This picture was downloaded from the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame website with this little blurb.
1949 McLaughlin HS grad. 1953 Huron College grad. He coached Huron High's basketball team to an unbeaten season in 1958. He became a coach at Rapid City Central in 1962. In 1969, he became Rapid City Stevens' first activities director, a position he held until his death in 1977 at age 45. In eight seasons as basketball coach at Huron and Rapid City, his teams were 195-62. At Huron, he was an NAIA Little All-American in football in 1952, and he also was a standout in basketball. He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1966.
Obviously, athletics were an important part of his life. The story goes that he was drafted by the NFL in the 60s but decided he could make more money as a teacher!!
At the time of his death, he was the high school principal at Stevens High School in Rapid City, South Dakota. In his honor, the town renamed the gym after him. This is my son in front of his grandfather's gym.
I have scrapbooks of letters from people honoring and remembering him. Some came decades after his death, with people just wanting to let us know what a profound impact he had had on their lives. He was a sincere and very caring man and had an impact on all who knew him.
My memories are of small moments - yet they are vivid memories. We spent a lot of time out in the Black Hills of South Dakota - long hikes and camping. I have raised my children in the same way. I remember his booming laugh. He had an amazing ability to laugh at himself. I remember one time we were hiking with my grandmother and we got to a stream that was a little too big to jump across. My dad found an old log and struggled for a long time to drag it to the stream. He propped it up and let it go to fall across to give us a footbridge, but when it dropped the entire log shattered. He sat down on the ground and laughed until he cried.
His love of the outdoors is why when Taylored Expressions wanted to do a tribute to our fathers, I went right for the stunning Birch Tree dies. Although there wasn't a deer looking at us as my father sat and laughed at himself, the feel of this card represents my memories - beautiful, peaceful, and a little misty.