The Story of Colin and JoAnn Thatcher
Colin Thatcher was born in
While growing up, the young boy was often pampered by his mother, but treated harshly and, at times, cruelly by his dominating father. Many who knew Colin thought of him as an awkward child who was frequently getting into trouble. Siggins describes an incident when Colin was 7 years old when he spit in a neighbors face after the woman told him how nice he looked. The neighbor described the boy as a brat, but also felt sorry for him because he was desperate for attention.
During Colins youth, his father Ross began a career in politics working his way up from a position as one of the youngest alderman in
During Rosss 12-year career as a member of Parliament, he traveled frequently and rarely saw his wife and son back in
Ross simply had no patience for his son and saw him as a disgrace to the family name. He frequently abused Colin verbally both in private and in public. Often times Colin was greatly humiliated by the constant criticism, which caused his self-esteem to steadily diminish and his behavior to worsen. Many of Colins friends ostracized him because he seemed to be different from other boys. Siggins states that some of Colins schoolmates and teachers viewed him as undisciplined, arrogant and wild, often bragging about his fathers position as a community leader.
During Colins teenage years, Ross sold the family hardware business and began to acquire land in order to raise cattle. He bought a farm near Tuxford and then purchased more than 300 acres of land in the Caron area, during the 1950s. On both farms, Ross raised cattle and was so successful that by the early 1960s the land in Caron, known as the Thatcher Hereford Ranch, grew to more than 3,000 acres.
Colin took a great interest in his fathers cattle business and spent much of his free time at the Thatcher ranch. However, to his fathers dismay, the boy did little of the work expected of him, which caused a further rift in their relationship. According to Siggins, the tensions grew so high that the two argued most of the time they spent together. At one point, Colin was so enraged at his fathers constant condemnation that he threatened to harm him with a pitchfork, causing the old man to run to his car for fear of his life.
In the early 1950s Colin attended
Colins unruly behavior made it difficult for him to meet and date other girls, for few wanted to get involved with such an unsavory character. However, he did manage to date one girl in his last year of school. Unfortunately, the relationship was short-lived because Colin displayed obsessive behavior toward the girl that frightened her away.
Colin graduated from high school in 1956 and shortly thereafter was accepted to the
During his first year, Colin remained mostly to himself, showing no interest in extracurricular activities. He focused primarily on his agricultural studies, in which he specialized in animal husbandry. In his second year, Colin joined the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. It was at this time that Colin became a little more socially active, taking part as a fraternity pledge trainer and in intramural sports.
In the spring of 1960, Colin noticed a beautiful girl walking on campus. He asked his friend who the girl was and he learned that her name was JoAnn Geiger. Colin was able to set up a date with her and one night went to pick her up at her sorority house. To his surprise, the woman named JoAnn Geiger with whom he was set up with was not the same woman he had previously seen walking on campus. However, he accepted the mistake and dated the attractive woman anyway.
The two continued to date even after Colins graduation in 1960. Together they made several visits to Colins hometown of
The two were inseparable and Colin appeared to be devoted to JoAnn. In May 1961 JoAnn graduated summa cum laude and had enough credits to earn a teaching certificate, which she hoped would assist her in obtaining a job in teaching. That same summer and on JoAnns 22nd birthday, Colin proposed, and JoAnn accepted.
Following the engagement, Colin remained in
Colin eventually joined JoAnn in