a trickle of fire leading from the pile of leaves back to the original spot of the gas can up next to the cabin. A second explosion took place and now the side of the cabin was on fire. Several of us took off our jackets and were able to douse the fire. The damage was not as extreme as it initially looked, but a few shingles on the cabin were singed.

Just then several police cars arrived and blocked the only road in or out of the cabin area. We were trapped. The police started to interview several students and led them away in police cars. I told Gene Bjerkebek we need to escape. The two of us started running down the dirt road. A police office yelled if we did not stop, he would turn loose his killer dog. Gene said he was not running from a killer dog and gave himself up to the police. Gene later said that the police killer dog turned out to be a small Chihuahua.

I kept running. The police cars were following closely. I jumped into a swamp as the police turned their spotlights over the swamp searching for me. It looked like a scene out of a jailbreak movie. Your mind does weird things during a crisis. I suddenly remembered a scene from the Davy Crockett television series which was popular in 1961. Davy was being chased by Indians and he jumped into a lake, broke a water reed, went under water and breathed air through the reed sticking above the water line. I tried the same technique. I broke the water reed, submerged and tried to suck air through the reed. I started coughing and nearly choked to death as I inhaled debris and insects from the reed. As the police spotlights zeroed in on my location due to noise, I crawled across the swamp to the other side.

I was lost, cold, wet and miserable. I needed to turn myself into the police. I saw a cabin with the porch light on. My intention was to have the owner call the police. As I walked through the yard towards the light, I ran into a barbed wire fence. Now my pants were partially torn, and I had barbed wire embedded in my legs. I pulled the wire from my legs and noticed there was a lot of blood. I still have scars to this day.

As I kept moving toward the cabin to surrender, the real killer dog was waiting for me in the shadows. A large Rottweiler jumped approximately two -three inches from my face. He bared his big teeth and only his staked collar preventing him from killing me. I screamed and ran as fast as possible down the dirt road.

Eventually I made it back to the original cabin and party location only to find everyone had left. I continued walking toward the highway and the Shell service station. Suddenly I saw car headlights behind me. I panicked and jumped into weeds on the side of the road and sunk into mud to my waist. For some reason the car stopped next to me, and I could hear conversation. I had enough as I lost my shoes in the mud. I yelled for help. It was like a miracle when I discovered Dick Musil and Lavern Brockman in the car. They helped me out of the mud and drove me home to Minneapolis.

Some bad stories have good endings. After showering at home, I remembered that there was a pajama party at Diane Stroschein’s house in Saint Anthony Village. I knocked on the door and she let me in. I stayed overnight with several Marshall H.S. female students. This was the first and last time I slept surrounded by five or six beautiful women.

The next day as I walked the halls of Marshall H.S., students were pointing at me and saying, “he is alive!” There was a rumor spreading that I had been shot by police in the swamp. The newspaper headline in the Minneapolis Star & Tribune the next day stated Marshall H.S. students terrorized residents of Forest Lake. The article also mentioned there was underage drinking, breaking and entering, setting fire to cabins and other criminal behavior.

Mr. Walter Chapman, Principal of Marshall H.S., assembled seniors in the school auditorium. He told all of us how embarrassed and ashamed he was of the 1961 Senior Class.

The second good thing about this story is that to my knowledge no Marshall H.S. students were arrested or charged with criminal behavior because of what happened at Forest Lake.

This is a night and odyssey I will never forget. As stated above, my recollection is just one of many stories connected to Forest Lake and that night. Hopefully, Bob Edgell can locate those students that were taken to the Forest Lake police precinct. I am sure they have interesting experiences to share, and I look forward to hearing about them.

Bob Koors


Peter Bleed Misdaventure Story  

I am not sure why or how I got swept up in the misadventure that followed our graduation banquet. I recall neither advice nor counsel from the faculty who were at the event about what we should do next, but I got included largely, I suspect because Keith Johnson had room in his car. I rode in the backseat and I have NO idea if there was a plan or how the great expedition got started. I never was told where we were going, what our plan was, or whose idea it had been. I was a rider in the backseat of Keith’s car and decisions were being made by others. But I DO recall that I had told my father that I would NOT drink anything after the banquet and I maintained that pledge.

