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"Life is good again". From a simple dance to marriage

Mar 13, 2018 12:47PM ● By Editor

Shining Star (Teresa Funk), 91, and Rainbow Keith Trout, 85, were married on Feb. 17.  Photo by Lois E. Johnson  

By Lois E. Johnson - Moose Lake Star-Gazette - March 12, 2018

A dance at the Carlton County Fair in August 2016 brought two special people together and resulted in the marriage of Rainbow Trout, 85, and Shining Star, 91, also known as Keith Trout and Teresa Funk, on Feb. 17.

The couple is now happily residing in his log home in Meadowlands, where they watch the chipmunks, deer and other wildlife come into their yard.

Teresa and her two sisters, Pat Skog and Vi Keyport, all of Moose Lake, are granddaughters of John Beargrease, the famous mail carrier that delivered mail to people along the North Shore of Lake Superior in the days before the highway had been built. The John Beargrease Sled Dog race is named after him. Teresa's son, Mike, still heads up the Beargrease race, Skog said.

"He had died 16 years before she was born so she never knew him," said Trout, speaking about Teresa at an interview in Moose Lake on Feb. 26, where they were joined by Skog, Keyport and Teresa's daughter, Linda Jorgenson. 

The three sisters carry on some of the Beargrease Native American origins and customs.

"My Indian name is Shining Star," said Teresa.

Trout said that he picked up his nickname of Rainbow because of his last name. 

"We didn't know that his real name was Keith for a long time," said Skog. "We just knew him as Rainbow."

Trout had said that he had worked in Chicago on the railroad as an electrician in his working years. 

"That was back in the days when the steam locomotives were going out and the diesel engines were coming in," he said. "I worked on those diesel engines."

But an interest in the north woods brought him to Ely to speak with Sigurd F. Olson, an author and advocate of what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

"I stayed in one of the two heated rooms in the only motel in Ely before I met with Olson," he said. "Les Blacklock was in the other heated room."

Blacklock was a wildlife photographer that had grown up in Moose Lake. Blacklock and Olson published a book together, "The Hidden Forest," in 1969.

Teresa loves to dance, and she hadn't slowed down as she entered her 90s.  Trout had never danced before he met her. 

"She taught me how to dance," said Trout. "One dance was a two-step. When I asked her what kind of a step the next one was, she told me that it was a two-step, only a little faster."

"He got to be a pretty good dancer," said Skog. 

The two didn't start dating right away after they met. 

"It was in the spring when she called me and asked me to meet her at Art's Café in Moose Lake," Trout said. "I told her that I knew where that was."

"After that, we burned up the road between Meadowlands and Moose Lake for quite a while," Teresa recalled. "All of my kids love him."

It was a cold winter and a power outage that brought the couple closer together.

"There was an eight-hour power outage," said Teresa. "My pipes froze and my pump didn't work."

"I came and she said that it was cold in her house," said Trout. "I had to take her to my place to live. That's when I decided that we might as well get married."

The couple tied the knot on Saturday, Feb. 17, at his granddaughter's home on Cross Lake. Trout's grandson, Michael Wandrus, a minister, performed the ceremony, and Keyport was the bridesmaid. Kitty Fallgren, Trout's daughter, was the reader, and Fallgren and Heather Gade-Fletcher were witnesses. 

This isn't the first marriage for either the bride or groom.

In top corner: Newlyweds Teresa and Rainbow Trout, center, with her daughter, Linda Jorgenson, on left, and Teresa's sisters, Vi Keyport and Pat Skog on the right.  Photo by Lois E. Johnson

"She is wife number six," said Trout. "I'm not really a bad guy. I didn't plan these things. But I didn't see this one coming."

Teresa also has been married several times. She has seven children. 

"We were really surprised when she told us that they were getting married," said Skog. "She had told us that she was never going to get married again. She loved her little house in Moose Lake. We didn't think that she would ever leave it."

Teresa showed her ring, made up of two rows of 18 rubies separated by diamond chips.

"This is the first time in my life that I have ever had any stones worth anything," said Teresa. 

Trout's band was gold, with an embedded design. 

Both Teresa and Rainbow are no longer alone. 

"We both had been alone for 10 and 12 years," he said. "Life is good again."

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