David Lundeen was the Junior Class president and graduated as valedictorian in 1950 from Fergus Falls High School. He served as editor of the school newspaper, The Otter, during his junior and senior years. He then attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1954. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1957, David was admitted to practice law in Minnesota and several U.S. Courts, including the Supreme Court. From 1957-1960, David was a First Lieutenant in the Army Reserves where he led two top-secret courier missions to Berlin. After completing his tour of duty, he remained in the Minnesota Reserves for 3 more years, achieving the rank of Captain. David began his legal career with the Field, Arveson and Donoho law firm in 1960, becoming a senior partner in 1984. He began his solo practice in 1993, specializing in estate planning and tax law. During his 57-year legal career, he was involved with several legal organizations, was appointed to serve on many committees and was recognized for his outstanding work. David was instrumental in establishing the Fergus Falls Community College (now M-State Fergus Falls) and created the Fergus Area College Foundation, serving on the board of directors for 27 years. He also served as a founding member of the Fergus Falls 544 Education Foundation from 2000-2014. Through the Lundeen Foundation, which he established and chaired, David advanced community support for local organizations, including Pioneer Care, the Public Library, the Fergus Falls YMCA and many others. David was also the longest active member of the Noon Rotary Club, served on the Board of Deacons and Elders at Federated Church and was an active member of the Lake Alice Preservation Committee. David and his wife, Mary, have three children and two grandchildren. He enjoyed classical music and opera, art, traveling, gardening, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing and hunting. He was a familiar figure around Lake Alice, commuting to and from work on his Raleigh three-speed bicycle.
Phil Arneson graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1958 and from Carleton College in 1962. He completed a PhD in plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin in 1967 and took a job with the research division at the United Fruit Company (UFCo) in La Lima, Honduras. When UFCo closed its research division in 1970, he was hired by the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University where he taught plant disease control, integrated pest management and tropical agriculture. The two-semester tropical agriculture course included taking students on a two-week tour of agriculture in Honduras, visiting small, subsistence farms to large multinational export farms. Phil also managed a cooperative program between Cornell University and the US Agency for International Development that involved creating a joint master’s degree program between Cornell and Zamorano University in Honduras. In 2002, Phil took advantage of a retirement stimulus package and moved to Honduras. He volunteered at Zamorano University for four years before moving to a small farm in El Ocotal where his wife, Sarah, shares her nurse practitioner skills as a volunteer in a rural clinic and Phil dabbles in rural community development. They live in a small adobe house they have modified to keep out the vectors of Chagas disease, malaria, dengue and other insect-borne diseases, and as a demonstration of how one can live comfortably with a small ecological footprint. Phil and Sarah have many visitors and have given many tours of their place, which the Zamorano students have dubbed “la casa ecológica.” They agree they can look back on the last 20 years as the most rewarding of their careers.
Kids, Kids, Kids, Kids! 1000’s of kids over my 46 years in education. Kennedy, Grand Forks Red River, Warren and finally Fergus Falls. Health, physical education, careers and Spanish were the classes I taught. Coaching basketball and softball in Fergus Falls also were perks I enjoyed, but the relationships were what mattered. I loved the underdogs! The Otters gave me the opportunity to become a Dean of Students and Activities Director. Being able to work with musicians, athletes, coaches and directors was a dream come true. Gerald Fortier, my first Spanish teacher, gave me the motto that I used my entire career: “Be on time, work your butt off and be nice to people!” I was so fortunate to end my career in Otter Land!
Since the year 2000, there have only been two Out-State Teams that have won a Minnesota Boys Class A Swimming & Diving Title; the Otters are one of the two. The other team was Sauk Rapids-Rice in 2004. In that span of 23 years, St. Thomas Academy has won 13 titles and Breck/Blake 8 titles. The Otter win combined individual excellence and team scoring. Senior Mike Hurley led the Otters, capturing two individual State titles: the 200 YD Individual Medley and the 100 YD Freestyle, scoring 40 individual points. But this was also an extraordinary team victory. The Otters scored 88 points in relays: 2nd in the 200 Medley Relay, 7th in the 200 Free Relay and 4th in the 400 Free Relay. They also scored points in 5 of the 9 individual events: 31 points in the 200 YD Individual Medley, 28 points in the 100 YD Butterfly, 34 points in the 100 YD Freestyle, 17 points in the 100 YD Breaststroke and 7 points in Diving. The State Title was literally won by hundredths of a second. One example was the Otter 200 YD Freestyle Relay which qualified 8th in Prelims by two hundredths of a second over St. Thomas Academy, which then qualified 9th. The Otters swam 1:31:01 and St. Thomas Academy swam 1:31:03! Then in the finals, this Otter Relay Team moved up one place to 7th and scored two additional points, out-touching Richfield by .12 seconds. Each swimmer in the relay performed three hundredths of a second faster, if divided among 4. This shows how close winning and losing is! This is just one example of the many close races the Otters had in the prelims and finals to contribute to this historic event. In closing, how do you win a State Swim and Dive Title? You need the following: dedicated talent, collaborative coaching, community support and many blessings.
Dominic Jones, Kyle Beske, Nathan Langston, Kyle Rust, Joe Kitzman, Matthew Jacobson, Cal Mouritsen, Andrew Sterger, Zach Haus, Keeghan Hurley, Michael Aasness, Clay Danielson, Captain Erik Money, Captain Mike Hurley, Captain Jacob Fisher, Coach Tom Uvaas, Coach Brad Childs, Coach Mike Hartwell and Al Pendergrass.