I was in the backseat with Bob Henze and others I do not recall. I think Frank Pohl was there. We got swept up in a row of cars that was looking for something or some place. I have no idea who may have been leading this line or what “we” were looking for. After snaking through a bunch of country roads, we turned down a road that required us to reverse course. We did that and were heading out when we met a car going the other direction. As that car got to us, it turned on his gumball machines and stopped us. The cowboy-hatted driver of that car came around to the rider’s side of Keith’s car, shined his flash light into the back seat ofKeith’s car and said, “Gimme that bottle. “At which point Bob Henze passed him an empty pop bottle. “Not that one, this one,”said the copper, reaching down for a Southern Comfort bottle. “Oh, thaaat one,” said Bob in a manner that annoyed the copper who proceeded to pull Bob out of Keith’s car and over to the front seat of the police car. He pushed Bob down into the front seat and said, “You sit right there and don’t move. If you move that dog,” he said pointing to a dog in the back seat of the car, “will bite the back of your head off.”

That experience focused my attention. I had no idea where we were or how to get away so I stayed with the other cars gathered at the spot. There was no one in charge and nothing was being said to me. We were able to get out and walk around, but it was pitch black. I knew I was in trouble, but I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t an adventure. I was quite sure that I had done nothing seriously wrong. And I had no idea where I was or how I could get home if I left, so staying with the group seemed like the best option.

The copper was fairly aggressive, but our group was large and there was lots of just walking around. Bill Parish rather proudly walked around showing us the hand cuff the copper had made him wear.

At some point I was aware that Bob Koors had joined the group and was talking to the copper. Bob had been in one of the other cars and apparently he had just walked away in the field beyond where we were stopped. I may have seen him coming in. I couldn’t hear the full conversation he had with the copper, but I did see the copper directing Bob to join the rest of us. And then I saw Bob turn and head back into the night. Two things happened next, I’m not sure of the order. 1) The copper ran over to his car, opened the rear door. The dog got out and sat down(!) causing the copper to jump up and down, shout, and point toward departing Koors. 2) The copper also took his pistol out and shot – once - in the direction Bob was going. THIS FOCUSSED MY ATTENTION but Bob disappeared in the night and the copper quickly turned his attention back to the rest of us and the stopped cars which he led in a caravan back to the court house. I guess that was in Stillwater.

When we got there the 18 year olds were put in cells, and we 17 year olds were not arrested or anything, but had to wait in the benches of the police office. The 18 year-olds got to make a phone call and had to post $100 bound before they were released. One of the very first arrivals, a fellow whose name escapes me but I think he graduated in 1959 . He walked in, made a pile of $20 bills on the desk and said, “Miss Koch.”

My dad showed up somewhat later since he had to organized bail funds for at least Keith and others. When he got there he didn’t say anything to me, but I was very pleased to see him. He showed the desk officer his Minneapolis police ID and went into an inner office. After a rather long while, he called me and a couple of others he recognized into that office. He sat us on one side facing the local cops. He faced us with his back to the locals and proceeded to call us a series of very harsh names and characterizations. He explained that he was angry and they we had acted very badly. I certainly knew the words and terms he used, but I had never heard my father use them. In fact, I was not aware that he knew them. When he had made his point, he sent all of us back to the main office where we wanted til he came out. When Dad came out, he got Keith sprung and took me and couple of other 17 year old (including I think Bill Holte and Henze) back to Minneapolis. He said two things on that trip. First, at some random point he looked toward me and said, “And don’t drink, Southern Comfort. It’s a nigger drink.” I found this remarkable since 1) Dad didn’t drink at all, and 2) Black people were not something he discussed. Then, as we were getting back to town, I fecklessly said, “I hope they won’t hear about this at school.” At which point Dad looked toward me and said, “Piss in the ocean.”

A couple of follow-up event and recollection deserve presentation. First, when we got to school the next day Koors was there wearing a pair of work blue jeans and the story I got was that after he returned to the darkness, he was discovered by a car looking for survivors. The story I got was that that car was driven by Gordy Millis. Then on the weekend after the tragedy, a whole bunch of us had to go – with parental supervision – out to wherever we had been. There we had to pick up the litter we had created.

