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.


June Carter is a Career Counselor at City of Duluth Workforce Development, where she has worked since 1998. She holds a degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and is an active participant in the social life of the city. She describes her beliefs as spiritual but not religious. She is the senior officer of Lake Superior Freethinkers.


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 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, along with taking care of all our finances. He likes to remind us that “freethinking is not free.”


Don Fraser attended both the University of Minnesota Duluth and the State University of Minnesota at Moorhead studying Art, History, and Graphic Design, After serving in the 7th Fleet of the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Intrepid, he spent two decades as Senior Graphic Designer with Advanstar Communications in the Duluth area. He is a freelance graphic artist who produces our popular newsletter along with keeping all of our records in order.

Social Director

Sue Anderson was married to a Weather Service worker at age 17. She raised four children and looked after their house at Sunset Lake until 2009 – twenty years after his death. Then she moved to downtown Duluth. Today, she is a very active socialite seen at concerts and performances around town. She arranges and hosts our third Wednesday dinner socials each month.


Jim Lyttle is a full-time graduate student and “Heather’s dad.” Born and raised in Canada, he traveled across the country in a showband, designed lighting for dozens of theatrical productions in Toronto, then went back to school to become a university professor until retiring in 2016. Besides participating in Minnesota Mensa, the Duluth Charter Commission, the Clan Little Society, and academic research groups he operates our website, sends out email messages, and hosts our monthly First Sunday Meetings.