GLASGOW — Carroll College’s oldest living alumnus and longtime super-fan, Gene Etchart, passed away at the age of 101 this week. Etchart passed away in his home on Thursday, May 3.
Etchart was born Dec. 26, 1916, and was raised in Glasgow, then attended Mount St. Charles, now Carroll College, and was a member of the Class of 1933. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Fighting Saints in 1975.
In September 2016, Etchart was honored during a Fighting Saints’ football game against Montana Tech, a 27-24 Carroll victory on Colter Hamel’s game-winning field goal. Etchart, who was 99 years old at the time, was presented with a Carroll College plaque representing his honorary captain status during the game against the Orediggers. The ceremony was met with an ovation from the 6,000-plus on hand for the football game.
According to Carroll College, “Etchart has been a Carroll ambassador since his earliest days at Mount St. Charles and his unwavering support has been an example to many.”
Etchart played a pivotal role in the building of Nelson Stadium on the campus of Carroll College. He befriended Warren Nelson and it was through their friendship that the generous donation was given to Carroll College, leading to the stadium shared by the Saints’ football and soccer programs. Etchart also helped envision the design of Nelson Stadium, with the field dug below the bleachers and berms on the south and west side.
Etchart, who was a licensed pilot and instructor, saw his son Jon play football at Carroll College in the 1960s. His son Joe graduated from Carroll in 1970, while his granddaughter Christine Etchart signed a national letter of intent with the Saints’ volleyball program in 2007.
Gene Etchart celebrated his 74th wedding anniversary in 2016. His wife, Elaine, passed away seven months ago.