By Linda Scherer
The Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce selected Dale and Yvonne Maus to be its 2007 grand marshals for the 19th annual Winsted Winter Festival.
The couple will be honored at the festival’s evening parade Saturday, Dec. 8.
The Mauses are not lifelong residents of Winsted. Actually, Winsted was kind of the middle ground that brought Dale and Yvonne together more than 30 years ago.
The two arrived in town from different parts of Minnesota, about one year apart. They were single and each had accepted a position of employment at a business in Winsted.
Dale is from a very small town called Alberta in western Minnesota, just 2.5 hours from Winsted. He grew up on a large family farm, where he still likes to spend time helping out. After attending technical school in Alexandria, where he studied computer programming, he got a job at Sterner Lighting, moving to town in 1973.
Dale liked Winsted immediately, appreciating the small size of the town. It reminded him a lot of the town he grew up in.
“I had computer training and most of the jobs available were in larger cities. I struggled with that,” Dale said. “I turned down a number of jobs in the Cities, before I finally got the one at Sterner Lighting. I liked Winsted. It is a nice little town.”
Yvonne grew up on a farm near Winthrop, about 45 minutes south of Winsted. She attended technical school in St. Cloud and moved to town in 1974, taking a job at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Just like Dale, the town of Winsted reminded Yvonne of home, and it was one of the reasons she did not plan to stay.
“It was too much like my hometown. I wanted to live in a bigger town. I wanted to be someplace more active,” Yvonne said. “Then, I met Dale and a lot of nice people and I didn’t want to leave.”
The couple met through a mutual friend, and were married Aug. 16, 1975.
Today, Yvonne works for Ridgeview Clinic in Winsted.
Dale is semi-retired. He spends most of the spring and fall helping his brother on the 1,000-acre family farm in Alberta.
The Mauses keep very busy. One of their priorities is keeping up their home, which sits on the south side of Winsted Lake. Their home, yard, and vegetable garden reflect lots of hard work.
“We still have to get the hands dirty,” Dale said.
No matter what is happening, since they have been married, they manage to squeeze time in for a few weeks of vacation during the winter months. And, they always seem to find time to help out with community service.
“Dale and Yvonne Maus are silent doers in the Winsted Community. They do many things in and around Winsted that most people probably don’t even realize,” said Ryan Gueningsman, secretary of the Winsted Summer Festival committee.
“Both Dale and Yvonne have been a part of the Winsted Summer Festival for many years, and thoroughly enjoy volunteering their time,” Gueningsman said.
Dale is president of the summer festival, and has been for the last four years.
Yvonne is not a member of the summer festival committee but is Dale’s right-hand woman. She gives up three or four days of her vacation every festival, fielding phone calls, many about the festival’s parade of of which Dale is responsible for a portion, and helping with the setup and cleanup of the event.
“Throughout the summer festival weekend each year, Dale is always the first one up in the morning, and the last one to leave at night,” Gueningsman added. “He does what it takes to build a good team around him and pull it off.”
Once they decided to make Winsted their home, the Mauses felt it was important to help out on community projects.
One of their first city projects was the Winsted softball field.
“There was a lot of softball going on when I first came to town. I would help the park set up for softball. We did a lot of the physical work, and the city couldn’t afford to do a lot of that. Financially, a group of us found a fence and put it up. They just recently replaced the fence,” Dale said.
When the Mauses moved to their home on Winsted Lake in 1995, they began taking a special interest in the lake. Both are members of the Winsted Lake Watershed Association, and Dale is its vice president.
They were part of the planning committee that worked with the Winsted Design Team in 2004, agreeing with the majority of Winsted residents when it was decided that Winsted Lake was the town’s number one asset.
Since then, they have also been chosen, along with 22 other Winsted residents, to take part in the Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat. As part of the leadership retreat, they are on a team that will continue working on the Winsted watershed issues.
Although there is still a need for changes, the Mauses are happy to report that the lake continues to improve.
“It’s getting better slowly. A little clearer and cleaner,” Dale said.
As members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winsted, they help out when needed. About five years ago they began to work together on Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, which established a chapter in each county. They have served on its board and are treasurers.
“The McLeod County Chapter donates a lot of funds to our communities. We do supplemental funding for fundraisers, adding up to about $35,000 a year, which is allocated to McLeod County,” Dale said.
The Mauses definitely have shown a commitment to Winsted. They have been part of many volunteer groups giving many, many hours to make it the kind of community people want to be part of.
Mauses do not take their surroundings for granted.
“We are lucky to live where we are, with the lake, and close to town,” Dale said.
And Yvonne, who once considered Winsted a temporary place to live, added, “It’s a great place to live with a lot of great people. I am proud to call Winsted home,” Yvonne said.