Tofte, Molly (Henderson)
(1899 - 1980)
When Molly Tofte taught in her old classroom at King Edward School, it marked an auspicious return. There she had passed Grade 7, her third time through.
Years earlier, Molly came with her family from Wisconsin to the Duhamel district, in 1913. Coming from south of the border, the regulations required her to repeat the school year.
But in her second year of Grade 7, Molly's teacher failed to cover the curriculum. The entire class was held back and Molly faced Grade 7 for the third time. She vowed she would have a classroom of her own one day and she would be the teacher, a good one.
Within 5 years Molly completed Normal School at Camrose and began teaching. Some of the schools were: Meeting Creek, Bawlf, Bashaw, and Wang. She moved to Wetaskiwin where she taught at Alexandra School and later became the principal of King Edward Junior High. Her colleagues said she bloomed when she entered her classroom. During her teaching career in Wetaskiwin, she owned a new 1929 Whippet, a small yet swift car. She took girlfriends with her on several trips to Banff and even over the Rockies to attend summer teaching seminars in Victoria. B.C. Few men were brave enough for a journey such as that in those days.
Later she became engaged to Harold Tofte continuing to teach until their marriage on July 7, 1934. At that time married women could not teach school ending Molly’s career for a few years.
After raising three daughters with her husband Harold Tofte, she returned to the classroom at Lakedell School, teaching until her retirement in 1968. Sadly, Harold Tofte passed away on June 24, 1966 while attending to his cattle. Molly continued her interest in students in retirement; she tutored anyone who required it.
She loved to travel and those who were privileged to travel with her found her an interesting and enthusiastic companion. She returned to her birthplace of Merrill, Wisconsin in 1977 and was thrilled to see the beloved maple trees she remembered from her childhood.
The family remember her fondly as a wonderful, generous and gracious lady who was an inspiration to each member to strive for success in whatever field they chose. "We were all proud of her especially when we met and still meet former pupils who spoke well of her" Molly Tofte was nearly 81 yrs old when she passed away on September 20, 1980.