John C. Oren, Sr. passed away January 20, 2014 at the LakeWood Health Center at the age of 75, losing his fight with cancer.
John was born August 31, 1938 in Minneapolis, MN to Donald S. and Mary Ann (Cinclair) Oren. He attended school in Minneapolis, graduating from University High School in 1956. He then attended the University of Minnesota for a few quarters, dropped out and went to work for 2 ½ years. He returned to school at St. Cloud State College in 1961 and graduated with highest scholastic honors and a business degree in December of 1963. He played drums with a number of different bands in Minneapolis and St. Cloud supporting his family as a professional musician.
While still in college he married Joan Schwendler, July 1, 1962 in St. Cloud, MN. They have one son, John C. Oren Jr. After college the Oren family moved to Minneapolis where John was employed by Control Data Corporation for the next 2 ½ years.The Oren family moved to Baudette, MN in August 1966 when John got a job with First National Bank of Baudette. He remained there thru December 1975, and spent a year on the road as an insurance adjustor out of Bemidji. In December of 1976 he took over as editor/publisher of the Baudette Region. A job he held until his retirement in 2001. His special interest was high school sports, covering hundreds of games here and around the area.
After retiring from the Baudette Region he worked as a stringer, covering sports and government meetings for the Northern Light Region until poor health forced his retirement in July 2013. He played drums with the Tony Svitak band for over a decade. Later he was active in the Baudette Community band and Pequana musicals. He was a statistician for the Section 8A Hockey and North Star Football Conference and was statistician for both basketball and volleyball for the North Border Conference.
Baudette coaches relied on John to have all the statistics they needed. His records were very thorough and complete. Over the course of almost 40 years of covering the students at Lake of the Woods, he has taken thousands of photos, documenting state tournaments, concerts, homecomings and graduations. He always shared those photos with students before they went off to college as a memory of their time at Lake of the Woods High School. He made it a point to follow the sports teams all the way thru playoffs and traveled to several state tournaments with them.
He was a member of the Baudette Public Library Board for over ten years, serving as president for several years, and a board member and president of the Arrowhead Library System, the Board Head Quarters is located in Virginia, MN. He was a cubscout packmaster for several years in the 1970’s.
When his son was in grade school he was instrumental in establishing grade school intramural basketball on Saturday mornings. After retiring in 2001 he became very active with the Baudette Senior Citizens, serving on the Board of Directors as President, vice-president and secretary.
John is survived by his wife of 51 years, Joan Oren; son, John C. Oren Jr. (Vicky Williams) of Detroit Lakes, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Mary M. Oren; step-mother, Anne W. Oren.
Memorials preferred to Lake of the Wood Historical Society.