Skip to main content

Retiree updates (July 2020)

Welcome new retirees

Deborah Dilley’s 20-year career as an SNAP-Ed educator for Extension’s health and nutrition program included establishing youth gardens throughout Beltrami County. Many of the gardens produced food for the Bemidji School District. Deb retired on June 1.

Rebecca Kuelbs-Pautzke, county support staff in Redwood County, retired on April 30 after 32 years of dedicated service to Extension and the residents of Redwood County.

In Memoriam

Diane Corrin began her Extension career in 1965 and worked for Hennepin County Extension until she retired in 2007. Diane passed away on May 5 at age 79.

Joe Jovanovich, who worked for many years as a communication technician in Coffey Hall, passed away on May 13 at age 94. He served in the Philippines during WWII and worked as a stagehand in Northrop Auditorium before coming to Extension.

Vicki L. Schwanke, age 66, of Perham, passed away on April 20 near Bemidji. Vicki was the county-employed support staff and Master Gardener coordinator in the East Otter Tail County Extension Office.
Retirees in retirement: Sharing your story

For this issue, we asked Extension retirees for their updates during the pandemic and to offer a few words of advice.

Kim Boyce retired in 2015 as Extension’s regional director for Hennepin and Ramsey counties. He has been tackling hands-on projects. He restored 11 pieces of Craftsman/Mission-style furniture, re-stained a large back deck and painted lots of house trim. In May, he was selected as one of the recipients of the 2020 Spirit of the Loppet Awards in the Integrity Category for the Minneapolis Loppet Foundation.

John Cunningham is staying very close to home during the pandemic. He says he believes in medical sciences and follows scientific advice. Before John retired in 2004, he was a 4-H educator, county Extension director and county educator in farm management. He served Redwood County (1968-1974) and Big Stone County (1974-2003).

Phil Goodrich, associate professor in biosystems engineering and animal manure management, retired in 2008. Quarantined since early March in a retirement community in Oak Grove, Oregon, his recent adventures include daily exercise classes on Zoom, work in the gardens, swinging on the swing and talking to the neighbors who walk by. He misses the pool, the potluck meals, the wood shop, and the group socialization of the workout room. He is grateful for technology that connects the kids and grandkids. Advice for these times: “Keep at least a two-week supply of prescriptions, food and toilet paper in the house.”

Dean Herzfeld retired in 2019 from his position as a coordinator and Extension educator in pesticide safety and environmental education. Dean is staying safe, enjoying the slower pace COVID-19 has brought. He appreciates the video calls with friends, family and grandkids, and he is looking forward to camping. Dean is the facilitator of a new national team collaborating on pesticide safety education. They are working with the USDA and supported by an EPA grant to Michigan State University.

Chuck Schwartau notes that this is the first summer in about 60 years his calendar is not dominated by fairs. Chuck, who serves as county fair secretary and the Minnesota State Fair beef show superintendent, said, “I have the opportunity to go somewhere big and I can't go anywhere!” With this extra free time, he is getting things done at home that “I have only looked at for several years.” Chuck was an Extension educator in livestock systems and dairy management for many years and retired as regional director for the southeast region in 2017.

Pat Stumme, family financial management and family nutrition educator for Dodge and Freeborn counties, retired in 2007. Having 15 acres of tree farm, DoveTail Woods, and a new greenhouse have kept Pat busy “planning, constructing, mowing and weeding in the great outdoors!”

If you have news or a story to share with fellow Extension retirees, please share it by completing this Google Form or email Gwen Gmeinder at

We hope to hear from many of you. Do not be shy—tell us about your activities and successes!
Epsilon Sigma Phi Pi Chapter

The mission of Epsilon Sigma Phi is to foster standards of excellence in the Extension system and to develop the Extension profession and the professional. To support this mission our Pi Chapter Professional Improvement committee has been hosting lunch and learn events over the past year.

Everyone is invited to join us for the next lunch and learn on, July 8 (12:30-1 p.m.) as Extension Educator Julie Weisenhorn provides insights on No one should garden alone! Horticulture during COVID-19. Julie will share how the effects of COVID-19 have made Extension, gardening associations and the green industry look at different ways to get education into the hands of clientele. Please register if you plan to attend.

To learn about future lunch and learn events and to view recordings of previous events visit the ESP Pi Chapter Professional Improvement Committee page.
Sara Croymans, Pi Chapter president

Lisa Hinz, professional improvement chair

Print Friendly and PDF