Meeting with the coach's wife
Fair Oaks folks were kept busy this week with church on Sunday. Men's nails and bowling on Monday, and that ever-lovin' game of bingo on Tuesday along with a chapel service and music that afternoon and evening. Wednesday brought ball games, a sing-along with Nancy, and Immanuel Lutheran Communion that afternoon. On Thursday ladies had their nails done in the forenoon and baking that afternoon. On Friday jillions of eggs were colored to be found by children in the park. We congratulate Elinore Wiskow on her retirement as well as being chosen "Caregiver of the Year."
This week it was my pleasure to visit with Donna Conzemius, our first coach's wife to be interviewed. Having such erratic schedules, they have to be special people.
Donna was born in Thief River Falls. She met John Conzemius when they were both students at Moorhead State College. They were married and moved to Wadena in 1951. They have three children.
John was the football and track coach as well as taught history. He also served as assistant principal. Those following years were memorable ones for both John and his teams, winning three conference championships. John retired in 1986.
John did not bring his coaching problems home. Each game was recorded, then thrown in a big picture at some time during the week for family to especially enjoy and discuss. If that makes you think they didn't attend the games, whoa! The Conzemius family warmed places on the bleachers while John beat a path on the football field.
Donna taught second grade in Fargo and Aggeus. She also taught art in the sixth and seventh grades in Wadena school for seven years. She found filling classes to be no problem. Children enjoy making things with their hands. She has drawn in all mediums, finding the acrylics to be most versatile.
Life for the Conzemius family has been at a pace too interested and occupied to have an urge to travel beyond the confines of the U.S.A.
We discussed which country seemed to have the best artists, deciding it was Italy. Local artists Donna enjoys are Rose Edin and Joan Hutson.
One of the attributes a young coach's wife needs is how to fill hours alone while he, the coach, hones a batch of healthy, happy, active teenagers into a thinking skilled team who can win.
She, the coach's wife, has to plan everything down to the last detail, yet smile the while she scratches it off the board when a swift change of game plans takes over, wouldn't you know it?
The flip side is that when her man, the coach, strikes pay-dirt, she gets to ride along on the glory train. John, being a winning coach, Donna has had a satisfying number of times like that.
I have sincerely enjoyed my time spent with John and Donna Conzemius. You have no idea how much I will miss doing these little stories about the finest people on the planet, right here in Wadena.
Recovering after a fall, Donna will soon be back in her painting room, where she can paint pictures of those flowers she's been talking about.