One of Langdon’s best-loved residents, Dennis Throndset, was recently inducted into the Dakota State Aerie Fraternal Order of the Eagles Hall of Fame. The life-long resident of the Cavalier County community has embodied the organization’s motto of “People helping people”.
By Melissa Anderson
“Dennis is respected throughout our city, county, and North Dakota,” the nomination letter read, “He is not just a member but aggressively works on each and every board he gets involved with. That is people helping people.”
Throndset was nominated by the Langdon Eagles Aerie #3454 members with the letter being signed by Don Haugen, Nick Moser, and Randy Hill. Throndset has been a member of the Langdon Eagles since its early days in Langdon, making the nomination that much more meaningful.
“It’s a tremendous honor for me, and I’m very humbled by it,” Throndset said.
His humbleness extends to his belief that there have been many within the Langdon Eagles Aerie that have been just as deserving of the award as himself. Throndset, however, has put in the effort over the past 10 years as the Langdon secretary to attend the state meetings held every year.
“You get just a great camaraderie built up between other active Eagles in the state and more pride in the organization,” Throndset said.
His parents taught Throndset to be a community member, as they themselves were members of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary. By example, the older Throndsets set their son on a course of community spirit made evident by his career choice. Throndset would spend nearly 30 years as an educator and then administrator. It was through this choice that originally brought Throndset to the Eagles, joining in 1974 at the recommendation of a co-worker.
“The teaching staff that I worked with and then administered was so cooperative, and you just feel like you could do more for them all the time and the community, for me, has been that way, too,” Throndset shared.
Throndset notes that it’s not always easy going back to your hometown for a career after years of education. The man known as “Mr. T” is no different sharing that he had second thoughts many times during those early years. Now, he wouldn’t trade his hometown for anyplace else in the world.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better place to raise my kids,” Throndset stated. “My wife is from the county, and we just decided that this was going to be our home.”
Working in education left little time for Throndset to dedicate himself to helping others beyond that sphere of the community. It wasn’t until his retirement as a Langdon educator in 2000 that he was able to fully devote his efforts to the community in terms of volunteering.
“I went to very few regular meetings before that. Retirement really gave me a reason to be more involved, and I’m so glad that I have been,” he said.
The nominators wrote that Throndset’s volunteerism,and constant efforts to improve our area and community are attributes he has exemplified for his entire adult life. Throndset is a believer that service to humanity and to charitable causes is one of life’s great work the nomination read.
“It’s always been a goal in life to give back to the community. I saw this as an opportunity when I was asked to be secretary of the Eagles. It was an opportunity for me to give back to a lot of people who had meant so much to me,” Throndset shared.
When Throndset joined the Eagles, there were 700 members and through his and others’ efforts, the Eagles has been able to maintain that number despite a declining population. Looking back over his time as an Eagles member, the one aspect that stands out as being his fondest and proudest memories is witnessing the same men he taught in school and watched grow up eventually joining the Eagles.
“To see so many kids grow up to be young men and be willing to join the Eagles and be participating members, either in official positions or just supporters of the club, really makes me personally feel real good,” Throndset shared. “I couldn’t be prouder of a place I’ve called home for 70 years.”
Throndset wishes to thank all of the Eagles boards that he as worked with over the years. A special thanks to Don Haugen for nominating Throndset and taking the time to write out the nomination to the state Eagles.
“I just hope that I have kind of served as a model for younger people to grab hold of something and be community leaders,” Throndset shared.