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At age 82, ‘Grandma D’ is Mission’s biggest fan

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ST. IGNATIUS — It’s a well-known fact among Mission High School athletes that whether or not their families can make it to a game, they’ll always have a supporter in the stands as long as Lois Dumont is around. 

In 40 years of following Mission athletics, Dumont has earned the status of grandmother to not just her own 27 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren, many of whom live in the Mission Valley, but also to their many teammates. 

“The kids are just my kids, I guess,” she said, smiling. “They all call me ‘Grandma’ or ‘Grandma D’ or whatever.”

The kids know they can count on Grandma D to show up at every sporting event — wrestling, basketball, football and baseball are some of her favorites — decked out in blue and white and sporting a vest covered in buttons with pictures of the grandkids she’s come to watch. High school sports are nothing new to Dumont; she raised nine children, most of whom attended Mission High School, and was always a faithful fan.

“So I started long before my grandkids,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of memories — a lot of funny ones and a lot of special ones.”

One of the most special is watching her youngest son, Doran, win the state wrestling championship in 1986.

“I’ll never forget — his dad was waiting at the door for him to come off the floor,” she said. “That was an intense match.”

Obviously, after four decades of spectatorship, Dumont knows a lot about sports.

“I don’t think I would want to be a coach, but after all these years … you know what (the athletes) are supposed to be doing,” she said.

At games, Dumont is always waiting to hug the athletes before they head onto the court or field, and ready with a listening ear and words of wisdom for all her “grandchildren” if they want to talk after the game.

“I’m always there to listen to them, but to encourage them to go on and do better,” she said.

Mostly she enjoys watching the kids grow and develop and learn life lessons through sports.

“You don’t always win,” she says, but you can learn to keep pushing yourself to succeed. “I’ve always told the kids that going to school is the best time in their lives … when they get out in this cruel old world, it’s a different show.”

Due to health issues that cause pain in her legs, Dumont said she hasn’t been as frequent a visitor to the school as she would like during the past year. But she still managed to attend every wrestling match, riding the bus with the Mission/Charlo team to cheer on grandson Travis Dumont and the other boys all the way through the state tournament. 

“I like wrestling because it’s an individual sport, but it’s also a team sport,” she said. “I’m very proud of those boys … they were very respectful and treated me so nice. I really enjoyed going with them.”

Before boarding the bus to Billings Feb. 11 for the championship, the wrestling team showed how much they enjoy having Grandma D along for the rides. Dumont said she was shocked when the team presented her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card signed by all the athletes.

“They really surprised me … It was so very thoughtful of them.”

Now that wrestling is over for the season, Dumont will head to Pablo this weekend to watch granddaughter Bella Dally and the Lady Bulldogs compete in the Western B Divisional Basketball Tournament. She also has Little Guy Wrestling to watch — grandson Shonko Christy is following in the Dumont boys’ footsteps already — and is working on a scrapbook of Travis’ wrestling career.

After all, as a decorative plaque in Dumont’s home reads, “Mothers couldn’t be everywhere … that’s why God created grandmothers.”

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