Theodore “Ted” Kjolhede: Born on April 12, 1923 in Spencer, Iowa, Ted was the son of Axel and Botilda Kjolhede, first generation Danish immigrants. He grew up in Grant, Michigan, and graduated from Grant High School in 1941. After attending Central Michigan College, now University (CMU), for two years, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II, earning the rank of Sargent. After the war, he returned to CMU to complete his degree in Biology. While at CMU he proved to be an accomplished athlete in several sports, notably basketball. He served as captain of the CMU basketball team, 1946-1947.
Following commencement, Ted taught and coached at Grand Haven High School, 1948-1953, and at Battle Creek Central High School, 1953-1955.
Ted returned to CMU in 1956 as a faculty member in the Physical Education Department and as head basketball coach, a position in which he served for many years. From 1973 until his retirement in 1984, Ted served as CMU’s Athletic Director. He was a member of the Athletic Coach Administration, 1941-1984, CMU basketball coach, 1956-1971, and was named national coach of the year in 1966. He loved CMU sports and continued to attend games until shortly before his demise.
On December 21, 1947, Ted married Ginger Larson with whom he had four sons, Chris, Theodore, Robert, James, and a daughter, Lucinda. He also served as a father figure to many basketball players, foreign students, and others.
He was an active member of the Mount Pleasant community, participating in the First United Methodist Church in a variety of roles. He was an active Rotarian, a founding member of the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy, helped establish local recycling, and supported the Audubon Society.
Ted died on February 24, 2008 in Mount Pleasant. A memorial service was held at the First United Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant. (This information is from the collection.)
Marion Kraft Larson: Marion Kraft Larson was born on July 9, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, the daughter of Erick and Alexandra Larson, Swedish immigrants. She was delivered by Dr. C. E. Hemingway, the father of Ernest Hemingway. Marion grew up and attended elementary and high school in Oak Park, Illinois, with Ernest and Marcelline Hemingway. After they graduated from Oak Park and River Forest Township High School in 1917, Marion attended Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas. She was supposed to graduate with the class of 1922 but was three credits short. Although she attended commencement, she was required to return her diploma to the university. By 1925, Marion married N.T. Larson, a clerk, and moved to Wamego, Kansas. Together they had three daughters, including Ginger. In 1972 encouraged by her college roommate, Mrs. Lucille Gossett to attend their 50th college reunion, Marion confessed that she had not officially graduated. Lucille then encouraged Marion to contact the college and see if they would grant her the three credits in exchange for writing a paper about her memories of Ernest Hemingway and family in the context of great American writers. Marion successfully completed the paper and received her original degree, which had been housed in the school vault since 1922. Her achievement, 50 years late, was hailed in the Kansas newspapers. Marion Kraft Larson died in July 1997.