Our Founder

Bill van Druten is a retired psychiatrist.  He founded Lake Superior Freethinkers in 1997 in response to an attempt by the Roman Catholic Church to take over a second Duluth hospital.  The church intended to put religious-based restrictions on medical care at all their hospitals, even for persons of other religions or no religion.


Jim Lyttle looks after electronic messaging for Lake Superior Freethinkers and serves as the Chair of the Planning Committee.  His university degrees are from Canada where he was a traveling entertainer in his twenties.  Later, he came to America as a university professor until retiring in 2016.


Linda Crumpton moved to Duluth after retiring from her work with the Cloquet Public Library and the Carlton and Cloquet School Districts.  She currently spends her time exploring local trails and playing Celtic music with the group Rigadoo in local pubs.  She is a longtime skeptic, and is particularly interested in supporting the constitutional principle of church/state separation.


Charles Gessert, MD, MPH was a Senior Research Scientist in the Essentia Institute of Rural Health until retiring in 2013.  He investigated end-of-life decision-making, the use of feeding tubes in advanced dementia, and understanding the normal lifespan.  He is currently active in teaching, local community action, and advocacy for health care reform.


Don Fraser is a Duluth graphic designer who is responsible for our popular newsletter.

Social Director

Sue Anderson was married to a Weather Service worker at age 17.  She raised four children with him and looked after the house at Sunset Lake until 2009, twenty years after he had passed away.  Then she moved to downtown Duluth.  Today, she is a very active socialite who arranges our third Wednesday dinner socials each month.

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