Mother of 12 & Mega Volunteer Goodhue County Seniors of Year
Kathleen (Kay) Gadient of Zumbrota and Howard "Howie" Ayen also of Zumbrota were chosen the Goodhue County Outstanding Senior Citizens of the Year .
The announcement was made this evening in the Beer Garden at the Goodhue County Fair in Zumbrota.
Here is a portion what was said about Kay. "She is the proud grandmother of 40 grandchildren and 65 great grandchildren (so far). She never forgets their birthdays or anniversaries and attends all of their birthday parties, baptisms, first communions, confirmations, weddings, concerts and sporting events."
"She still has a garden at age 88, especially likes her home grown red potatoes."
"She recently lost a brother, sister and sister-in-law, has two living sister-in-laws and continues to watch over them with phone calls and visits, getting together with them on a regular basis. One of her daughters had a major heart attack and many health issues. She takes her to doctor appointments and helps with her needs."
"She uses her God given talents every day, a woman of great faith and amazing patience, an energized woman who never slows down."
Darla Vieths. President of the VFW Auxiliary Post 5727 of Zumbrota read here nomination for Howard Ayen.
She started by saying, "I have only known Howard for about ten years but I am impressied with all the volunteering he and his family do. Howard worked 35 years as an emergency paramedic in Rochester. Howard and his wife Mary moved to Goodhue County 12 years ago but Howard has been familiar withe Zumbrota area for many years."
He became a lifetime member of the VFW Post 5727 in Zumbrota the year after he returned from Vietnam. Howard spent four years in the Marine Corp."
"Howard established and has been organizing along with the VFW Post 5727 members the Field of Honor on Memorial Day weekend for 14 years. After teh 500 American flags are placed at the Covered Bridge Park Howard helps with scheduling the 24 hour coverage for the Field of Honor until it is taken downand the flags stored for the next event."
"He coordinated the Memorial Day Parade that starts by Zumbrota Care Center and ends by the VFW. The folks marching were bused to the cemetery. Howard coordinated the Memorial Day ceremony at the Zumbrota Cemetery. It is no small task arranging the speakers, buses, music, Honor Guard, Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts and Auxiliary."
"Howard also marches in the Memorial Day Parade and the Covered Bridge Days Parade. But in June of 2018 he did not get to march in the Covered Bridge Parade because he and his wife, Mary, were chosen to be Grand Marshals of the parade."
"Howard raises and lowers the VFW Post flag as ordered by the President and the Governor. He also organizes the annual retirement of the American flags."
"Howard assists with VFW participation in National Night Out. He also assists with loaning to the public VFW tables, chairs and personal assistance items such as wheel chairs, walkers and canes."
"Howard is on the committee for the new Zumbrota Veterans Memorial. He is the VFW Historian. Participates in the Honor Guard when a veteran passes away."
"Howard is in the church choir at United Redeemer Church in Zumbrota and assisted with the planning and installation of the video system for the church servicees."
Just before the awards were announced Goodhue County Fair Secretary Chuck Schwartau took the microphone away from Ray Sand performing with the Polk Dots and read a proclamation from the Goodhue County Commissioners designating August 12, 2022 Ray Sands Day at the Goodhue County Fair.
Schwartau unfurled a sign that thanks Ray for his 70 years of providing fun and music to Goodhue County Fair attendees.
That's even longer than Jerry Groskreutz has been alive.
I had a brief visit with Ray before he got into his vehicle to go home and the 91 year old said he had definitely slowed down a bit but still enjoys playing music.
This is interesting if you are into antiques.
LOOK: Oldest Disneyland Rides From 1955 to Today