Sunday, March 9, 2014
Bob and I graduated from high school together in 1965. At the time of our graduation, the school was known as Mary T. Hill High School, and it was an all boys Catholic High School. In 1971, it merged with the all-girls Catholic school (called Archbishop Murray) about a mile to the east, and the name of the school was changed to Hill-Murray.
A short time after the merger with Archbishop Murray, the building was sold to a local school district. In 1982, it was sold, once again, to Bob and Sandy Kreischer, who founded a college prep school called Mounds Park Academy. The former Mary T. High School, located at 2051 Larpenteur Avenue East in Maplewood, can still be viewed on Google maps, both in satellite view, as well as in street view.
I still get the quarterly newsletter (Hill-Murray Today) from my old high school. When the Winter 2014 edition came in the mail a few days ago, I thought of Bob, because he was listed on the “In Memoriam” page at the back of the publication.
Bob was a very active guy in high school. When I dug out my 1965 yearbook from a tote in our backyard shed, I discovered that he had managed to get his picture in that particular yearbook no less than 8 times. In addition to playing on the football team all 4 years, he was on the honor roll in his freshman year, a class officer his first three years at the school, a member of the Lettermen’s Club his last 2 years, a member of the Rogues Club his senior year, and a member of the Student Council his senior year.
After high school, Bob and I worked together for a period of time at the Montgomery Ward store on University Avenue in St. Paul. The snack bar at the catalog dock where we both worked was operated by 2 cute young girls, a gorgeous blonde named Cheryl, and an attractive and fun loving brunette named Marge. Bob’s friendship with Marge continued long after they both left Wards, and they got married in 1978.
Like me, Bob is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and he ultimately earned Masters Degrees in both Journalism and Agricultural and Applied Economics. After college, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Upon his return to the United States, he went to work for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which he retired from in 2012.
Like most of us, he had gotten a bit grayer over the years, and he also had considerably less hair than he had in high school. His most recent picture can be seen in the obituary posted below:
Bob was far from the first Hill classmate of mine to pass on, since a few of our fellow classmates were sent to Vietnam shortly after high school. Bob would have been 67 years old on March 21, an age that (to me) still seems to be pretty young. His passing is a reminder, once again, that life is short, so it’s important to live life to its fullest while we have the chance.
Rest in peace, Bob.