Education Foundation announces distinguished alumni

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, September 10, 2011

Following are bios on three of the six recipients. The remaining three bios will be published Sunday, Sept. 18. The alumni will be recognized at the Pathways to Success banquet on Sept. 29 at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club by the Education Foundation of Albert Lea and Albert Lea Area Schools.

Tickets are $35 per person and reservations are needed. Reservations may be made by mailing a check to the Education Foundation of Albert Lea, PO Box 828, Albert Lea, MN 56007. Questions should be directed to Lilah Aas, president of the foundation’s board of directors.

Ralph Olson

Ralph was born Feb. 8, 1934, at Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea to Truman and Marie Olson. He attended elementary school at Northside School and Abbott School, attended Central Junior High School and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1952.

Ralph Olson

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He worked after school and summers at various businesses from the age of 15 until his graduation, when he began working full time at Skinner-Chamberlain Department Store. In October of 1953, he began what would be a 45-year career at Interstate Power Company. His first position was a trainee draftsman. He was to hold several positions of increasing responsibility during his career with Interstate including engineering clerk, assistant gas superintendant and then superintendant of Natural Gas Operations for the Albert Lea District in 1964. During this time he enlisted in the local US Army Reserve and served until he was honorably discharged in 1957.

In 1989, Ralph was promoted to assistant district manager of the Albert Lea District of Interstate, and in 1993, he was named district manager. In 1996, Interstate merged with two other utilities and formed Alliant Utilities. Ralph was named Director of Customer Service for the newly-formed company, a position he held until his retirement in 1998.

In 1957, he married Marilyn J. Okland, and they had three daughters, Susan (Timothy) Madson, Sarah, (Christopher) Allen, and Rachel (Rev. Karl) Hermanson.

Ralph was active in community affairs including the Albert Lea Jaycees who presented him with the Distinguished Service Award; Albert Lea Toastmasters Club; Albert Lea Lions Club where he served as secretary; he chaired to organizing committee for the Junior Achievement organization and was program director for the first years; the Albert Lea Chamber of Commerce, where he served on the board of directors; served on the board of the Freeborn County Historical Society; Jobs Inc., which was to become Greater Jobs Inc. He was elected president of the Jobs board and led the organization in attracting several new industries and the expansion of other existing businesses; he served on the board of directors of Norwest Bank (later to become Wells Fargo Bank). He was elected to the school board of District 241 in 1975 for two terms, and served as chairman of the board for two years.

In 1984 he was asked to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Naeve Health Care Foundation. He served as a director and as president in 1988 until 2006. He also was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Naeve Health Care Association (Naeve Hospital et al) and served until the merger with Mayo Health System and the Albert Lea Clinic. He continued as a trustee of the new medical center board, serving as secretary for three years.

Ralph was an active member of Our Savior’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where he taught Sunday School, led the Luther League, and held several offices including trustee, deacon, treasurer and president. He represented the Congregation at several conventions of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and served on the Synod’s Board of Trustees.

Ralph and Marilyn enjoyed traveling together and made three trips to Europe, visiting the homelands of their ancestors in Norway, Denmark, Germany and Holland. They contacted family in Norway and Denmark. They researched and published family genealogies of their four families dating back to the 1500s in some cases.

Following his retirement, Ralph became a director of the Education Foundation of Albert Lea, and was later elected president. The Foundation became very active under his leadership and now has assets of over $600,000 which it manages to benefit students of Albert Lea Area Schools. He retired from the board in 2011.

Ralph is proud of the community which he has called home all his life, grateful for the love and support of his wife and daughters, and appreciative of Interstate Power Company for the opportunities it gave him to grow and advance in his career.

James P. Brill

James P. Brill was born July 18, 1938, in Hennepin County, the younger of two sons of Leonard J (Larry) and Mary (Hansen) Brill. They moved to Albert Lea when James was 3. Jim was an active high school student, participating in Spanish Club, Drama Club, Thespians, tennis, intramural basketball, intramural football, Ahlahasa, Tiger, Quill and Scroll, National Honor Society, Rotarian Representative, and Prom Committee Chairman.

