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home : news : news April 24, 2015

6/18/2014 2:38:00 PM
Watching families grow for 33 years

by Sue Sullivan

Mickey Kimmes, will walk away from the busy-ness of the 470 family community of St. Pius V Catholic as parish business administrator at the end of June.

Kimmes will join her husband Ray in retirement. In 2005 Ray Kimmes retired from commercial contracting.

The Stanton couple raised two children, Ray Jr. and Christine, and when Mickey brought in a late registration for her daughter into the catechism class, her work at St. Pius began. She had recently left Lampert's Lumberyard where she worked for 10 years.

It was 1981 and the church coordinator, Bernie Nelson, was working hard to stay above the piles of paperwork. Mickey volunteered to help in the 240 family parish. One month later she was offered a part-time position which became full-time in 1986.

Working for six pastors over 33 years (one pastor there only a month), Mickey explained that the church was not wired for phones at the time she began working there so the portable phone was allowed in the downstairs office during the workday but needed to be returned before she went home.

She used an electric typewriter to type carbon copied letters, documents and schedules, mimeographing documents when there was a need for many copies.

"It was so great to meet new families - I just loved seeing the families grow from 'arms to the aisle' in some cases," she recalls. "It has always been a joy to see families, parents and children, grow up. You know there were mostly farming families in the parish then. It was not a bedroom community. Now there are only a handful of parishioners who make their living on the farm."

One thing Mickey bemoans with sadness is the rise of poverty in the Cannon Falls area because of unemployment. "Kid Duds was a large employer in town. They sewed children's clothing and when they left, so did many jobs," she explained.

Mickey also sees a need for a place that youth can gather and not be "shoved away." She sees the need for a more local youth activities-type center.

"Ray and I are both homebodies, so as I said at the reception, 'the coffee is always on so stop over.'"

They will travel around the five-state area and Mickey will tend her garden. She'll be seen "antiquing" whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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