9/2/2009 – News
Volume 126, Number 31
Muthiahs move to Oregon for more retirement
Editor’s note: This article, which appeared in the Saturday, August 8 issue of The Bismarck Tribune, concerns Lionel and Marion Muthiah. While living in New Rockford he served the Methodist parish in Sheyenne.
By KAREN HERZOG
Lionel Muthiah’s first experience of North Dakota was in 1958 and it was a shock. Muthiah, a native of lushly tropical Malaya, met his future in-laws and experienced a middle-of-the-December-night flat tire southwest of Mandan all at once.
Muthiah had met Marion Unkenholz of Mandan in Nashville, Tenn. in 1957, where he was studying on a Crusade Scholarship of the Methodist Church and enrolled at Peabody Teachers’ College. Unkenholz was there studying to become a missionary nurse to what was then the Belgian Congo. When he traveled to Brookings, SD for a wedding, Marion suggested he go on to Mandan and meet her parents.
In those days, there was passenger train service through Mandan and when Muthiah got off at 3 a.m., he met Grant and Isabelle Unkenholz for the first time. On the way to their farm, the car had a flat tire. When Muthiah got out to help change it, he was met by the sight of 4 feet of snow on either side of the road.
The next day, as Muthiah recalls it, he got another shock at his first daylight sight of the miles and miles of prairie — no mountains, no tropical vegetation. "There is no way I will live in North Dakota," he said to himself. And he didn’t for quite a few years: He and Marion were married in 1959 and, as a United Methodist pastoral couple, lived and traveled and served parishes all over the world.
Through the years, when they returned to the US, they always came back to North Dakota, he said, even serving parishes in both North Dakota and South Dakota.
When Muthiah retired in 1992, the couple returned to Bismarck-Mandan.
A couple of months after they moved to Mandan, Marion told her husband she was surprised he decided he wanted to stay in North Dakota: She expected he would have wanted to live somewhere warmer.
"No," he told her, "I have no desire whatsoever to leave North Dakota. I love the people." He loves the trust level here, he said, the slower pace of life and the clean environment.
Over the years since they "retired" to Bismarck-Mandan, the Muthiahs have been extremely active in the community, involved with groups such as the YMCA, the Kiwanis, McCabe United Methodist Church and the statewide effort to establish a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
The couple are original founding members of the International Club, formed in 1993 to bring people and cultures together. Lionel Muthiah has been a board member of the Bismarck YMCA and served as a leader in the Kiwanis and the United Way, which in 2008 presented Muthiah with the Lifetime of Caring Award for his leadership, the North Dakota Conference of Churches and many more boards and organizations.
But, as Muthiah said, the couple has had to face the realities of aging and had to make a decision to move to be closer to one of their four children, who all live out of state.
In mid-August, they will move to Newberg, Ore. Muthiah said he and Marion are grateful to the community for their acceptance of their service on all the boards and committees of groups throughout the years.
Recently their children, in cooperation with the YMCA, planted a hackberry tree in honor of the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary on the west side of the facility.
"Though we are leaving," Muthiah said, "we hope to return occasionally to visit and when the final call comes, we shall become a part of the prairies in the cemetery next to the rural United Methodist church where we were married."
Marion and Rev. Lionel Muthiah stand in front of their residence in Mandan prior to moving to Oregon. Rev. Muthiah served the Methodist Church in Sheyenne during his years as a pastor.
Bank donates to Leeds pool
Kelly Fischer, left, senior vice president of United Community Bank of ND presents a donation check to Rick Darling of the Leeds Park District in the amount of $10,000. The money will be used to help pay for necessary repairs that were made to the Leeds Swimming Pool. United Community Bank of ND has locations at Leeds, Minot, Burlington and Drake.
Tough start for Benson County Wildcats, but lots of season left to play
Sunshine, calm winds, mild temperatures and the smell of grilled brats and burgers made Saturday, Aug. 29 a perfect day for the Benson County Wildcats season opener against Lakota-A-E (Adams-Edmore).
And even though a win would’ve capped off the evening quite nicely, the new co-op consisting of players from Leeds, Maddock and Minnewaukan didn’t totally embarrass themselves.
The visiting team received the ball first. Stopping the kick return deep in Raiders territory, Benson County kept the pressure on, forcing a punt. JD Schmid returned the ball 65 yards for the first score of the game. The Wildcats tried a two point conversion, but were stopped just short of the goal line.
Their first offensive series halfway through the first quarter quickly brought them within 10 yards of another touchdown, but penalties and miscues allowed Lakota-A-E to get the ball back on downs. The rest of the scoring was done by the Raiders at the field in Leeds.
An overall look at the game does hold positives for the new co-op.
Teamwork was evident, as was unity among team members. The Wildcats also made the opposition earn every yard and threw in a few scares when Seth Kuchar, Lakota-A-E’s senior quarterback, was almost intercepted.
Lakota-A-E did possess an uncanny ability to read plays, especially after they settled down and got to business. Fans of the Wildcats would love instant success and the players are working hard to provide it. They’ll be watching game tape and learning from their mistakes, then turn their focus on the Friday matchup in Cando with fellow Region 4 contenders, North Star.
Here are the stats for Saturday’s game:
BC 6 0 0 0 6
Lakota-A-E 0 24 8 8 40
BC: Schmid 65 punt return; run failed.
LAE: Jordan Kuchar 5 yard run; run good.
LAE: Tate Aronson 3 yard run; run good.
LAE: Jacob Haman 31 yard pass from S. Kuchar; J. Kuchar run.
LAE: S. Kuchar 2 yard run; S. Kuchar run.
LAE: Rick Hamel 1 yard run; S. Kuchar run.
A quick look at other 9-man football action for Region 4 teams last week:
North Star 21, North Border 8
Tri-Co. 32, Wilton-Wing 22
Wells Co. 36, NR-Sheyenne 20
St. John 34, Westhope-N-G 8
TGU 46, MLS 22.
The opening kickoff return for Lakota-A-E didn’t go very well. Matt Knudson grabbed onto the receiver and an unidentified Wildcats player helped stop forward momentum.
Quarterback Brad Nelsen hands off to Schmid who is in the crosshairs of a Raider lineman. Lauinger (No. 2) isn’t able to cut back in time to take out two defenders.
Drew Lauinger comes around to follow his blockers, left to right, JD Schmid, Matt Knudson and Jacob Cline. Mitch Olson is holding a Raider at bay, while Jason Smith will soon see the defense racing from the back side to prevent Schmid from scoring.
It was well into the third quarter before the guys in white were able to get to their end zone again.
Ladies night out
At the Farmers Union Ladies Night Out at the Opera House in New Rockford on August 8 Ann Slater of Maddock (center) was serenaded by Kevin Cartwright (left) and Anthony Peterson. Ann was a good sport and there were a lot of laughs.