By Connor Hopkins and Ian Wriesner
After 44 years of service, Judy Syverson retired from the Decorah Parks and Recreation department June 30. Judy was the first – and only – administrative coordinator in the department’s history. In a letter written to the Iowa Parks and Recreation Association, Decorah Parks and Recreation Director Andy Nimrod said, “She might currently be the longest serving full-time Parks and Recreation employee in IPRA”.
Things began humbly for Syverson in the Parks and Recreation office. When she began on Oct. 1, 1976, her starting wage was $2.26 per hour, and her early duties included dressing as the Easter Bunny for the annual Easter Egg hunt or as one of Santa’s elves for a children’s holiday party. As her brother Darryl Syverson remembered, Judy applied for the job at the strong suggestion of their mother.