A good man died far too young last week and a town full of friends and family are mourning his loss.
Joe Schaufler, 43, of Maple Lake died unexpectedly on Friday, November 18, 2005, at his home.
At Monday’s reviewal and prior to funeral services, conducted on Tuesday at St. Timothy’s Church, Joe’s tractor was parked nearby as a symbol of a man who loved farming and worked hard at it all of his life.
“He had a lot of friends,” said Father Mark Huberty, pastor of St. Timothy’s Church. “He was kind and gentle, very quiet and very hard working.”
Joe’s family echoed those same sentiments in describing a man who knew what kind of career he wanted from the very beginning.
“He followed Dad around on the farm as soon as he could walk,” said his sister, Barb Becker.
As fast as the population of the City of Maple Lake is growing, the lake by the same name is growing even faster.
An effort to expand the walleye population in Maple Lake has succeeded this fall in stocking the lake with 7,000 walleye newcomers that should go a long way toward correcting the lake’s fish imbalance.
The Maple Lake Property Owners Association (MLPOA) has also been working to improve the lake’s walleye population by urging anglers to keep their catch of northerns, which are large enough in numbers and size to prey upon and dramatically reduce other fish, including walleye.
One of the most recent fish surveys conducted by the DNR on Maple Lake showed that of 2,009 fish netted, 424 were northerns, at an average size of 20 inches. The number of walleyes and large mouth bass stood at 41 each, with 192 crappies, 938 blue gills, and an assortment of other fish.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has announced the state’s 13 deadliest impaired driving counties to be targeted by Operation NightCAP (nighttime concentrated alcohol patrol) throughout 2006.
Operation NightCAP enforcement efforts will take place in seven metro and six greater Minnesota counties: Anoka, Cass, Dakota, Hennepin, Kandiyohi, Olmsted, Ramsey, St. Louis, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright.
From 2002 to 2004, these counties accounted for more than half of the state’s alcohol-related traffic deaths and serious injuries. During this period, impaired driving in the 13 counties accounted for 306 deaths and 612 serious injuries, costing the state an estimated $362.5 million.
Songs by children and a book for kids played an important part in the annual Veteran’s Day program on Nov. 10.Duets with Dale Bothun by second grader Cody Stueven and fifth grader Julia Bothun opened and closed the program at Maple Lake Elementary.
The third anniversary of the disappearance of Joshua Guimond was commemorated with a prayer service and plaque dedication on Nov. 10 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Maple Lake.
With television cameras from Fox 29 and KARE 11 filming the service, Holy Cross Pastor Steven King offered words of hope for Joshua. “He’s still in our memory,” King said. “And we still hold the hope that we’ll see him again.”
Joshua’s mother, Lisa Cheney, thanked all those in attendance for their prayers and support in helping to keep hope alive.“We couldn’t do it without you,” she said. “It’s good to know that we aren’t walking this road alone.”
Cheney said she appreciated the concern and caring displayed by Maple Lake residents, even after three years.
“It’s been three years and it seems like there’s no hope,” she said, “but there’s always hope.”
Sergio Guadalupe Garcia pled guilty to one count of second degree murder on October 27 in the 2004 shooting death of a man in Silver Creek.
On April 13, 2004, Juan Chacon Esquivel, 42, of Mexico, was shot and killed outside a home at 11344 Elliot Ave., NW, in Silver Creek, which is located next door to the Silver Creek Corner Bar. Garcia, 20 at the time of the shooting, was also originally of Mexico and he and his family had lived in Monticello before moving to Silver Creek the previous year. Esquivel had moved in with Garcia several months prior to the shooting.
Four Maple Lake teachers were among the 156 Central Minnesota educators honored at the Leaders In Educational Excellence Banquet and Awards Ceremony on October 26 at the St. Cloud Civic Center.
The event, conducted annually by the Minnesota educational service cooperative, Resource Training and Solutions, honors classroom teachers, counselors, administrators and educational specialists.
Criteria for the award includes a thorough knowledge of subject matter and leadership in curriculum development, service as positive role models for staff and students, and involvement in continuing education and self-development activities.
Honored from Maple Lake were fifth grade teacher Marty Kiebel, elementary Special Education teacher Sandra Pomije, Student-Parent-Teacher Liaison and high school business teacher Donna Wurm, and high school Special Education teacher Colleen Carlson.
It’s been three years since Joshua Guimond of Maple Lake disappeared from the campus at St. John’s University in the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2002, after a late-night gathering of friends.
There are still no clues into the mystery of what happened to Joshua, but efforts to keep hope alive continue.
Joshua, the only son of Brian Guimond and Lisa Cheney, was a 2000 graduate of Maple Lake High School and a star student. He served as president of his class, represented the Student Council on the School Board, was voted Most Likely to Succeed by his classmates, and was the winner of numerous scholarships.