Ontonagon Area Scholarship Foundation

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Ontonagon Area School District


GUS and MARGARET ERICKSON were lifelong residents of Rockland, Michigan.  Friends, neighbors, and vacationers spent memorable times with them when they were the owners of Erickson's Grocery Store and Gas Station.  Gus also worked for the Ontonagon County Road Commission and was a foreman for the Fox Valley Construction Company.  Margaret served her community as the Rockland Township Clerk for 20 years and served the children of the Ontonagon Area School community as a dedicated bus driver for 22 years. They raised four children, Carole, Dick, Kathy, and Laurette. 

    Gus and Margaret always supported the educational programs in the local school community and encouraged their own children to reach for their dreams.  Their donation to the Ontonagon Area Scholarship Foundation continues to show the Erickson's unwavering support for the children in our school communities to reach their future educational goals.


ROBERT F. LINDFORS was born in Hancock, Michigan on January 2, 1945.  He graduated valedictorian of the class of 1963 from the Greenland Township High School.  It took Lindfors only 3 1/2 years to graduate from Valpariso University with honors.  For four years, he served as Director of Social Services at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn.  But Lindfors had a wider dream, he completed plans to enter the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.  He was just 26 when he died Labor Day weekend 1971 in a car accident.

    In making the donation to the Scholarship Foundation in her son's memory, Lillian Lindfors said,  "My own parents always stressed the importance of education, I'm sure Bob would be pleased at this decision."


EVELYN (ELLMAN) SALTER was born in Detroit, October 27, 1907.  She received her teaching certificate in 1929 and spent her entire career teaching in the Detroit Public Schools until her retirement in 1968. While teaching in Detroit, she met Allen Salter (an engineer whose roots were in Ontonagon) whom she married in 1933.  The couple acquired a vacation home on the shores of Lake Superior near Green where they spent their summers.   For many years, she operated the Porcupine Mountain Gift Shop out of her beloved lake home.  She carried many beautiful and unique items in her shop including crafts from Beria College in Kentucky, a special needs school that depends entirely on private donations. 

    Evelyn took great pleasure in her summers in Ontonagon, treasuring the natural beauty of the area and her own private lake property.  She wrote beautiful letters and composed poetry; in her writings, Evelyn expressed a deep love of nature and her strong religious faith that brought a special appreciation of her surroundings.  She also loved to entertain; friends knew her to be an excellent cook and gracious hostess.

     It is consistent with her quiet generosity and gentle concern for others that Evelyn Salter bequeathed her estate to organizations involved with education and community service including the Ontonagon Area Scholarship Foundation. 


ERNEST and HELEN TOIVONEN both spent most of their careers as educators in the Ontonagon Area.  Ernie was a classroom teacher and also coached varsity basketball at Mass High School for nine years; then, following the consolidation of schools, continued his teaching and coaching career for an additional twenty years at Ontonagon Area High School.  He retired in 1987.  His untimely death came just one year ago.

     Helen began her career in the business world, then returned to college for a teaching degree.  She then began her new career teaching business education classes at the Ontonagon Area High School for twenty-three years; she retired in 1993.

     The Toivonen's caring efforts and dedication to the youth of our school community have always been very visible to everyone around them.  Throughout their lives as educators, both dedicated many hours to supporting and encouraging young people in extracurricular activities in Mass and Ontonagon. 

     The Toivonen's have been supporters of the Ontonagon Area Scholarship Foundation since its beginnings.   During this past year, Helen contacted the Foundation and presented their donation which will now provide for a scholarship to be given in perpetuity in their names.  Their generous spirit and love for the children of our school community will be remembered for many years into the future through this special gift.


ELIZA KIDD, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. James Kidd (operators of a former hotel in Mass City), was a most active student at the Greenland High School.  The high school yearbooks show her as a pretty and serious young woman.  Her classmates, however, knew her as a "giggler" and a "joiner". 

     In 1917, Eliza played guard on the Greenland Girls' Basketball team which won every game they played.  In addition to her athletic prowess, Eliza loved music.  She was a member of the Greenland High School Chorus and Orchestra, (playing violin). 

    Eliza Kidd entered the field of education, teaching in the Detroit area for many years, but never forgetting her roots in Upper Michigan.  She is remembered by her pupils as an inspiring elementary teacher who shared her love of learning and "joining" with her students.  She relished the opportunities life offered her, and left a little of herself with anyone she met. 

    Eliza directed a portion of her estate to the Ontonagon Area Scholarship Foundation, to provide scholarship opportunities for our graduates.


GLENN THOMAS grew up in Green and attended school in this School District in the 1920's.  The above picture is of a young Glenn Thomas and his wife.  He was a member of the armed services and spent most of his working years as a tool and die maker for a company in the Detroit area.  He retired to the Port Huron area of Michigan.  He often returned to visit the Ontonagon countryside that he loved.     

    He died February, 1991.  He left his entire Estate to establish a Trust, administered by the Ontonagon Area Scholarship Foundation, to provide scholarships for our graduates.


FLORENCE "FLOSSIE" STRONG was a graduate of Ontonagon High School.  She was a devoted wife, a loving and caring mother of 10 children (all OAHS graduates), and worked with her husband Jim, providing nursing assistance in his medical practice in Ontonagon.

    Flossie began a golf career at age 26, and for 30 years, was a driving force in women's golf.   She won five UP golf championships, captured two Great Lakes Senior Championships, and claimed championships on many courses throughout Michigan.   In 1999, she was named to the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.    Strong always found time to share her golfing prowess and was a mentor and teacher to others aspiring to the sport.  She played an important part in giving high school girls a wider range of golf opportunities and, later, mentored some of the young golfers to UP championships.

     The memorial scholarship continues Flossie's tradition to provide young people with opportunities to fulfill their dreams.


HORIZON HOME CARE  has generously established a new scholarship trust within the Ontonagon Area Scholarship Foundation this year.  The donation was presented through Polly Karttunen, President of Horizon Home Care, with acknowledgement to a generous gift from her Grandmother, Myrtle Heinski Wendin, that helped make this new trust possible. 

Horizon Home Care is a recently established home health care business in the Ontonagon community.  In addition to its regular staff, the business offers student mentoring and job shadowing opportunities to students in high school.  

    They proudly add their name to the supporters of the Foundation and are pleased to be able to provide assistance to our local youth as they pursue additional educational goals.



Last modified: 05/13/05