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Retirees in retirement: Sharing your story (March 2018)

This issue highlights Kim Boyce, Diane Damerow, Shirley Doering, Thomas Halbach, Dave Kjome, Jeanne Markell, Curtis Norenberg, Irene Ott, Dick Sauer, Patricia Stumme, Roger Wilkowske and Deborah Matero Zak.

Kim Boyce volunteers with the Minneapolis Loppet Foundation, frequently working for winter ski events at Theodore Wirth Park, including the recent World Cup Masters ski races (1,000 skiers from 20 countries). Kim also consults for the Minnesota Association of Soils and Water Conservation Districts, teaches leadership seminars for several metropolitan counties and facilitates meetings for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture regarding nitrogen fertilizer use. Kim retired in 2015 as Extension’s regional director for Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Diane Damerow, Extension educator in family development who worked in the Waseca County office and retired in 2003, is serving as president of the Minnesota Association of Healthcare Volunteers. Their mission provides members with opportunities to share ideas, develop leadership skills, and promote volunteer services that support Minnesota's health care facilities.

Shirley Doering volunteers with the Lake Crystal Legion Auxiliary team that constructs Quilts of Valor, which are presented each year to a serviceperson in the Lake Crystal area for service to the county. The project is personally special since her mother had received a Quilt of Valor for her service in World War II. Shirley is also part-time secretary for St. John Lutheran Church in Good Thunder, where she helps with their daycare program. Shirley was a 4-H youth development educator at the Rochester Regional Office and retired in 2011.

Thomas R. Halbach, Extension educator and professor in the Soil, Water and Climate Department who retired in 2015 is a consultant for the Beneficial Use of Waste Materials, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Dave Kjome, retired Olmsted County Extension director, was presented with the "Bruce Cottington Friend of Dairy Award" at the Minnesota Dairy Conference and Expo held in November. The award is given out to individuals for their involvement in the state's dairy industry, display of leadership and community involvement. Dave retired from Extension in 1999.

Jeanne Markel, former associate dean and director, operations and support and external relations, retired in 2007. She volunteers with the community educator program for the Academic Health Sciences.

Curtis Norenberg retired in 1998 as program director and Extension educator in agriculture, food and natural resources. Curtis volunteers as the state vice-chair emeritus for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. He serves as a trustee for the Minnesota Leader Dogs for the Blind. In 2016-2017 he was the vice-commander for the Minnesota State Department American Legion.

Irene Ott, former program leader in family development, who served in Martin and McLeod counties as well as for Michigan State University, retired in 1986. Irene now volunteers at Johanna Shores in Arden Hills to reorganize the library (“not my ‘dream job,’ but a necessary one to eliminate older books and to develop a more user friendly library”). She also plays with the Tone Chime Chorus for special church services and a winter concert.

Dick Sauer, former vice president for the Institute of Agriculture, Forestry and Home Economics, and worked in partnership with the director of Extension, volunteers as the “golf rules official” for a large group of golfers in southern Arizona (who play by the rules for money and insist all putts must be holed). He is a greeter and reader at his church, a wood carver (santa, snowmen, wild animals, birds and fish) and is writing a novel about a state university.

Patricia Stumme, a health and nutrition educator in the Albert Lea Regional Office who retired in 2007, spent two weeks in November working in Houston on an emergency response team through the United Methodist Church. Working in temperatures of 85-92 degrees “was worth it,” estimating that their efforts helped an elderly homeowner save over $30,000 in rebuilding costs.

Roger Wilkowske, water quality educator who retired in 1991, south central Minnesota, continues volunteer work at local community resources and is in a barbershop quartet that delivered 20 singing valentines on Feb. 14 to raise funds for Ruth's House of Hope and Whispers of Hope (homes for single mothers in the Faribault area). He continues working on the Wilkowske family history and received the Waseca County Distinguished Agricultural Leadership Award last March for his 20 years of service in Waseca.

Deborah Matero Zak, retired in 2017 as regional director, northwest region, Crookston, is a volunteer at Sanford Hospital in Thief River Falls and a 4-H volunteer offering after-school programs at the Circle of Life Academy, White Earth. Deborah has been working with the American Association of University Women and joined the local branch of the Sons of Norway. She is working with Susan Bartlett Foote, professor emerita in the University’s School of Public Health and will serve as her host on May 19 during Norwegian Heritage Week in Thief River Falls. Deborah will also be involved in the 20th annual White Earth Academy of Math and Science, June 11-29.
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