Foundation Board Member Dave Onkka presented
Emma Christianson with the 2022 Curtis Lyle Charlson Memorial Scholarship.
Curtis Lyle Charlson, was a long-time Thief River Falls resident, trial attorney and community leader. Curtis and Marilyn’s seven children were educated in the Thief River Falls school system Karen, Mark, Steven, Kirsten, Kathryn, Elaine and Eric.
While in the Navy in the 1940s, Mr. Charlson attended communications school at Harvard and received his undergraduate degree at Bowling Green University. He received his law degree in 1950 at the University of Minnesota. As a Naval Reserve Officer, Mr. Charlson was recalled to serve during the Korean Conflict in March 1951, where he was a Communications Officer with the Admiral of the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. Upon his return from the Korean Conflict, Mr. Charlson served as a member of the newly formed Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps of the Navy.
Mr. Charlson moved to Thief River Falls and began his practice of law with Hans Chommie in November 1959. Mr. Charlson was elected as County Attorney for four years early in his career, but for most of his practice, he was the senior member of his own law firm.
Mr. Charlson was active in the Thief River Falls community; he was elected as the first president of the Friends of the Library, president of the Northwestern Hospital Board, Chairman of the School Board and served on the First Federal Savings & Loan board.
Mr. Charlson was a well-respected trial lawyer throughout the state of Minnesota, and was known to all for his integrity, sense of humor and humility. He frequently championed the rights of those he believed were not receiving their due in the world – especially women’s rights. During his tenure with the School Board, Mr. Charlson successfully brought girls’ sports to Thief River Falls. Three of his daughters formed half of the first Lincoln High School Girl’s Golf Team in the early ‘70s.
This scholarship will be awarded to a female Lincoln High School graduate, who is active in golf, is enrolled in a post-secondary college or university and who exemplifies strong personal values.