Stanley natives Bill and Alice Thorpe spent many hours watching Stanley-Boyd High School, university, and professional sports teams. For Bill to view a televised game or match while simultaneously listening to one or two more sports events on the radio was not uncommon.
After Bill died in 1996, the Thorpe family established a scholarship in his name for deserving Stanley-Boyd High School athletes who planned to continue their sports in college, under the Stanley-Boyd Education Foundation. In 2015, when Alice passed away, the family added her name to the scholarship.
The couple, both 1949 graduates of Stanley High School, married in 1953. They passed along their love of sports to their children and grandchildren.
Alice attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and Bethesda Hospital's School of Nursing in St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated in 1952 and practiced at the University of Minnesota Hospitals until her marriage. Bill attended both the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie and UW-Eau Claire, playing football for both of their teams. He also served in the U.S. Air Force.
Upon moving back to Stanley, Alice practiced at Victory Memorial Hospital and a physicians' office. Bill sold insurance for the Business Men's Assurance and Security Life insurance companies. They raised two children, Joy and Jay, who both graduated from Stanley-Boyd High School. Joy was a wrestling cheerleader and band member while Jay played football, wrestled and ran track.
After high school, Joy followed in her mother's footsteps, graduating with a nursing degree from UW-Eau Claire. She later earned her Ph.D. in nursing and became a nurse educator, retiring in 2017. She and her husband, Dr. Peter Wachs, have two daughters: Alison, an industrial engineer, and Meredith, a secondary math teacher.
Jay played varsity football for UW-LaCrosse, where he earned a business degree. He returned to Stanley after college and is father to Kyle, Karla, and Lyndsey, who each played three varsity sports in high school. Kyle played varsity football at UW-Eau Claire. Karla played on the Wisconsin state championship volleyball team in high school and managed the varsity volleyball team at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Lyndsey was a Wisconsin state shot put champion and an All-American hammer thrower at the University of Minnesota.
Kyle is married to the former Holly Mertens who played three sports at Stanley-Boyd. Holly played on the state championship volleyball team, was the long jump state champion and was an All-American volleyball player at Marquette University. They have two children, August and Otto, who are the next generation of Thorpe athletes.
Bill and Alice Thorpe would be delighted that in 2019 the scholarship endowment moved to the Community Foundation of Chippewa County. Their legacy will encourage Stanley-Boyd High School graduates to pursue post-secondary education and athletic competition.
Grants provide scholarships for Stanley-Boyd High School students.