By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN In honor of their long history of service to the community, Chuck and Trudy Remer have been selected as the 2017 Winsted Summer Festival parade grand marshals.
“Winsted is a very nice small town very clean and we’re lucky to have a lot of businesses,” Chuck said, “People are nice and friendly, and they help us through hard times.”
Chuck and Trudy both grew up in the countryside just outside of town, and attended Holy Trinity School.
“I only went to ninth grade,” Chuck said, explaining that his teenage years were spent helping his dad with the family farm.
Trudy, who was one year younger, quit school her senior year to marry Chuck.
Chuck’s first job off the farm was construction. Since work wasn’t always available in the wintertime, he opted to take a job at Tonka Toys in Mound instead. The starting pay was less $1.76 per hour compared to $3.65 but the work was steady year-round.
“I worked there 20 years,” Chuck said, adding that he left when the company relocated to Texas.
Chuck was later hired at the City of Winsted’s public works department. When supervisor Florian Fiecke retired, Chuck took over as lead.
After 10 years with the city, Chuck moved on to another local job, this time at Millerbernd Manufacturing.
In addition to working in Winsted, Chuck also volunteered in the community, spending 25 years on the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department.
Meanwhile, Trudy dedicated her time to volunteering at the Worn-a-Bit Shop in Winsted. Proceeds from the store benefit Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Trudy also kept busy raising five children, and babysitting many other children in town.
The Remers’ kids are now grown up with families of their own. The oldest three (Lori Gailey, Joe Remer, and Craig Remer) live in Winsted, and the younger two are also close by. Vicki Thonvold recently moved from Winsted to Cokato, and Dean Remer makes his home in St. Paul.
Many of the Remers work locally, too. Lori is employed at Tetra Pak, and Vicki is on staff at Millerbernd Manufacturing. Craig Remer is the owner of a local business, CR Electric.
Chuck helped out at CR Electric a few days per week after he retired. He and Trudy later did deliveries throughout the US for a local printing/mailing company owned by their son Joe. (Joe is now president of Platinum Plus Printing in Maple Lake.)
Trudy suffered a serious stroke in 2010, but the Remers still find ways to enjoy each day.
“We like to go to car shows,” said Chuck, who owns a 1966 Ford four-door LTD. His car was at the Winsted Summer Festival car show last year, and he hopes to show it again this year.
The Remers also love watching the Winsted Summer Festival parade each year. As the 2017 parade grand marshals, the upcoming parade (1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13) promises to be especially memorable.