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Bob Lind, Published March 03 2012

Neighbors: 74 years later, Shanley grad still shines

They got together last fall, these graduates of Shanley High School in Fargo, and shared their memories.

But this was no ordinary reunion. This was only for those who had graduated at least 50 years earlier.

At the head of the class, so to speak, was Carole Kvamme of Moorhead, who had more years as a graduate than anyone else. She had graduated in 1937, 74 years earlier.

Carole is the oldest of three generations to attend the school: her daughter also attended, and she has three great-grandchildren attending now. Only the third generation missed out.

Christmas baby

Carole turned 92 last Dec. 24. Yes, she was a Christmas Carole.

She was born in Illinois, but her family moved to a Kindred, N.D., farm when she was a child. Her father, L.R. Lepird, owned shoe stores and ran a bonanza farm; he was one of the first farmers in the area to mechanize.

The family also lived in Fargo and West Fargo for a time. That’s when Carole and her older sister Betty attended Sacred Heart Academy, which later was renamed Shanley.

Betty attended Sacred Heart Elementary School, then went back to Kindred and graduated from high school there in 1935. But Carole stayed at Sacred Heart, where she boarded during her last two years because when she lived at home the poor kid almost froze her hands and feet waiting for the city bus to take her to school each winter.

Carole and Betty’s younger brother Jack graduated from Sacred Heart in 1939. He died during World War II in Great Britain when his oxygen mask malfunctioned during a flight training mission.

Jack died July 24, 1943. Exactly 22 years later, on July 24, 1965, his niece Jackie, who was named for him, was married.

But let’s back up to Carole and Betty, who married brothers Fred and Ralph Kvamme, respectively.

Carole and Fred had eight children. One was Jackie, who graduated from Shanley in 1961.

The children of Jackie and her husband, John Cox, Fargo, include Paula, who is married to Dave Ekman and lives in Fargo. But Paula lived in Wahpeton, N.D., when her parents lived there, so she didn’t attend Shanley.

But Paula and Dave’s three children do. They are Paris (class of ’13), Davis (’16) and Peyton (’18).

No sports

Carole has stories galore about her early days in North Dakota.

She attended a one-room school in Warren, N.D., through eighth grade, then went to high school in Kindred.

The family lived on the farm then, but rented a room in town to make it easier for the kids to get to school, as she says was common in those days.

But when the family moved to West Fargo in 1935, after Betty graduated, Carole transferred to Sacred Heart.

All of the teachers there were nuns, there were no sports and yearbooks weren’t published until 1938, after she graduated.

About 30 were in her graduation class.

Carole attended St. Catherine’s College, St. Paul, and the North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State) before marrying in 1941.

Her husband, who worked for more than 30 years for Berg Motors of Fargo-Moorhead, died in 2002.

Several other members of Carole’s family attended Sacred Heart/Shanley, which has a long history.

The first graduating class at Sacred Heart was in 1897, the last in 1950. The first graduating class for the school since being named Shanley was 1951.

And now Carole, one of Sacred Heart’s graduates, is the great-grandmother of three present Shanley students.


If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it

to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com