SHARRATT, Donald, 76, of Tucson, AZ, passed on February 1, 2009. Survived by his wife, Bonny; siblings, Darvin Sharratt and Sandra Gilje; sons, Eric (Donna) and Keith; four grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, 13 nieces/ nephews, scores of cousins. Proudly served in USAF for ten years as aircraft mechanic, supply sergeant, military police; flew in 16 combat missions. Lifetime member of the VFW. In private sector employed by the railroad and the mines. Self-employed in heating and cooling repair. Master mechanic in all forms of transportation. Famous for his story-telling, jokes and keen memory; loved for the sunshine and joie de vivre he brought to all he met, family, friends and strangers alike. Memorial donations may be made to any charity that benefits veterans, eg ;
Memorial Service Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Avalon Chapel, 8090 N. Northern Ave., Tucson, AZ 85704.
Question from Bonnie Awalt Houle (56):
Gary a question to all of the Country School Kids: Didn’t some of the schools have what was called summer school, where they went to school from March through the summer until Thanksgiving. This being done to avoid having students trudging to school during those harsh winter months? Being one of the town kids I only remember hearing about it, In town we always went from September to June.
Bonnie Awalt Houle
Bonnie, I can answer this because I’m one of those who attended summer school. I’m hoping some of the many country school folks we have on our distribution list will answer your question as well.
The last year of summer school at Ackworth was in 1953. I was a first grader. Charlotte Lang was our teacher. I remember that school year well. As I remember the summer school year was only 8 months, March through November. And yes, I believe they had summer school to avoid students having to attend school in the winter months. I’ll bet Tom Hagen and a few others can tell us a whole lot about those summer schools. I know we have a lot of Ackworth, Willow Lake, Lockhart, Wetherelt and I think other country school summer school folks among us too. Gary
From Vickie Metcalfe (70):
For whom it may concern:
Regarding the Randa’s; Beverly (Randa) Boucher lives here
in Bottineau. She works mornings until noon at Bottineau St.
Andrews Hospital Long Term as a CNA. To my mother Lottie Metcalfe,
Bev was a positive, hardworking, efficient, smiling care giver with
an amazingly contagious laugh. Bev is originally from Saint John ND.
She told me she grew up in a large family in the Saint John and her
siblings are scattered throughout the USA.
Regarding Templeman’s;. My mother, Lottie had a recipe for
Mrs. Templemans Cake, that she got from Annie Anthony years ago. My
sister Cyndy (Metcalfe) Miller, ” our family pastry chef” is the
keeper of mom’s recipes.
Regarding “Rabbit City Lake” ; located on the North Side of
Hill Side Township. As the crow flies, located 3 miles from the
Cliff and Lottie Metcalfe home farm in Holmes township. The Rabbit
City Lake area -community was surrounded by families including
Metcalfe’s, Evans, Anthonys, Bergans, Poitra’ also neighboring
families of Belgardes, the Cota’s, the Morins, Scotch Annie, and
Lajimodieres. The depression era was tough on many farmers and in
the late 30’s many ended up selling their farms to the federal
government and became non-reservation Federal Land. Grandpa Bill
Metcalfe died in July,1935, my dad just turned 12 years old. Grandma
Rose moved into Dunseith with her younger children. My fathers legal
guardian was Louis Bergan.
As a child, dad often drove me to Rabbit City many times in
the old black ’52 chevy truck and told stores of his childhood on
the lake. His stories were filled with Ward Anthony, Clayton Bergan,
Neighbors, HillSide School, and his dear family. As a kid, we went
in from the south. However,when Uncle Jim Metcalfe purchased land
in the area close by the old Metcalfe farm site, a better traveled
dirt road came in on the north side of Rabbit City Lake. One winter,
in the early ’70’s, the fish were biting in Rabbit City Lake as well.
And lots of area folks, including my dad and my brothers caught their
limits…every day. Mom did lots of pickleing fish….
