Larry and Joanne Sholtey loved teaching, raising children, bees and cattle.

July 31, 2019

Joanne holds a photo of she and Larry taken during their granddaughter’s wedding.

Larry and Joanne Sholtey loved teaching, raising children, bees and cattle.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

Editor’s Note: MC History Spotlight is a weekly history column brought to you by Ludington Woods Assisted Living and Memory Care. This regular column features a story from our county’s past. Today, we feature Joanne and Larry Sholty. Larry is a resident of Ludington Woods.

LUDINGTON — For over three decades Larry and Joanne Sholtey worked for the Ludington Area School District. Larry was hired in 1956 as a high school social studies and drivers education teacher. Joanne was hired a few years later and taught second grade at Pere Marquette Elementary.

Larry and Joanne met while they both attended Central Michigan College (now Central Michigan University). Larry grew up in Niles and graduated from high school there in 1951. Joanne, whose maiden name is Nelson, grew up in Scottville and graduated from Scottville High School (now Mason County Central) in 1950.

“Larry attended Central on a football scholarship,” Joanne says. “He had initially received a scholarship from Georgia Tech but when he got down there they had given out too many scholarships and he returned to Michigan.”

Luck would have it that the Central Michigan football team, under head coach Kenneth A. “Wild Bill” Kelly, was traveling through Niles to play a scrimmage in Illinois.

“Larry was down at the field watching the team play and Coach Kelly asked him to join them. He took Larry back to Central and gave him a scholarship. So he played football at Central and that’s how we met.”

Larry and Joanne got married in 1953.

“After we got married we had to support ourselves, so Larry dropped out of football and took a job with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department where he was a student police officer.”

After Joanne and Larry graduated, they moved to Hillman near Alpena. After a  brief time there, they moved to Mason County.

Larry eventually became assistant principal at Ludington High School. Joanne taught second grade for 27 years.

“We both really enjoyed teaching. To this day I often get our former students approach me. They often ask about how Larry is doing. He just had a way with the kids.”

After retirement, Larry took beekeeping and selling honey. He also owned a charter boat business. “He had some great customers who would come back every year, in both the honey business and the charter business,” Joanne says.

The Sholteys bought a winter home in Florida and built a house on the lakeshore in Summit Township. “The lakeshore house just wasn’t for us,” Joanne says, so we bought a farm just down the road on Lakeshore Drive.”

There, Joanne and Larry raised belted Galloway cattle.

“We were on our way to Florida and driving through Indiana when we saw the belted Galloways,” Joanne says. “I called the association in Tennessee and found out how we could get them in Michigan.”

Larry and Joanne took the cattle on the road and entered shows across the region.  “We really enjoyed our time showing the cattle,” Joanne says. “Larry was very proud of them.” The two also owned a house in the western Upper Peninsula.

Larry and Joanne, who are both 87-years-old, also raised two children, Ruth Ann (Holmes) and Larry. They now have five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

In 2013, Larry had a stroke. After the stroke, they made the decision to sell the cattle. Eventually, they sold the farm too and moved into Ludington.

Today, Larry lives in the memory care unit of Ludington Woods. Joanne is only a few blocks away in their house, but spends most of her days with her husband.

She says their life has changed but she is thankful they can still spend the time together and she is thankful for the memories.

Sharing life’s journeys at Ludington Woods Assisted Living and Memory Care, 502 N. Sherman St., Ludington, MI 49431; 231-845-6100;


This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.


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