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The importance of maintaining friendships formed long ago

Have you kept track of some of your high school classmates?Eleven girls from the 1956 Kindred, N.D., High School senior class sure have. They did it by starting a Round Robin in 1965.One of them, Phyllis Folstad, Breckenridge, Minn., compiled a r...

Joan Kruse Schultz (78) and AQHA mare Dancin With Joe (11) won a Super Select ribbon in the Working Hunter class at the 2016 AGHA Select World Show in Amarillo, Texas. Special to The Forum
Joan Kruse Schultz (78) and AQHA mare Dancin With Joe (11) won a Super Select ribbon in the Working Hunter class at the 2016 AGHA Select World Show in Amarillo, Texas. Special to The Forum

Have you kept track of some of your high school classmates?

Eleven girls from the 1956 Kindred, N.D., High School senior class sure have. They did it by starting a Round Robin in 1965.

One of them, Phyllis Folstad, Breckenridge, Minn., compiled a roundup of what happened to those '56 grads and sent it to Neighbors.

"Growing up in a small farming community, your schoolmates become very close," Phyllis writes. "We have fond memories of heading downtown during noon hour to the drug store for treats, socializing every step of the way.

"Our firm friendships were forged in these daily walks and through musical activities such as band, choir and small group singing.

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"Title IX did not exist until the '70s, so we were limited to cheering on the boys in their sporting events."

Then Phyllis gives a report of these 11 classmates:

Mary (Sather) Brainard is a graduate of the University of North Dakota/Valley City. She married Jim Brainard and raised a family three boys and three girls. She taught school for five years, then did clerical work in hospitals until she retired. Music is a favorite hobby, and she has been a member of the Sweet Adelines chorus for 30 years. She now lives in Helena, Mont.

Diane (Erickson) Jordheim worked at the Kindred State Bank. She met Elden Jordheim, who worked in Kindred, married him, and they moved to Warren, Minn., where they lived for 32 years and raised three sons. They retired and moved to Moorhead to be closer to their family.

Betty (Ronning) Swenson, attended North Dakota State University and married Loren Swenson. They moved to the Minneapolis area, to Kansas, to South Dakota and to Colorado, where they lived the longest. After raising their three children, Betty became the office manager of a large church in the Denver area. Now they are retired and living in Naples, Fla. Betty's favorite hobby is playing bridge.

Betty (Lee) Johnson married Lyle Johnson. They and their two daughters lived in the Kindred area for all but a few years in Kansas City. Her "passions," she said, were traveling, gardening and being a fan of the Kindred Viking basketball and volleyball teams.

Yvonne (Perhus) Martin married Rollie Martin. They attended NDSU, then moved to Seattle, where they raised two boys. She contributes her passion for sewing to the "outstanding leadership" in her 4-H club, and she continues to sew quilts for church charities. She is retired from various secretarial positions. She has taught line dancing for the past 10 years.

Arlys (Olson) Trudell and her husband Lyle raised four children. They live in Warren, but have been snowbirds in Phoenix for several years. She worked as a nurse's aide, activities director and as a para-professional at Warren's school. Her hobbies are quilting, painting and yard work.

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Sissel (Braaten) Heckman has lived in LaHabra, Calif., for 55 years, where she has been a junior high school office manager for the past 35 years. Her passion was cycling; she traveled by motorcycle throughout the western United States, Canada, Alaska, Mexico and Europe. She also has enjoyed snow and water skiing and camping with her two sons.

Beverly (Otterson) Sax married Wally Sax in 1959. Because of Wally's naval career, they were stationed in Washington, D.C., Morocco, Spain and Chicago. They raised a daughter and a son. Bev worked in civil service for 30 years, retired in 1993 and now lives in the Minneapolis area.

Gunhild (Turmo) Gross graduated from Concordia College, married and has lived on the East Coast; currently in Maine. She and her husband, who is deceased, enjoyed climbing Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Mount Katahdin in Maine and smaller New England mountains. She has enjoyed seven bike trips in Europe, sung in several choirs and has visited England with a church choir and sung in Westminster Abbey.

Joan (Kruse) Schulz was raised with her twin brother and three sisters on a dairy farm near Kindred. After graduating from high school, she earned a B.A. degree from Hamline University, St. Paul, and a master's degree in education from Macalester College, St. Paul. She had a 38-year career as an English teacher, mostly at Edina (Minn.) High School, where she was inducted into the teaching hall of hall. Her hobby is horseback riding; last year, at age 78, she qualified for and competed in several over the fence jumping events at a show in Amarillo, Texas.

Phyllis (White) Folstad attended Concordia and married Neal Folstad in 1961. They lived in several Red River Valley towns where Neal was school administrator. They now are retired and living in Breckenridge, where they raised their two daughters. Phyllis taught private piano lessons and also taught at the Circle of Nations Native American School in Wahpeton, N.D. She played with the Valley Strings and was church organist for several years, fulfilling her lifetime passion for music. She loves traveling, cruises, golfing and playing cards.

Phyllis concludes her rundown by noting that "through the years we've rejoiced in our friends' and their families' many accomplishments, been inspired by their ideas and travels and shared the pains of their illnesses and spouses' deaths.

"As we grow older," she says, "we see the importance of keeping close friendships with those we have known so long and have bonded even more strongly as life's highs and lows have touched us all."

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 241-5487 or email blind@forumcomm.com .

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Joan Kruse Schultz (78) and AQHA mare Dancin With Joe (11) won a Super Select ribbon in the Working Hunter class at the 2016 AGHA Select World Show in Amarillo, Texas. Special to The Forum
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist

Opinion by Bob Lind
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