Peter Bleed


Edgell Nonadventure at Forest Lake

On this particular evening I was not destined to ride in a caravan to Forest Lake nor visit the inside of a police station. I was sitting in Vern Brockman’s car (borrowed from his sister’s boyfriend) at the three circles drive in watching the congregation of Marshall Seniors assemble for the trek to Forest Lake. Sipping a beer and discussing the possible dangers of joining this obvious suspicious gathering, we weighed the pros and cons of joining or avoiding. We had several bottles of liquor in the trunk destined for the students who had given us money to procure for them the spirits for that evening’s illegal revelry so there was pressure to join the caravan. On the other hand, the 20 or so cars heading north made for a conspicuous target for the police. We cracked open another beer and waited an hour or more.

There was no activity coming from Forest Lake so we decided to drive north and see what was happening. As we approached the area we saw a caravan of escorted autos moving slowly on the road intersecting the road we were traveling and surmised it was the senior class in custody. We pulled to a stop, lights off and waited for this band of busted brothers and sisters to pass. Deciding not to call it a night, we continued on and turned on the road just traveled. Soon a slow moving car came in our direction and we slowed, thinking it might be a straggler who had avoided the dragnet. That was not the case. The passenger in the car was shining a flashlight into the roadside ditch and we saw him throw a long stick with a red cloth attached and concluded that they were looking for bottles of booze jettisoned by the revelers on their way to jail. That was the end of our Forest Lake adventure.

We had a lot of respect for these local constabularies having attended a similar gathering in Shakopee during our sophomore year. At that gathering I was not so lucky. The seniors (I was with my brother Steve and Pat Riordan) had found a spot in a wooded area and circled their cars, leaving the parking lights on. After about an hour (just enough so everyone was feeling good), we were surrounded. Then the caravan to jail! I was called into an office and asked for my parent’s phone number which I readily gave. The officer dialed the number, waited and then said, “Mrs. Edgell, this is the police in Shakopee and your son is in our custody for underage drinking. You need to come here and vouch for him and take him home.” I could hear my mom on the other end of the line say: “I am a single mother with no car. You can keep him.” And she hung up. The officer sat there with the phone in his hand and a dismayed look on his face. Pat Riordan’s dad agreed to be responsible for me and Steve and came to pick us up. We ended the night at White Castle on Central and 4th laughing and enjoying the gut bombs, fries and shakes that Pat’s dad bought for us. The result of this adventure was the suspension from sports for all underclassmen for the following year. Most of the seniors we over 18 years old and had to pay a fine.  




A few of the 'hard core' had an “after party” at the hotel bar which revealed more stories.

Horizontal line

O'hara/Hughes and Swanson/Schmidt

Hughes - Schmidt - Nordlie - Maxwell - Thibodeau -

Marlyn Tork Dee Bob Jack John

Koors and Scavo

Scavo and Koors

Kathy - Sharon -

Karen - Sandy - Tork - Marlyn

Cathy Yore Leona Kruchan

Nordlie and Hughes

Jerome and Spivak

Kent Fredeen - Jack Saari

Drews - Koors

Cathy and Ken Holmstrom

Saari - Larson

Bigbee - Fredeen

Patty and Cathy

NOTE: If you have photographs, a narrative or a special event in your life since the last reunion, email details to Bob at bob@bedgell.com or robertedgell43@gmail.com so we can add it to the memory book located at:


Horizontal line

50th Reunion in 2011

Friday Gathering at Marshall and Dinkytown

Committee Tour

The group then retired to the Libary bar in Dinkytown for some socializing.

H line

Karen and Uhlanders

Bob, Sherry, Kathy, JimBob, Jaqui Bob

The following night was the reunion banquet at the Fort Snelling Officers Club.

Tables were adorned with memorabilia.

Memory Tables Head




Formal photographs of the classmates.

ArbaughBob, Joe and Tom Hughes

DarleneDavid and Keith

Kent Joe Don Sovell



Busteruud YorePlack

Dinner: Walleye or Steak.

After dinner social hour.

This ends our tour of the Marshall High School class of 1961 and their 50th reunion.