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Scoutmaster's values fueled Stauber

The one-time Boy Scouts in attendance were asked to stand at Anthony Stauber's funeral Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church. "There were a lot of them that stood up," said Muriel Lehman, a longtime assistant of Stauber's during his career in the Dul...

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The one-time Boy Scouts in attendance were asked to stand at Anthony Stauber's funeral Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church.

"There were a lot of them that stood up," said Muriel Lehman, a longtime assistant of Stauber's during his career in the Duluth school district.

Stauber - known by Tony, Junior or Bud, depending on the relationship - died Friday at age 87 in a retirement home in Duluth. The service two days later came in the same East Hillside church in which Stauber spent 30 years as scoutmaster for Troop 50. Stauber took over the troop in 1951, when his father-in-law, who was leading the troop, fell ill and couldn't carry on any longer.

The Boy Scouts of America went on to play a giant role in Stauber's life and he played an equally important one for the local troop and its charges.

In addition to influencing a generation of future school administrators, business leaders and politicians, both of Stauber's sons, Jim and Tom, became Eagle Scouts under his watch. Stauber's daughters, Anne and Julie, married Eagle Scouts. Stauber was close to his wife Margie's family, too. His brother-in-law, Jim Nygaard, was another Eagle Scout who helped develop Stauber's affection for the scouting.

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Jim Stauber, a retired Duluth city councilor and teacher like his father, described for the News Tribune how the Boy Scouts became an important outlet for his father.

"My dad was a great patriot," Jim said. "He went off to war as soon as he graduated from high school [fighting in Japan during World War II]. He was 'mom, apple pie, baseball and the American flag.' That kind of got passed on to all these boys that became young men in the Boy Scouts."

Construction entrepreneur Bob Carlson, now retired in Ely, recalled how all the scouts used to call Stauber "Bud." Fresh home from the war, and with the capable Nygaard at his side, Stauber shared the ways of the outdoors with an impressionable troop that swelled to 30 at its peak. Carlson recalled Stauber as a gifted teacher and mentor. Scouts under Stauber and Nygaard would empty their shotguns before entering their tents and lean the guns against the railings they built when they arrived at camp north of Duluth on Fox Farm Road.

"He was excellent at preparing a menu or a plan for the day - and developing a provisions list so that you always brought the right ingredients, the right tools and equipment," said Carlson, who went on to become an assistant scoutmaster alongside Stauber. "It always made for a successful camping trip; he was really good at that."

The Boy Scouts' dedication to being trustworthy, loyal, brave, thrifty, kind, etc., were values Stauber brought into everything he did. Stauber hunted deer through decades north of Island Lake with Nygaard, Carlson and his own brothers, developing a tight-knit affection with those he knew best.

"We all became pretty darn close," Carlson said, recalling January reunions at the hunting cabin between the hunters and their wives.

Lehman recalled Stauber as being a man who would listen and impart his lessons without demanding them of his students and coworkers.

"He was great," she said. "He was an ambassador for his students."

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Stauber advocated for vocational education, teaching it first and later administering to it in an era when things like machine shop and auto body shop appeared in all the city's high schools, with interested students busing from one program to the next.

In his writings in support of vocational outlets, like the now-defunct two-year, postsecondary Duluth Area Vocational Technical Institute, Stauber - who also served on the Duluth School Board - would explain how there needed to be options for students who probably weren't college-bound.

"He knew they could excel if they had the right opportunities to get training," Lehman said.

A math and science teacher at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior, Jim Stauber spent 12 years on the Duluth City Council.

"That's part of that commitment to community I learned from my dad," Jim said. "You owe it to your community to return service, he would say, and I feel I did."

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