By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — After 18 years, 2018 marks the final year for Lind Family Foundation scholarships being awarded to Colfax High School seniors.
Carol Lind Meyer presented three Lind Family Foundation scholarships at the Colfax High School Senior Awards Ceremony May 2 at Colfax High School to Emily Evenson, Mikaela Leibfried and RyAnna Martinson.
“My sister, Wanda, started this scholarship after my dad passed away in 2000, for Hjalmer Lind. Dad definitely believed in education. He went to school, back then it was called teachers’ college, in Eau Claire, training people to be teachers and principals,” she said.
“But equally, or even more importantly, Dad believed in caring for his family, for his neighbors, for his church, for his community. And that became a big part of my sister’s basic (criteria) for this scholarship,” Meyer said.
“The applicant had to want to go on to school but also had to care for others. Obviously it was going to be in Colfax because all of four of us siblings graduated from Colfax and both of our parents graduated from Colfax — and all of their siblings graduated from Colfax. So that was a no-brainer,” she said.
“My dad was a bus driver for 22 years. And Dad felt a huge responsibility. He felt like he was an extension of the family. It was his job to care for those children while they were in his (care) to and from school,” Meyer said.
“Parents weren’t always aware of what my dad encountered. He felt very much part of the family, and he was almost always invited to the graduation parties for his kids. Having bus drivers look through the applications and be part of choosing the recipients was a big part of my sister’s need, so these were all the basics for the scholarship,” she said.
“Sadly, Wanda passed away. She was killed in a car accident before she got it off the ground. Then it became the Lind Family Scholarship. Mom and I picked up the baton and ran with it. It’s been a good run. It’s been a great run — 18 years,” Meyer said.
“Sadly this is our last year. Mom has chosen to not continue. That’s really hard for us. But it’s been a great experience. I come from the (Twin) Cities every year to be a part of this. It is just thrilling to see the kids — I shouldn’t call you kids — young adults and what you have achieved so far. It’s mind boggling to think of where you are going to be in the future,” she said.
“As long as this is going to be our last one, I asked to present, instead of the bus drivers, so I could say some thank yous,” Meyer said, adding that she was grateful to Amy Bowe, Colfax High School guidance counselor, for coordinating with the bus drivers, the students and the Lind family.
The bus drivers also have “done their due diligence every year in picking awesome recipients,” Meyer said.
As for the teachers and staff, “these young adults are so prepared for the future, more than I was,” she said.
Regarding parents and community, “I think we all know education does not happen within any four walls alone. It has to happen in the family and out in the community, too, and I’ve seen it year after year,” Meyer said.
“This year’s recipients are Emily Evenson, Mikaela Leibfried and RyAnna Martinson,” Meyer announced.
According to Hjalmer Lind’s obituary published in the January 12, 2000, Colfax Messenger, Hjalmer graduated from Frazier School and Colfax High School as valedictorian in 1934. He attended Eau Claire Teachers College for two years.
Hjalmer married Gladys Otilia Jenson April 30, 1949, at Colfax Lutheran Church.
For most of his life, Hjalmer was a farmer and retired in 1976. He was manager and bookkeeper of the Albertville pickle station for 32 years, was Howard town clerk for 24 years, and was constable for many years. He was a bus driver for the Colfax school district for 22 years.
At Colfax Lutheran Church, Hjalmer served in many capacities, including the pastor call committee, usher, greeter, deacon, Sunday school teacher, and on the board of education.
Hjalmer also was a member and officer of the Farmers Union and a member of Sons of Norway Loven Lodge 29, Eau Claire, for several years.
In addition to Carol and Wanda, the Lind family siblings include Gregory Lind and Jane Lind.
Wanda “Buffy” (Lind) Kamrath died October 11, 2001, at the Hennepin County Medical Center after being injured in an automobile accident.