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From left, Justin, Polly, Molly and Jim Clack accepted the honor of their late mother, Dolores Clack of Park Rapids as inductee in the Bemidji State University and Northwest Minnesota Women's Hall of Fame. (Molly Miron / Bemidji Pioneer)

Clack inducted into Women's Hall of Fame

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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

The late Dolores P. Clack and Patricia Rosenbrock were inducted into the Northwest Minnesota Women's Hall of Fame during a ceremony Saturday in the Bemidji State University Beaux Arts Ballroom.

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Clack, who died 10 years ago, was introduced by her sons, Justin and Jim, and Diane Dennis, who started work at 19 for Clack and is now a manager and part owner of the Park Rapids real estate business Clack started in 1983.

Christina Kippenhan, BSU professor of physical education, health and sport, nominated Rosenbrock and cited the emeritus professor as a woman who pioneered women's athletics and inspired her and her generation.

Mary Hrenchir, the keynote speaker for the event, is a BSU associate professor of history. She reflected the 2009 Northwest Minnesota Hall of Fame and BSU and Northwest Minnesota Foundation Women's Fund theme: Women in Conservation - Taking the Lead to Save Our Plant.

Hrenchir focused on accomplishments of women during the Great Depression and the tradition of women conserving family, community, citizenship and morals throughout generations.

The Hall of Fame ceremony serves as the official kickoff to the BSU women's studies program month-long series of events to celebrate March as Women's History Month.

Clack was born in 1932 and moved to Erskine, Minn., when she was 9.

Her eldest son, Jim Clack, said there weren't enough boys in the 1940s in Erskine to make a high school basketball team, so his mother played on the boys' team. A scout for the professional All-American Red Heads women's barnstorming basketball team saw her play and recruited her, he said.

After leaving the team, she moved to California and attended Sacramento City College. She attended classes while working full time, putting herself through college and two years of law school while working at a grocery store.

In 1977, after becoming a single parent with five children, she returned to Minnesota and started a career in real estate. She opened her own brokerage, Dolores P. Clack Real Estate, in 1983 in Park Rapids, and it grew to be the top office in the Midwest region for four of the six years before her death in 1999.

Dennis said she can't imagine where her life would have taken her if she had not met Clack.

"She knew that honesty and integrity are the key to running a successful business," Dennis said. "She led by example."

Dennis said she still thinks "What would Dolores do?" when she has to solve a perplexing problem.

Clack's business continues today in the same location, with many of the same employees who had worked for her for years.

Clack was affiliated with numerous organizations throughout her life, including the National Federation of Independent Business, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Park Rapids Business and Professional Women and Park Rapids Chamber of Commerce. She also served a term as president of the Detroit Lakes/Park Rapids Board of Realtors and was a licensed real estate appraiser for residential and commercial properties. During her time in California, she owned a business and operated a farm.

Clack was known for her philanthropy in the community, helping many people become more successful in business, while caring for her family, including raising two grandchildren in the last years of her life.

For more information or to receive a complete schedule of Women's History Month events, contact Louis Jackson with the BSU social work program at 755-2803 or via email at ljackson@bemidjistate.edu. Information is also available on the Northwest Minnesota Foundation's Web site at http://www.nwmf.org.

Molly Miron is the editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. She can be reached at mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com.

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