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McDonough retires after 20 years as Plum City clerk/treasurer

PLUM CITY -- Twenty has been a significant number for Jean McDonough.

In her two previous jobs, McDonough worked 20 years at both Target and Weiss and Associates.

With that in mind, McDonough knew she was nearing the 20-year mark of her current job as Village of Plum City Clerk/Treasurer.

"(Village President) Doug (Watkins) wanted me to stay, but I couldn't," she said. "I had reached my 20 years."

McDonough's last day is Thursday, with fellow Plum City resident Bonnie Frickson set to replace her the following day. McDonough said she won't completely disappear, as she will help Frickson on the upcoming budget, taxes and election.

McDonough was born in the Elk Creek area and attended Arkansaw High School. After graduation, she married Stanley Kern, as the couple moved to St. Paul as he found a job there.

McDonough found employment at the first-ever Target in 1962, located on the Midway, near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. After Stanley died in 1980, McDonough moved back home and accepted a job working with Weiss and Associates, a real estate business located in Durand, in 1982.

The move home was also significant on a personal level, as Jean married Slim (Wayne Jr.) McDonough the same year. The couple, who celebrated its 26th wedding anniversary this year, has a combined four children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.

During her time at Weiss, McDonough had gotten to know Kenny King, the then-Plum City Care Center Administrator and Clerk/Treasurer for Plum City.

McDonough explained King told her having two jobs at once is attainable. McDonough told him otherwise, but King wouldn't give up.

So when King transferred to another city due to his other job in 1988, McDonough changed her mind and figured if he could do it, she could as well.

"There weren't as many forms then as there were now," she said.

McDonough split her work week between the two for 14 years, before retiring from Weiss in 2002. She then went full-time for the village.

She explained that, besides the forms, the biggest changes in her job as Clerk/Treasurer have been the advances in technology. When she first started with the village, there wasn't a computer. Now, of course, there is, but McDonough still prefers the old-fashioned way.

"I like the way I do it," she said, referring to pen, paper and calculator.

Besides working for the village, McDonough has also given back to the village. She has been treasurer for the Library Board, helped Slim in his treasurer duties for the American Legion, clerk for the auction at the American Cancer Society fundraiser, a member of the Ladies Auxiliary at the Methodist Church in Plum City and, for 17 years, she and Slim were in charge of the food and beer stand at Legion Park, for Plum City Blues baseball games.

McDonough added she will miss the wonderful people she has seen on a daily basis, but, at the same time, she's ready to leave.

"My goal was to get 20 years in," she said.

She said her plans after Thursday are to get Frickson well-organized, get her house straightened up, do some volunteer work and more crocheting, a favorite hobby of hers.

"It's very much been a stress reliever," she said of crocheting.

A retirement party is being planned for McDonough from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Plum City American Legion.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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