Many of us have routines; things we have to do at least once every single day sometimes more than that. But, what this former Elmore superintendent does every day is probably much more special than eating three square meals a day.
While Melvin Hague does eat three square meals a day at Friendship Court where he now lives, he takes a trip to visit his wife at least three times a day.
This may not seem extra special, but it really is, because Hague is more than 90 years old and he still gets in his car and drives himself out to Riverside Cemetery in Blue Earth to visit his wife Virginia’s grave, everyday, two or three times.
“I spend a lot of time at the grave, it is the most important thing I do,”?he says.
Anyone who knows Hague can tell it is important to him since he makes a point to visit Virginia without fail.
“I go right away in the morning after I eat I’ve been there twice already today,” Hague says. “And, I go there again after I eat supper.”
He says that it is very special to him to take moments out of his day just to spend with his loved one, and the time he spends at Riverside are not the only moments he sets aside to revisit memories of Virginia.
He also has a big photograph of her hanging in his bedroom which he also spends a lot of time with.
“I spend a lot of time talking to that picture,”?he says as he points at the framed photograph. “She got this picture done for me I?think she had somewhat of an idea of how life would go so that I would have this picture.”
Hague also knows that what he does might not be for everyone, but that would never hinder his daily visits.
“I suppose some people think I’m a little funny, but I do what I want and not what others think I?should do,”?he says.
As Hague continues to talk about his wife, it is easy to see where the love and passion started. It all began with their shared love for education.
Hague grew up on a farm and attended a small high school. When he finished high school he joined the Marine Corps.
He joined up right around the time of World War II so he went to war.
“I was on the front lines many times I was wounded in action, too,”?he says. “But, that’s what it is all about.”
He was in the group of Marines who helped take the islands of Peleliu and Okinawa.
After seeing plenty of action serving his country, Hague returned to America and decided to attend college.
He first attended college in Huron, S.D., where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree.
But, that’s not all he did while in Huron. It was also there where he met Virginia who was also busy earning a degree in education.
Then, Hague moved on to South Dakota State University where he earned his Master of Arts.
“We got married after college,” he says.
Since both were pursing careers in education they both eventually found themselves in teaching positions in Elmore. Hague taught history and his wife taught second grade.
Being a history teacher and a veteran, Hague found his time in war to be a very valuable experience.
“The students really wanted ot hear about it,”?he explains.
He enjoyed teaching and sharing that passion with his wife, so much that eventually he became the superintendent of Elmore School, a?role he held for more than 20 years.
“It was a small school and you know a lot of people there, you just about have to know everybody there when you’re a superintendent,”?he says.
And since it was a small school and he took the time to get to know many of the students there he could easily say the children were no trouble.
“The students with a school that size were no problem, they respected me very much,”?Hague adds.
A superintendent looks over many things about a school and hopes to keep things running smoothly which could be a lot of work, but it wasn’t anything Hague couldn’t handle.
“I like to be really involved in everything,”?he adds. “I?was a coach for all three sports and also had a really good girls team, too. I?was busy, but it was fun.”
His priority throughout all his years at the Elmore school was to focus solely on the students.
“To me, it was important that you did everything you could possibly do for the students. It was all for the students,”?he says. “If you had a good School Board that was very, very important for them, too.”
Hague remembers fondly all of the various members of the School Board and that they had good priorities for the students.
“I?had very good School Boards and they seemed to have a lot of faith in me,”?he says.
But, he had the passion for the job which Hague thought was the key to being a good superintendent.
“You had to know what you were doing and really had to have an interest in what you were doing, not for the money,” he says. “You had to be involved in what you were doing.”
And that is just what both he and his wife did as educators in Elmore. Both spent around 30 years in education.
“I went to high school, college, was a teacher and a superintendent,”?he says. “So most of my life has been wrapped around education.”
He looks back on his years in education very fondly and especially enjoys when he gets to talk to some of his old students, which seems to happen quite often.
“I think the students appreciated me; quite often I have students a lot of students who come back and talk to me,”?he says. “It makes you feel real good, like you did something worthwhile.”
Hague and his wife lived in Elmore together and raised six sons and one daughter. In fact, he lived in Elmore until just two years ago.
His wife Virginia passed away three years ago and Hague moved into Friendship Court two years ago.
“I like it here very well,”?he says.
Now, in his free time and when he is not paying special visits to his wife at Riverside Cemetery, he enjoys attending the church services offered at Friendship Court.
“I?believe in God very much we both did and we brought our children up the same way,”?he says.
They had attended church in Elmore where he is still a member, but he now enjoys attending services at Friendship Court, which he says is easier than getting in the car and going to Elmore.
“Pastor Bob even comes up and does a service for Elmore people a couple times a month, which is good. It makes us feel included in Elmore still,”?he adds.
Hague says he visits his wife and attends church and that’s about it.
“I don’t do a lot of partying or anything like that,”?he jokes.
And, although he lost his wife, he still has two things that are very strong. His faith in God and his passion for his wife, Virginia.