Curt Connaughty showed up to last Sunday’s celebration dressed to the nines, nines and twos actually. The cause was Connaughty, as the celebration featured Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case’s reading of an official city proclamation designating Sunday, April 30, as Curt Connaughty Day.
Connaughty, who had just turned 92, was wearing the same grey suit he wore on June 19, 1955, the day he had married his Mary. Yes, he wore that suit 68 years ago. Yes, it fits like a glove.
After marriage, Curt and Mary accepted teaching jobs in the single-consolidated Eden Prairie school. They’d build a house in Eden Prairie and raise a family of five kids in Eden Prairie.
Curt would teach biology, industrial arts and physical education. He’d also serve as an assistant principal. Along the way, he started Eden Prairie’s football (1957) and track (1958) programs. He coached the football team until 1969. He retired from the Eden Prairie School District in 1986.
“A lot of good things happened after I put this suit on,” Connaughty says.
He’s not lying.
“I love the school and love the community, and I’ve just had a pleasant time the last 50, 60, 70 years,” he says.
92 and young
Connaughty is a charter member of the Eden Prairie Lions Club and an active member of the Eden Prairie Mixed Nuts Fishing Group.
He’s held Minnesota Vikings season tickets since 1971. Remember, the Vikings used to be headquartered in Eden Prairie.
While purple and gold keep Connaughty busy on Sundays, Fridays are reserved for red and black. Since forever, he has run the clock at Eden Prairie High School home football games. He did so last year and intends to do the same this year.
He’s also served as a starter for Eden Prairie High School track meets.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he led the charge to bring back an Eden Prairie parade. Turns out, 2020 and 2021 were not good years for parades.
Question: How does a 92-year-old do all this?
Connaughty is a regular at Eden Prairie Life Time Fitness. He used to go every day. Now, it’s just 3-4 times per week.
He starts with a cardio machine, transitions to weights and ends with ropes.
“I grab two 10-pound weights and lift four different ways,” Connaughty says. “I end up with doing ropes for 10 minutes, 50 times up and down and 50 times side-to-side.”
That’s how he still fits into a 68-year-old suit.
“Well,” laughs Connaughty, “the pants are a little long.”
The last line of the Eden Prairie proclamation honoring Connaughty read: Whereas Curt and Mary were servants of their beloved Eden Prairie community for over 65 years.
“I moved to Eden Prairie and have been here ever since,” Connaughty says.
Mary passed on Christmas Day, 2022.
On Proclamation Sunday, Connaughty’s friends and fans turned out in numbers. Not only did the crowd include a lot of his hires, but there were former players as well. This included members of Eden Prairie’s first football and track teams.
Why did they show?
“Curt is such a special person,” Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case says.
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