The Central Lakes College Foundation announced that Vickie Bahr of Brainerd is the recipient of the Clarence and Ruth Cook Family Scholarship.
Bahr is a single mother who drives more than 60 miles four days per week as a student in the Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance program at Staples.
Making the scholarship possible was a donation according to the wishes of Ruth Cook, who died Dec. 10, 2008 at age 95.
"It was her wish that her children continue to build on the existing endowment fund," Diane Scearcy, executive director of the CLC Foundation, said in a news release.
Clarence Cook, who died in 1981, had taught construction workers during his career as a dragline operator in heavy equipment projects such as the Garrison Dam near Bismarck, the Air Force base in Greenland, the Duluth air base, the Fort Peck Dam in Montana, and the Iron Range rail line from Babbitt to Silver Bay.
"During his years on construction, he taught many young people to be oilers and operators," said Scearcy. "He wanted them to have the opportunities which someone had once given to him."
The scholarship fund was created in 1983 with a $5,000 donation from Ruth Cook.
She graduated from St. Cloud Teachers College and put her career on hold until returning to teaching in 1947 in the Benton County Rural School System. When the family moved to Silver Bay Ruth Cook continued teaching for 20 years with the local school system.
"Ruth and Clarence raised three children and saw that each of them got a college degree," Scearcy said.
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