TODD HALE: Mary Davis to be the only second woman to be inducted into NWHOF-Minn Hall of Fame

Mary Davis (submitted photo)

The old saying goes, “Behind the Success of a Man is a Wonderful Woman.” That saying certainly holds true for our spotlight this week on Mary Davis, wife of former OHS wrestling coach Scot Davis. Mary has been selected for induction to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Minnesota Chapter. She is only the second woman to be named to this prestigious honor. Mary is being selected in the “Contributor” category. She has 43 years of involvement in wrestling, supporting her husband Scot and all the wrestling teams he has coached including many years as head coach of the OHS wrestling program. She has also played a major role in helping with the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Minnesota Chapter banquets since 2004 as well as several other events. She was named “National Coach’s Wife of the Year” by Wrestling USA Magazine in 1999. In 1995 she received Owatonna Wrestling Association’s “Service Award”.

Here is a listing of some other contributions by Mary to the sport of wrestling:

She spent numerous hours helping with tournaments, collecting money, figuring accounts and balancing budgets for the Owatonna Wrestling Association. She served as treasurer for the OWA for several years.

Used her seamstress skills to make a 60 foot by 15-foot banner that hung in the Four Seasons Centre for the annual “Owatonna Open” wrestling tournament that attracted as many as 100 participants.

Mary served as the person parents went to for deposits on uniform rental during the season.

Mary has hosted wrestlers at her home overnight.

Mary collects money at the door at the NWHOF-Minnesota Chapter banquet as well as other banquets. She has worked long hours in setup and teardown for these events.

Mary was nominated for her Hall of Fame induction by Larry Hovden, who was named 2005 NWCA “National Coach of the Year” and long-time junior high wrestling coach, by Mike Bredek, former wrestling coach at Lac Qui Parle Valley-Madison High School/NWHOF-Minnesota Chapter Board of Directors and Spencer Yohe, former wrestling coach at Morris Area and Assistant Coach at Moorhead State University/president of the NWHOF-Minnesota Chapter.

Mary’s husband, former OHS wrestling coach Scot Davis, had this to say about his wife: “Owatonna wrestling would not have been as successful without her “behind the scenes” efforts. Mary went well beyond the efforts of a typical coach’s wife. I certainly would not have accomplished what I have without her help, loyalty and caring grace she shows to everyone she meets and works with.” Mary will remain in Owatonna while her husband is coaching in Utah.

Way to go Vern!

Congratulations to my friend Vern Wilker who was named one of three runners-up for the male outstanding senior citizen at the Minnesota State Fair. County winners were honored at the state fair on August 29.

A career change for Barb Streed

Pastor Barb Streed, who was a former intern at Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna and Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Dodge Center, is leaving her Dodge Center church to join the ELCA Bishop’s office. She told the Steele County Times she accepted the call as a “divine thing”.

Pastor Streed has served Faith Lutheran Church for six years. Prior to entering the ministry Pastor Streed was an English teacher in the Owatonna Public Schools.

Donations needed for SCHS Vintage Sale

Back by popular demand, the Steele County Historical Society will be hosting a Vintage Sale on Saturday, September 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Farm Machinery Building in the Village of Yesteryear. The sale will be held in conjunction with the new History Flip fundraising event which will run that evening.

SCFF is accepting donations of vintage items for the sale. Accepted will be most vintage items such as antiques, dinnerware, furniture and more. They will not accept clothing, books, magazines or record albums. Call the Historical Society at 451-1420 to arrange for pickup or delivery of items.

State School Orphanage Fall Celebration today

The annual 2019 State School Fall Celebration is being held today from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Admission is free but goodwill donations are always appreciated. The Maxine Ronglien Memorial Garden will be dedicated at 2:00 this afternoon. The museum, Cottage 11 and root cellar will also be open. Horse-drawn wagon rides and an outdoor scavenger hunt will also be featured.

Marc Reigel reminisces about rock ‘n roll days

I received an e-mail from OHS grad Marc Reigel regarding my recent column about the Royal Emperors, who will re-unite this November and play for the Owatonna Woman’s Club annual charity event. He reminisced about the days of Owatonna rock ‘n roll. I share those memories with you.

“Rich Northrup, Jack Bohnhoff and I played as the OHS Combo during our junior year, 1961-’62. The next year we added Sandy Allen, Gary Sorenson and Marv Huntington to make it a full-sounding band. I went to Carlton College in 1963 and pulled together a trio: drummer, Ken Ames, a senior, Henry John Lenhoff, a freshman on guitar and me, the piano player. The next school year at Carlton (‘64’65) I pulled together a pretty good band we called the Mark II’s since it had two Marks in it.

“During the summer of 1965 I formed the Night Crawlers, with Mark Headington and me from Carlton and Bill Redeker and Mike Jines from OHS. We added Barry Gillespie in the spring of 1966 and played as a five-member group until 1967 when Mark and I graduated from Carleton. Barry rejoined his previous band, renamed US and played with them until he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1970. By 1972, the local band gigs, sock hops, proms, homecoming dances, armories, teen clubs etc. had faded into black. I think its fair to say that the Golden Age of Owatonna rock & roll bands lasted only 10-12 years and I am glad to this day having been a part of it.”

New Mayo store

There’s a new retail store featuring high-quality medical products opening this Monday at 1100 West Frontage Road, Suite 160. (next to Buffalo Wild Wings) The Mayo Clinic Store will provide a convenient location for patients and consumers who wish to purchase products that help aid in recovery and in daily life. Mail order service is also available. The new retail space will offer a wide variety of solutions for healthier living including CPAP, BIPAP and supplies, compression garments, ostomy supplies, urology supplies, wound care, mobility aids, daily living aids , nebulizers and more.

