Jack was born on March 4, 1947 to Andy Anderson in Valley City, ND. At the age of about 3 months Jack was adopted by Ethel and Arthur Stronstad. After being raised as an only child, finding his biological family later in life was an especially wonderful blessing for Jack. Jack was a 1965 graduate of Fargo Central High School. Jack excelled in athletics. He attended NDSU where he was the starting center on the 1968 NDSU championship football team. Jack accepted his first teaching and coaching position in Grafton, ND. It was while in Grafton he met and married the love of his life, his wife of 45 years, Kathryn Maxwell. Jack loved his chosen career of education and his heart was full of wonderful memories of special students, co-workers, and athletes. He had a great passion for every student and player that he had the opportunity to interact with. Jack taught and coached in Grafton, ND, Carpio, ND, Bottineau, ND, and Larimore, ND. Jack was a life- long learner and had 3 advanced degrees from UND. Jack’s first principal position was in Blooming Prairie, MN. He also served as a high school principal in Hudson, IA, Kewaunee, WI, Glencoe/ Silver Lake MN, and Mahnomen, MN. Jack finished his educational career by being a substitute teacher in Crookston, MN.In January of 1994 Jack was the recipient of a kidney/pancreas transplant at the University of Minnesota Hospitals. This gift of life allowed Jack to have many more years with his family. Being a transplant patient also meant that Jack dealt with many medical challenges. He always stubbornly fought off the various illnesses and hospitalizations. It was another battle with sepsis that took Jack’s life. Jack’s greatest joy in life was being a husband, father and grandfather.
I wrote this song a few years ago when I saw a plaque on the wall of a gift shop at the Denver Airport. I was asked to sing it at the funeral.