Kristina Jorgenson Ahlrichs

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Kristina Jorgenson, a green little small-town girl from Scranton, came to the Iowa State College campus the fall of 1946. World War II was over and the campus was filled with thousands of veterans, serious students who were competitive in the classroom. As a freshman, she daringly would study in her clothes closet with the aid of a flashlight, breaking the dorm rule that lights were to be out and all freshmen were to be in bed by 10 p.m. As a sophomore - as a counselor in Roberts Hall - with her roommate and lifetime friend Ruth Peterson Barker (F & N '50), she tried to enforce the same rule. "Oh we're the girls you've heard of from Roberts Hall. We study hard and make our grades but that isn't all. Oh No! No! We work and play together united one and all. For we're the girls those FRESHMAN GIRLS from Roberts Hall." This official Roberts Hall song was a great marching tune as the girls hiked to their meals in Birch Hall. Their dining tables were covered with white linen and they had waiter service. Table manners were important.

Kristina graduated from Iowa State College in December 1950 with a major in Home Economics Education and taught Home Economics in Correctionville until June of 1952. On June 19, 1952, she married James Lloyd Ahlrichs, an Ag. Education major from Palmer that she had met at a meeting of the Lutheran Student Association. They were married at Ames. The Korean War was on. Their first home was in Enterprise, Alabama, where he was stationed at Camp Rucker. Theirs was a furnished apartment with eleven different floral prints used in decorating the combined living room and bed room. They shared a bathroom with the landlord's family. Using the G.I Bill, they returned to Ames where they lived in a Quonset hut in Pammel Court and Jim received a Masters Degree in Agronomy. Their son John Sigurd was born in Ames. They moved to West Lafayette Indiana and Purdue University for Jim's doctorate in soil science. Their children Karl and Kristi were born when Jim was there in graduate school. Daughter Gretchen was born in Lafayette after Jim completed his studies. Jim remained at Purdue as a professor in the Department of Agronomy.

Kristina and Jim were charter members of Our Saviour Lutheran Church and remained active members all their lives. Purdue appreciated Jim's abilities and West Lafayette was a good place to raise a family. Kristina never worked (for pay) outside the home and felt challenged and rewarded by raising the children and being her husband's helpmate. She entertained hundreds of students and international departmental guests on his behalf. Her favorite volunteer service was to be a Girl Scout troop leader. Jim took advantage of Purdue's generous sabbatical leave policy. The family lived in Aberdeen, Scotland; Madrid, Spain; Aberystwyth, Wales; and College Station, Texas while Jim worked in agricultural research labs.

In the early 1980's, Purdue's International programs in agriculture sent them to a small agricultural college in Vila Real Portugal where Jim worked as a USAID advisor for two years. Living in a rural area without a telephone, Kristina had to draw upon her own resources. Fortunately she was accepted by the gentle people who farmed the surrounding land. Upon their return home, Kristina took classes in speed quilting and gained much pleasure from working with fabric.

Jim retired from Purdue in 1990 freeing, them to visit their children in Alaska, Washington, Minnesota and Indiana. Kristina has accompanied Jim as he has worked as a consultant in Turkey, Mexico and Hungary. They frequently come to Ames to visit Kristina's 96-year-old mother, Grace McCleary Jorgenson Popejoy, who is a resident of Green Hills. Kristina says "Mine continues to be an exciting and rewarding life. Iowa State University was a major catalyst in making it possible. It was at Iowa State that Jim discovered me. While writing these words I realize more than ever that I cannot separate my life from his yet I have maintained my own identity."