AJ Myhre is a fifth family tree generation Minneota graduate
When AJ Myhre was handed his diploma on Friday evening at K.P. Kompelien Field, it made him a fifth generation graduate of Minneota High School from his family tree.
AJ's father, Jason Myhre, graduated from Minneota High School in 1993; his grandfather, Jim Myhre, graduated here in 1972; and his great-grandfather, Jim DeCock, graduated in 1953. All were in attendance at AJ's reception on Sunday at the American Legion building.
DeCock's late mother, Lillian Haugejorde, also graduated from Minneota High School in 1931 in a class of 25 seniors.
"I didn't even know that," said AJ with a wide smile when informed he was a fifth generation family tree graduate.
Graduation ceremonies have certainly changed over the generations.
"When I graduated, we didn't have a party or anything," said DeCock with a laugh. "After my graduation, I walked home, made a big bowl of popcorn and listened to the radio."
Today, some families are marking the event with big celebrations, big meals and even fireworks.
"We graduated in the old school, which was two years before the new school was built," said DeCock, who was one of only 36 in his graduating class. "It was a couple of blocks east of downtown. We had the ceremony in the gym that we called the 'Sheep Shed' because that's what it looked and felt like. It was an add-on to the school and it was so small."
Jim Myhre was one of 73 in his senior class that graduated in the auditorium of the current school.
"I remember the seniors all sang," he said. "My reception was out at our farm that same evening. Kids today have receptions several days before and after graduation. Most of us had our reception the same day we graduated."
Jason graduated in a class of 48, the same size as his son. While AJ's class was the second to hold an outdoor ceremony due to the pandemic, his other family graduations were all held indoors.
"I remember it was a nice day when I had my graduation," Jason said. "It would have been nice to have been a nice day to have had it outdoors."
Jason said he recalls having hot chicken sandwiches, potato salad, fruit and cake for his reception.
AJ decided to go with a non-traditional theme.
"I decided to have brunch," he said. "I've always liked brunch."
French toast sticks, sausage, strawberries and orange juice were among the items served to those in attendance.
AJ is the first of six children to Jason and Tina Myhre to graduate. They will have a daughter graduating next spring.
"The years have flown by," Jason said. "I can't believe I have a kid graduating this year."
Tina is from Kindred, ND, a town of similar size as Minneota. And Kindred's school nickname is also the Vikings.