2009 Alumni Awards

2009 Alumni Awards

Lavonne Cedergren Johnson and Alton Berg
Lavonne Cedergren Johnson and Alton Berg
Pastor Marvin Palmquist and Dale Westlund
Pastor Marvin Palmquist and Dale Westlund

Outstanding Graduate Award was given to Pastor Marvin Palmquist (Class of 1938)

It was during my last two years of high school at Taylors Falls that I began to dream of becoming a Lutheran pastor.

The Lord had touched my life at camp that summer and I returned to school in the fall with a new vision and goal. I began to study as I had never done before, trying to make up for what I had neglected in the past. I was reminded by one teacher, however, who had learned of my goal, that I didn’t know how to spell, my grammar was atrocious and that college and seminary were way beyond my grasp! Fortunately I didn’t believe her, and vowed to prove her wrong!

For the next seven years (seminary was shortened one year because of the war) I carried a full academic load and worked nights and weekends to pay the bills. I was ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacraments of the Augustana Lutheran church on June 10th, 1945.

The first eleven years of my ministry were spend in East Africa, followed by four parishes in the states, Brooklyn, Hastings, Minneapolis and Watertown. During this time I was able to pursue post graduate studies at various seminaries and universities and gained additional degrees in Theology and Pastoral Care. In 1987 I was privileged to receive an honorary Doctorate from the Christian Church of Pakistan.

I retired in 2002, but continue my ministry in this retirement community.

A most sincere thank you to Taylors Falls High School for helping lay a firm foundation for a full and satisfying life.

Outstanding Staff/Faculty Award was given to E. Holger Moberg (Class of 1935)

“E. Holger Moberg taught at Taylors Falls from the 1943-44 school year until he retired in the spring of 1980. His entire 38 year teaching career was at Taylors Falls. Mr. Moberg taught at one time or another a large variety of classes including typing although he could not type. He had an emergency teaching license during the war that allowed him to teach any high school subject. It was not his intention to teach after he graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1943 with a major in Greek. A teacher had just been drafted and he was asked to take his place. Mr. Moberg enjoyed directing the high school choir during his first 15 years at Taylors Falls. He is best remembered as a passionate and effective math teacher who made sure that every student in the class “got it”. Even after he retired he continued to tutor math students. Mr. Moberg graduated from Taylors Falls High school in 1935. He was the top student in his class.”

Outstanding Citizen Award was given to Alton Berg (Class of 1935)

Alton Berg has served his country and community in many different ways over the years. Some of these accomplishments are:

  • WWII Veteran.
  • Taylors Falls City Clerk.
  • Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Teacher, Church
    Choir, Deacon along with serving on many committees at First
    Evangelical Lutheran church in Taylors Falls.
  • Board member and treasurer of the St Croix Valley Memorial
  • Board of Directors of the St Croix Valley Health Care Foundation –
    he made the initial contribution to provide funds for scholarships
    and new medical equipment.
  • Member of the Taylors Falls School Board (As a School Board
    member and on his 25th year of graduation he was able to present
    a diploma to his oldest son Brian).
  • Supporter of the Taylors Falls Foundation.
  • Member of the Taylors Falls Historical Society and is a supporter of the Old Town House School restoration.
  • Deeded the family homestead in Taylors Falls to the Good
    Samaritan Society with the intent of building assisted living units on the acreage.

Extra Curricular Award for the Years 1915-1952 was given to Dale Westlund (Class of 1948)

Some of the activities Dale participated in while attending Taylors Falls High School were six man football, softball (Taylors Falls did not have baseball then), Choir, and his main sport of Basketball. Dale feels that they were cheated in losing to Pine City to go to the Regional finals. Most of the Pine City team left school and returned after World War II to again play basketball. They were in their twenties and had played service ball while they were gone. Jerry Vitalis remembers the Pine City team with their beards and mustaches looking like the House of David. The story goes they hung one on the night before the regional, thus the reason they missed State in 1948.

Extra Curricular Award for the Years 1915-1952 was given to Lavonne Cedergren Johnson (Class of 1961)

LaVonne was in every activity there was for girls in high school – her most memorable extra curricular activity was band with Mr. Heller. There had never been a flute player in Taylors Falls, so Mr. Heller assigned her the flute, which she came to love. Her daughter and granddaughter both played this same flute during their high school years also. She also played the piano in high school and continues to play piano for her church and personal pleasure.

Lavonne’s most memorable leader in high school was Charlotte Herberg the school secretary, who was fantastic. She was kind, considerate and helpful to everyone she was in contact with. LaVonne has used these same skills in her receptionist career at Cambridge clinic for the past 35 years. Dr. Paul Carlson wrote a few words to describe LaVonne: attention to detail, confidential, competent, dependable, loyal, mature, muli-tasker, organized, professional, responsible, respectful of others, self starter, sense of humor, sensible, trustworthy, very caring. I’ve been fortunate to have had an employee and friend like LaVonne these past years.

One accomplishment LaVonne is proud of is the organization of the church services at the Almelund Threshing, nineteen years ago and many many charitable contributions to her communinty.

LaVonne is married to Keith Johnson, raised two children, and enjoys their seven grandchildren.