Field Notes: Happy Trails to You…

Happy Trails

With the closing of the year, your inbox and social media are likely inundated with lists, reflections, and predictions for the new year. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that stuff later…for now, we want to celebrate some fellow Parkians!

This year, we here at Parks said “Happy Trails” to 9 retiring staff members who gave a combined 271 years of service to King County. It’s been fun hearing stories and seeing photos from the good ol’ days (wow, there have been seriously good developments in clothes since the 70s!) and learning about how King County Parks has evolved over the years.

Happy trails to…

Sharon Claussen retired after 29 years with King County. Sharon first started in 1984 as a Resource Planner with the King County Planning Division before coming to Parks in 1986. Over the years, Sharon worked on everything from acquisitions to planning to park policy.

Gary Egeland retired earlier this year after 20 years with King County Parks. He spent most of his years at the King County Greenhouse and Nursery, working with our crew of special needs adults, as well as with community volunteers, to care for the native species and other plants, trees and shrubs we use throughout the system.

Odell Gilbreath retired in September after 22 years with King County Parks. Odell worked as a plumber, which took him on many adventures throughout our parks and trails.

Emy Hiquiana spent 34 years with King County, starting first in the County’s Architecture Division before transferring to Parks in 1983. She held various positions providing administrative support for several different work groups and office sites over the years.

James Kelby retired after 37 years with King County Parks. After starting as a seasonal, James soon moved into a full-time position as field staff; he worked on my many crews throughout the system, and most recently, as part of the North Utility Trails Crew.

Larry Kimble retired earlier this year after 24 years with King County. Larry began his career with the Roads Services Division and joined Parks in 2000, where he worked as a supervisor for the natural resources field staff.

Karl Kostal retired after 36 years with King County Parks. Not only did Karl work for Parks, but he also lived for a time in a Park facility, a common practice back in the day. Over the years, he worked in a number of maintenance districts, before becoming a Parks District Maintenance Coordinator at Marymoor Park in 1998.

Bill Schwartz retired after 23 years with King County, including working at the Building and Land Development department and at Parks. Bill especially applied his architectural creativity through his most recent post as head of our Small Contracts Crew.

Warren Timmons III retired after working a whopping 46 years with King County. From Aquatics to the Office of Productivity and back to Parks, Warren held many positions that took him to work sites throughout the county, and most recently, served as Parks’ inventory purchasing specialist.

On behalf of Parks and King County, we say a heart-felt THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication. Until we meet again…

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