From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Spring 2015

Readers Remember Shelly

My deepest sympathies on the loss of Shelly Fling [Winter 2015]. Thank you for your wonderful article honoring her. I share your pain. I lost my wife, Lynne Sater (B.A. ’87), to bile duct cancer three years ago. I have been intending to write to Minnesota about Lynne because I’m so very proud of her and she loved her time at the University of Minnesota. She also died when she was 49 years old. She was a Hal Leonard choral composer whose creation, “Blazing Star,” is sung by choirs during the Christmas season. She was a proud Gopher who was first an award-winning reporter for KARE TV and WESH TV in Orlando before becoming an incredible mother of three daughters. Lynne also served in education for several years, discovering her gift with children and music in her later years. It’s important to honor those we lose as a way of processing our grief and because we must celebrate life while we have it.

Terry Sater (B.A. ’83) Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

I was heartbroken to read of Shelly’s death. I was so hoping she would beat the cancer—and, needless to say, 49 is entirely too young. I respected what she did with Minnesota and enjoyed seeing her at our Big Ten and national editors’ conferences. We’d call each other or email from time to time, to talk shop or to commiserate about some job-related frustration that no longer matters in the scheme of things. She was a sweet, gentle, funny person and a fine colleague. I miss her.

Tina Hay, editor The Penn Stater State College, Pennsylvania

I was saddened to read of the death of Shelly Fling. I only knew her through the Editor’s Note, but I always appreciated what she wrote. I noticed that she had been editor a fairly long time in comparison to other magazines. I always thought that she must really like her job and that whoever oversaw her must have held her in high regard. My sympathies to her family and to the Alumni Association staff.

Colleen Gengler (B.S. ’73) Iona, Minnesota

You captured all that talent, compassion, humor, dedication, and editorial prowess that was Shelly. Would that each of us have such a commentary on the beauty of who we were and the contribution we made. Shelly deserved nothing less, but without you too many wouldn’t know who she was and what she did.

Mary Small (B.A. ’75) Bloomington, Minnesota

I’ve been catching up on reading this weekend and came across your Editor’s Note on Shelly. I never met her, though we did exchange emails a few years ago about magazine matters. Your column gave me and I’m sure many other readers a heartfelt glimpse of Shelly and what she meant to you and the magazine. I’m sorry for your loss. May your own words comfort you: “Shelly isn’t finished yet.”

Robert Mendelson, executive editor Carnegie Mellon Today Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Thank you so much for your loving remembrance of dear, dear [sister-in-law] Shelly in all her humanity and wondrous complexity. And thank you for reminding me of Shelly’s wisdom. A loss of a loved one can be a “chain” but Shelly would counsel to shake it off because our work isn’t finished. As her brother Steve eulogized her: “Words . . . words and sisters . . . words and Shelly. What does one say when there are no words? We try.”

Lee Sheehy (J.D. ’77) Minneapolis

Your editor’s column was a terrific tribute to Shelly and her passion for Minnesota and the U.

Margaret Sughrue Carlson (Ph.D. ’83) Minnetonka, Minnesota (Note: The writer was executive director of the Alumni Association for 25 years)


In the Winter 2015 issue, Marie Johnson (M.S. ’99, Ph.D. ’04) should have been included in the list of alumni Minnesota Cup winners for AUM Cardiovascular, Biosciences Division and Grand Prize winner, 2011. We neglected to name Mary Kosir (M.A. ’00) as an alumna and cofounder of the company WholeMe. The editors regret the errors.

Submit a letter to UMNAlumnimag@umn.edu or write a Letter to the Editor, Minnesota Magazine, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. SE, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Letters should be fewer than 300 words and may be edited for style, length, and clarity. The number of letters published on one subject may be limited. Priority will be given to timely letters that directly relate to the content of the magazine. Publication of letters from one letter-writer will be limited in frequency

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