“Indian Creek” runs south of Rabbit City Lake. Adjacent
is “N____r Lake” , located on the west side of Rabbit City Lake.
Moving from Maza ND, Grandpa Bill Metcalfe bought the Metcalfe farm
from a “Black squatter”, hense the name “N____Lake”. On a late sunny
afternoon, Sunday June 31, after the the Metcalfe 1980 Reunion.
Shan drove “Old Yellar” dad’s old gold Chevy to the William and Rose
Metcalfe building site. In the front of the pickup with Shan were my
dad ( who was blind), his sisters well into their 80’s, Bessie
(Metcalfe) Jeans, and Bertha (Metcalfe)Deal . Riding in the box ,
with me were Uncle Lucky Metcalfe, Auntie Leona (Metcalfe)Oswell,
cousins Dianne (Maki) Reed and Barbara Straub, along with others.
It was an emotionally- remembrance uplifting story telling
experience for the older generation. On the way home, Uncle Lucky
told me stories that his father had told him as we bumped along the
During the 80’s and 90’s I often rode horseback with nieces
and nephews to that site and as we’d eat the picnic lunch packed in
the saddle bag I told them stories of their Grandpa Cliff. I wanted
them to have the sense of identity, with Scots, English, French &
Indian. In the early 1990’s, our family was blessed again when we
learned of the existence of another cousin, Mick ( son of Archie).
Mick came to meet his Metcalfe family and his father’s
friend,Carroll Carlson. We decided to take Mick and his wife Betty
to Rabbit City Lake where my Uncle Archie ( Mick’s dad) had also
grown up. Those years the creek had come up quite high and we
couldn’t get to the building site. Shanon borrowed a boat from Dick
Johnson. and we four wheeled down to the Metcalfe homeplace. Shan
hopped out and started to pull the boat out. Immediately, Mick
jumped out and started to help him. Well the boat had a hole in it.
Shan’s eyes and mine met when, slick as a whistle, Mick pulled out
his jack knife cut a willow plug and plugged that hole. Shan and I
nodded our silent nods, in agreement…. this blue eyed solid guy
with a Metcalfe neck, also truly had a Metcalfe personality, down to
earth, and common farm sense. Another day of fond remembrance as
Mick, Shan and Betty paddled the boat over to the house site while I
, “Chicken Little”, that I am cause I can’t swim….longingly
wished I was on that other side with them.
Blessed be stories that tie us all together. Thanks. Vickie Metcalfe
Reply from Dick Johnson (68):
Gary and Friends,
To Dave Slyter—Grandpa Henry Olson died a little over two years after
the picture was taken. He was just 56 at the time in 1959 and died of
what I believe was pneumonia. Your Dad probably came into the
partnership with Glen Johnson after that. As for the Saturday bowling
leagues for kids, I sure do remember that. Do you remember that Dad (Don
Johnson) was the instructor? He got certified by the ABC (American
Bowling Congress) and taught lots of kids to bowl. Somewhere here I
still have a small belt buckle he had that has the logo for ABC. I think
he got it for his efforts in teaching the sport. Can any of our readers
remember when a bunch of Dunseith folks were in Minot to bowl on TV? The
show was live and was called ‘Bowling For Dollars’. I spent many
Saturday and Sunday afternoons all over the state watching Dad and his
buddies bowl in tournaments. They did real well and got several trophies
and cash prizes. Back to the kids league–I saw Terry Martinson bowl a
203 one Saturday when he was in about the 7th grade. The rest of us were
trying hard to hit a hundred, so were dumb founded! Thanks Gary!
Message/Picture from Rod Hiatt (69):
Brian Fauske had this Pine Martin at his house on Long Lake. All the
years living in this part of the country and I had never heard of such
an animal let alone seen one. Thought it might be interesting if anyone
else had seen or heard much about them in the Turtle Mountains. I’m
sure that back some years ago, if my Dad had seen it we could take
pictures of it hanging on the wall.