James Brill

After graduating from Albert Lea High School in 1956, Brill enrolled in the University of Minnesota. He received his BS degree in engineering there in 1962. He earned his Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966.

Brill joined the Petroleum Engineering faculty at the University of Tulsa in 1966 and founded the Fluid Flow Projects in 1973 and the Paraffin Deposition Projects research consortia in 1994. He is currently serving as a consultant to those consortia. He served the University of Tulsa until 2001, and though becoming Professor Emeritus, still remains a Research Professor there to this day. Known for his vigorous teaching style and love of students, he was selected by the Tulsa University Alumni Association as “Mr. Homecoming” in 1995 and the Centennial Commencement speaker in 1997. He was one of the key figures who elevated petroleum engineering at the University of Tulsa to international stature. For these contributions and for the international reputation he earned for the University of Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma, he was in 2007 inducted into the Higher Education Hall of Fame.

He has served as a consultant to many oil and gas companies on multiphase flow in pipes and taught related short courses in 15 countries. He has authored over 100 publications, many appearing in Society of Petroleum Engineers Journals and co-authored the SPE Monograph Multiphase Flow in Wells. A Google search of the Internet gleans many citations for James P. Brill, among them links to his books. One is Two-phase Flow in Pipes and another is his Ph.D. Dissertation, The Analytical Description of Liquid Slug Flow in Small-Diameter Vertical Conduits.

Brill has been named a Distinguished Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. In 2009 Brill was named an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers “for outstanding technical contributions in well production engineering, especially multi-phase flow and for over four decades of service to the SPE and many other professional organizations.” He previously received the SPE Production Engineering Award, Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty, John Franklin Carll Award, DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal, ASME Fellow, was named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and was inducted into the United States National Academy of Engineering.

He married Marilyn Joyce Will on Sept. 5, 1959, in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Myrtle. Marilyn is the daughter of Arthur H. Will and Thelma S. Nelson. The Brills have three children: Lori, Todd and Tami and eight grandchildren.

James Tuberty

James Thomas Tuberty was born on July 14, 1925, in Albert Lea. He was the firstborn of three children of parents James and Beulah (Espey) Tuberty, both of whom were also Albert Lea High School graduates. He left high school after his junior year in 1943 to enlist in the Navy and served in World War II. After returning home from the war, he finished high school, graduating in the class of 1946.

James Tuberty

Then he entered the Army through a program titled Circular 330, which provided for a direct commission. He was sent to Fort Benning, Ga., to attend the infantry Special Associate Basic Course on Jan. 1, 1949. Upon completion, he was sent to Japan, assigned to the Second Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment of the First Cavalry Division at Camp McGill. He spent a year serving in the Korean War.

Upon return from the Korean War, he was assigned to the 10th Infantry Division. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College later to return there as a member of the faculty; he also graduated from the U.S. Army War College. He was graduated from the University of Omaha.

After two tours of duty in Europe, he was transferred to the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment and senior advisor to the 18th ARVN Division while in Vietnam.

Before he left for Vietnam, he moved his family from the East Coast back to Albert Lea as he had fond memories of Albert Lea and wanted his family in a safe place. His daughter, Virginia, was a new student here as a senior and graduated in the class of 1970.

He finished his military career stationed in Germany assigned to the 1st Armored Division as 2nd Brigade commander. He then went on to be Asst. Chief of Staff of 7th Corp. and was promoted to Brigadier General. He was assigned as Asst. Division Commander of the 3rd Armored Division in Giessen, Germany.

His military service saw him decorated for heroism and valor in three wars. For his courageous and meritorious service he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, The Legion of Merit with One Oak Leaf Cluster and a Bronze Star Medal with Valor. He received several other distinguished service awards spanning his career.

Upon retirement from the US Army on July 1, 1975, he assumed a senior role with the Public Service Company of New Hampshire, assigned to the Seabrook Power station.

In 1948 he had married his wife Beverly (Erickson) Tuberty. They were married 61 years. They had two daughters, Virginia and Yvonne, both grown with families of their own, including four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Brigadier General James T. Tuberty lost his eight month battle with cancer on Aug. 28, 2009, at home with his family.