Goodhue County Senior Citizens of Year Announced
The Goodhue County female and male Senior Citizens of the Year were announced on Senior Citizens Day at the Goodhue County Fair tonight. Marian Fitschen of Red Wing and Ray McNamara of Goodhue received the honor in the Beer Garden. Sadly the original female honoree passed away.
Marlene Malerich of Wanamingo died July 13th at the age of 81. The 1956 Wanamingo High School graduate was the Salutatorian of her class and went to the Minnesota School of Business. Malerich worked at IBM in Rochester for 27 years and was a long time Kasson resident.
She grew up on a farm in Cherry Grove Township. In 2005 Malerich moved back to the Wanamingo area and continued her life of volunteerism. She was a lifelong member of Dale Lutheran Church and was nominated by the Wanamingo Lions Club for 15 years of work with the popcorn wagon. Overseeing pancake feeds, 4th of July activities and much more.
Malerich raised money for the fireworks in Wanamingo by starting the pop can collection for the 4th of July fireworks and oversaw Halloween Hot Dogs for Kids. Her nomination form says she was, "An invaluable member of the church (Dale) volunteering wherever she was needed." She was also active in Meals on Wheels volunteering one week a month for the past 15 years. Her family was presented with a posthumous award.
The female chosen to represent Goodhue County at the State Fair was 95 year old Marian Fitschen of Red Wing. After age 65 Fitschen has been active with the Red Wing Hospital, Red Wing American Legion, Red Wing Senior Center. Fitschen ushered for TB Sheldon Auditorium and was a Ladies Aide at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Frontenac for over 30 years.
Marian worked at the Red Wing Shoe Company for 34 years and bowled for over 50 years, retiring at the age of 92. She donated most of her trophies back to be re-purposed for the youth leagues. She still has a garden, makes her famous salsa sauce and plays cards with friends.
Outstanding Male Senior Citizen of Goodhue County Ray McNamara had no age included on the nomination forms we received. Ray has been construction manager on 14 of the 24 Habitat for Humanity homes constructed in the county. Did volunteer carpentry work for the Goodhue School District. Constructed the football press box and greenhouse at the school.
Meals on Wheels volunteer driver in the Goodhue area. Canteen worker for the local American Red Cross blood drives at Lions Community Center in Goodhue.
The member of the Goodhue Lions Club is also on the Goodhue Area Historical Society Board of Directors. Ray is an active member of St. Columbkill Church and is a member of the Belle Creek 4H Club.
McNamara was a farmer for over fifty years.