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Hall of Fame dinner April 26 at PAC

Published 12:56pm Thursday, April 3, 2014

Edwardsburg Public School will host its annual Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony April 26 in the Performing Arts Center.

The dinner will be at 6 p.m. in the Atrium, followed by the induction ceremony at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Auditorium.

The events, sponsored by the Edwardsburg Public Schools Foundation, will honor five inductees, two posthumously, whose actions are a reflection of the best in achievement and/or citizenry. Honored this year will be the late Richard Beckwith in the Special Award category; Larry Bidwell in the Student Activities Award category; Loyal Lane in the Lifetime Award category; the late Mary Montgomery, in the Former Staff Member category, and Theodore (Ted) Peak, also in the Former Staff Member category.

Dinner tickets are $30 each and can be ordered from the EPS Foundation, 69410 Section St., Edwardsburg, MI 49112, by April 14. Checks should be made out to the EPS Foundation. There is no charge for the induction ceremony. Light refreshments will follow the awards portion in the Hall of Fame Lobby.

Montgomery, who died in early 2013, taught in Edwardsburg for 31 years, mostly at the first grade level. She was active in several civic, social, and historical organizations, both in Edwardsburg and Cass County, and was a leader in the local Methodist Church as treasurer, choir director and organist.

Beckwith, a Cassopolis native, lived in Edwardsburg for 69 years, until his death in 2008. He owned the local State Farm Insurance Agency for 25 years and was an active leader in many organizations, including the local library board and the Edwardsburg Cemetery Board. He was a scout leader, an Edwardsburg Village Council trustee and was a 32-degree mason of the St. Peter’s Masonic Lodge 105, to which he belonged for 50 years, serving as both master and treasurer.

Both Montgomery and Beckwith were recipients of the Dr. John B. Sweetland Award, given annually by the Edwardsburg Area Historical Museum. The award is named for an early community leader.

Edwardsburg graduate Larry Bidwell will be inducted in the Student Activities Award category for excellence in academics and co-curricular activities.

A 1958 graduate, Bidwell was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track during his four years of high school. He was an offensive end, defensive cornerback and played on the kickoff, punt, coverage and receiving teams. Playing under then Coach Leo Hoffman, who considered him as one of the most outstanding players during the coach’s tenure, Bidwell earned Big 8 All-Conference honors as an offensive end and played on teams winning back-to-back conference championships. He also set the EHS broad jump record and the single season points scored record in basketball.

A Michigan State University graduate, he spent 33 years in store management with Sears Roebuck & Company. In his retirement, he most recently received a gold medal for volleyball during competition in the Senior Olympics.

Lane, who was 100 years old in November, is being honored in the Lifetime Award category. An Edwardsburg graduate, he served in the United States Army in World War II, and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries suffered in the Allied Invasion in Salerno, Italy in 1943. He was a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service in Edwardsburg for 21 years. He remains active in the community in several organizations. .

Theodore F. (Ted) Peak, a former teacher and coach at Edwardsburg, is being inducted in the Former Staff Member category. He taught at both the middle and high school levels in Edwardsburg but is best known as the former high school football coach and athletic director. Peak coached several other sports at Edwardsburg, including tennis, track and baseball. He also was the assistant basketball coach and high school volleyball coach, served as an assistant high school principal, and was a member of the Edwardsburg Village Council. He also worked during the summer months as a Marine Deputy for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

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