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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Retirees in retirement - sharing your story

Colleen Gengler, former family relations educator, writes: “I have become an author! My sisters and I have written a book of family stories and farm memories called ‘Under Minnesota Skies.’ There are some parts about me discovering Extension and 4-H.” She reports that she has used many of her Extension skills in writing this book and is now looking at publishing options.

Roger Wilkowske, former south central Minnesota water quality educator, is serving on the board of the Community Cathedral Cafe in Faribault, which serves 140 low-income/food-insufficient people. He delivers Hot Meals on Wheels twice weekly, and helps an immigrant family from Sudan navigate assistance programs and the citizenship process. He also coordinates a church effort with 10 teams who keep in touch with 800 families. “I just want to use the talents the Good Lord has given me to ‘improve the quality of life’ for people around us like I did in Extension and like current Extension staff continue to do,” he says.

Mel Baughman, forester and former forestry program leader, volunteers for the National Park Service by building and maintaining portions of the North Country Trail in Wisconsin and assisting with public educational events about the Namakagon River. He also periodically teaches classes on trail design and consults in that field, serves on his county's search and rescue team, and recently volunteered with the International Paralympics Nordic Skiing World Championship. “I'm still engaged in adventure and international travel and give lectures on my trips,” he says.

Rod Hamer, former director of field operations, supports the the American Red Cross as a volunteer.

If you have news or a story to share with fellow Extension retirees, please share the news by completing this Google Form or send an email to Gwen Gmeinder at We hope to hear from many of you. Don’t be shy—tell us about your activities and successes!
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