In addition to these products, the Mayo Clinic Store in Owatonna will provide comfortable, private rooms to accommodate fittings for medical equipment. A full-time respiratory therapist is on staff and is available for consultation.

A public open house is scheduled for Thursday, September 19 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a formal ribbon cutting at 10 a.m.

Red Ball Express is rolling

My good friend, Fuzz Martin always called me about this time. “The Red Ball Express is rolling!” he would say, telling me it was time to publicize the effort for hospitalized vets in Minnesota. I remember Fuzz coming up to my office one day asking me to help him publicize the collection of pheasants in Steele County which would go toward the pheasant dinner for veterans at several veteran’s hospitals. I was happy to get on board and suggested that we do a live report each morning on my radio show on the progress of the pheasant hunt. We would visit each morning at 6:50 a.m., giving an update on the hunt and the numbers of birds turned in. These were the days when birds were collected from counties all around Minnesota and Fuzz was determined to make Steele County number one in the state for number of birds turned in. He accomplished that goal year after year with Steele County hunters turning in hundreds of pheasants resulting in the Steele County numbers the highest in the state. I can well remember the huge pile of pheasants turned in at Ringhofer Meats downtown. They were picked up by Star and Tribune trucks and taken to the Twin Cities for processing.

The birds were processed by the National Tea grocery company. When the company was closed the processing of birds ended. The following years, contributions of money were taken to purchase birds for the veteran’s dinners. Once again, with Fuzz Martin at the helm, Steele County was number one in the state and still is today.


It’s time again…time to get behind the Red Ball Express and support the main fundraiser for the Veteran’s dinner and other efforts for our vets. The annual Pheasants for Hospitalized Veterans Silent and Live Auctions will take place at the VFW back hall on October 5. The Pheasants Auction committee has been working hard to collect donations from businesses locally and nationally as well. For instance, already donated are a couple of gift certificates from John Rich, singer from the country duo “Big and Rich” from his restaurant in Nashville. Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman donated household goods from her kitchenware line and a gift certificate. Some of the donations from around the state include: Mall of Am: Mall of America Nickelodeon passes, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Twins, a voucher for two daily scenic boat tour tickets from Taylor Falls Scenic Boat Tour and much more. Local businesses have also donated items.

All proceeds from the Silent and Live auctions go to approximately 1,850 hospitalized veterans to enjoy a pheasant meal. All dinners are served at 15 different veteran hospitals and homes across the state and are sponsored by the American Legion and the VFW. Funds also support other veteran programs such as Trolling for Troops, Disabled Veterans Deer and Turkey hunts.

The silent auction begins at 5:00 until 6:45 and the live auction starts promptly at 7:00. Local auctioneers donate their time for the Red Ball Express.

The pheasant dinners as well as other entities to benefit hospitalized veterans began in 1941 by Ed Shave and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. From almost the beginning, the Steele County effort spearheaded by our own Fuzz Martin was a leader in the state. I’m sure he will be looking down over the activities in Owatonna. With his familiar chuckle he will say, “Steele County will be number one again.”

The library, a calming and friendly place

In this past Sunday’s Star Tribune, a columnist wrote about the relaxing atmosphere in the Minneapolis library for all who visit. I find that true at our Owatonna Public Library. It’s one of the places where I enjoy stopping frequently to pick up books for Mary and me. I enjoy the quiet atmosphere and the friendly greeting I receive from the always-friendly staff who are willing to help in selection or checking out of material. I appreciate the fact that when a new book comes in that the staff knows is one of my favorite authors, they automatically call and inform me that I have a book waiting, a favor started by Dave Lubahn who has now retired. (I miss him and his friendly smile of greeting.) I even use the library stairs to re-assure myself that my pacemaker is working as it should. Everyone makes me feel welcome as I walk by the check-out area. It makes me realize how fortunate we are to have this size library in our town. A salute to the loyal staff at our Owatonna Public Library.

Firefighter of Year announced

The 2019 Firefighter of the Year has been selected. He is Willie Grubish. He will be honored at the Firefighter Recognition Banquet, sponsored by the Exchange Club, on Thursday, October 10 at 6:00 p.m.


You are invited to Pontoppidan Lutheran Church for their ice cream social September 22, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Porkburgers, sloppy Joes and plenty of pie and ice cream.

In my column about the downtown State Theater, I should mention that Steve Garmann was an assistant manager at the theater for nearly 30 years!

There are still openings for the Historical Society’s bus tour to Winona on October 11. The escorted trip will include a sightseeing cruise on the Mississippi and visiting area museums and historic sites. Bus leaves at 8:00 a.m. Call the Historical Society to reserve a spot at 451-1420.

Joke of the week

Two hours into my first day of work as a Wal-Mart greeter, an ugly woman came in with her two kids. I said, “Good morning, welcome to Wal-Mart. Nice kids, are they twins?” The woman answered, “Hell, they ain’t twins, the oldest is nine and the other one’s seven. Why would you think they’re twins? Are you blind or stupid?” I replied, “I’m not blind or stupid. I just couldn’t believe someone slept with you twice and thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart.” My supervisor said I probably wasn’t cut out for this kind of work!

Todd Hale can be reched at or write him at 632 14th St. S.E. Phone contact is 507-456-7304.

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