After 42 years of donating their time, helping others, and supporting the community, Pete and Marcia Eggen are moving on from the friendly confines of Saint James to make the full time move to their summer home in Battle Lake.
At Monday's business after hours, Pete and Marcia were honored and thanked by community members, given a key to the city, presented with a letter from Senator Julie Rosen, and a plaque, commemorating December 16th, 2019 as "Pete and Marcia Eggen Day".
The proclamation reads:
"Whereas Pete and Marcia Eggen have served the St. James Community with pride,
And, Whereas, Pete and Marcia have been very active in supporting many service organization in our community,
And Whereas, Pete has served on the City of St. James Planning Commission and Economic Development Authority for over 18 years for the betterment of our community,
And Whereas, Marcia Eggen has not only taught in the St. James School District for 38 years, she has also volunteered at a significant number of sports events, and continued to provide substitute teaching when needed by the district,
And Whereas, the City of St. James is a better place to live due to their Volunteerism and dedication,
Therefore, I Gary L. Sturm, Mayor St. James, Watonwan County, Minnesota, do hereby decree and declare Monday, December 16th, 2019 as Pete Marcia Eggen Day."
"I think he truly enjoyed being a volunteer," said Marcia of Pete. "It wasn't work for him, he enjoyed it."
"I really appreciate what everyone does," said Pete. "I've always said you should never be mad at or belittle a volunteer because then you won't have any. A lot of volunteers, myself included, felt appreciative of what everyone did."
The Eggen's moved to St. James in 1977 after Marcia got a teaching job.
"The one thing about St. James is that everyone will step up if somebody is struggling," said Marcia. "If there's something that needs to get done, like a building or a fundraiser, people step up in this town more than in other places."
While the Eggen's will miss the quaintness of St. James, they are excited about their full-time move.
The Eggen's are avid skiers, both cross country and downhill. The couple will also be hoping to get back into golf and tennis. The pair was in a tennis league when they first moved to St. James.
"The more I volunteered the more I got away from it," said Pete. "But now I have the time to do it again."
For now, in the winter months, the Eggen's will enjoy their first winter months in Battle Lake.
"I hope we don't take it for granted," said Marcia. "I hope we don't get there and it isn't every day like 'oh there's a deer'. I hope it excites us."
Outside of sport, the Eggen's will still be active in school. Marcia plans on substituting, while Pete has hopes of still volunteering his time and being a mentor with a student, preferably a wrestler.
After receiving their gifts from St. James, the Eggen's gave their final goodbyes to their home of 42 years.
"I'm going to miss a lot of you," said Pete. "I'll be back from time-to-time"
"If you come to Battle Lake, we'll open the door," said Marcia."... But no keys."