• Gearhart Funeral Home
    Coon Rapids, MN
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Floyd M. Stolt 1933 - 2013

Floyd M. Stolt

Sunday, October 13, 2013
I have had some trouble posting the rest of the "Defining Moments" to the website. If you would like to read the rest, you should be able to contact me through this website and I can send you a copy of the whole thing.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Part 4 of "Defining Moments"

Our first ND winter hit like a sledgehammer. The southern boys couldn't believe that people could actually survive such harsh conditions. We were issued hip length parkas with hoods and no one lingered between buildings on our windy little knob. I spent many evenings at Bev's house playing cards and shooting the breeze with her folks. Her mother Stella was a hard working housewife who had a passion for bowling and playing cards. Her dad was a real piece of work. A transplant from Montana, he was a skilled wood craftsman, hunter and storyteller, a good shot, winning a ND Skeet shooting championship and even running a trap line for mink on the river outside of town. He was an Osteopathic Physician who had attended 4 years of medical school. Unfortunately it was a dying profession, what with chiropractors competing with him after completing a short course. As different as they were from my own more conservative parents, or maybe because of it, I was very comfortable and loved being around them.
Winter finally turned to Spring and Bev and I were still a ‘steady' pair. Early summer brought a huge surprise: ‘Greetings' from Headquarters;
I had been chosen to take a little trip at government expense. I was being reassigned to overseas duty somewhere in the Far East. I was to report to a port of embarkation in California for further assignment. I never found out why I had been chosen and of course there was no appeal. So I drove my newly acquired ‘42 Ford home to NU and prepared it for storage.
After talking it over with my Mom I decided to give Bev an engagement ring before I left. Mom was very relieved that Bev was a confirmed Lutheran; I had been dating a Catholic girl in high school. I was concerned about what my Mother might be feeling about my being assigned to the Far East when there was a war on. She had suffered terribly when my brother Carl had been killed in the SW Pacific during WW II. Whatever she felt, she never let on to me. I think it must be hell to be a mother sometimes.
Back in Minot I said a difficult goodbye to Beverly and the rest of the Kembles and climbed aboard the Empire Builder for the beginning of a journey to who-knows-where. It was a beautiful train ride, through the northern Rockies, alongside the Columbia river in Washington, down the West coast through the Sierras. Another airman and I got off at Pittsburg, Calif. about midnight. After several nights of trying to get some rest in a coach seat, we were desperate to flop on a bed somewhere, anywhere. The last bus to the base was long gone, no Taxi service , what to do? We started walking, lugging our duffel bags. The only thing open was a flophouse with a red light in the window. Did I mention we were desperate? The night clerk gave us the fish eye and asked “one room or two?” We took a double and flopped, only to be treated to endless squeaking of bedsprings and moaning through pasteboard walls. Welcome to Pittsburg!
Again, the world looked considerably brighter the next morning. We caught a military bus to Camp Stoneman and got there just in time for breakfast. ‘Processing' to go overseas involved a lot of waiting, ‘policing' the area, picking up cigarette butts, etc. and checking the bulletin board to see if we had made any of the departure lists. In due time my name appeared. I was bound for Clark Air Force Base on the island of Luzon in the Philippine Islands (P.I.). What could be better after spending a winter in ND? Again I felt guilty about possibly causing my Mom anguish since Carl had been reported Missing while en route to the island of Leyte in the P.I. The good news: I was going to be a long way from the war going on in Korea.
We loaded up on an ancient ferry boat and sailed down an estuary leading to San Francisco Bay where our ship was berthed. The David C. Shanks was one of the hundreds of workhorse ‘Liberty‘ ships that were built during WWII. The Shanks was now operated by the Military Sea Transportation Service, a department of the Navy, and manned by civilian Merchant Marine seaman. Basically a cargo ship that could be configured to haul human cargo by stacking plain canvas bunks floor to ceiling in one or more of the holds. A luxury liner it was not, but it wasn't so bad and under the Golden Gate we went, an unforgettable moment. What lies ahead??
Monday, September 30, 2013
I was Floyd's high school classmate. we were saddened to hear of his death. I spent a good deal of time online looking for a current address and called some numbers but no luck.

Thank you for adding the "Defining Moments" series. I will print and forward them to Richard Grams, another classmate who has been wanting to contact Floyd.

The exempts tell so much aboout the person he became...we were all somewhat unformed in our teens
Friday, September 27, 2013

Floyd and I met as Freshmen in the fall of 1954 at NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY. During our first two years, we studied together and then we split because Floyd went to pursue an "Electrical Engineering" Degree and I went into "Civil Engineering. We both graduated in the Spring of 1958.

Attached is a photo of Floyd and me taken on 5-29-2009 when he came to visit me.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Three years ago the New Ulm High School Class of 1950 held its 50th reunion. Some of us suggested having another in a couple of years, rather than waiting until 2015. We had that intermediate gathering last weekend in New Ulm. We tried to find your address but failed. As it happened, our classmate, Donnald Boelter, died at the reunion, September 20th. You joined him the next day. We miss you both.
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