March 9, 2010

City's most tenured employee retired in February

The city's longest-serving employee retired in February.

Pamela Duerlinger began working for the city's health department in June of 1969. She was 18 years old.

Duerlinger, a clerk with the health department, retired on Feb. 26 a few months shy of working 41 years for the city.

Marcia Fernholz, the city's director of environmental health, said at Tuesday's Board of health meeting that Duerlinger will be missed.

With Duerlinger's retirement, Municipal Court Clerk Michelle Bellaire is now the city's longest-serving employee. Bellaire was hired in 1983.

Update: We were wrong.

Mary Pace, a human resources assistant for the city of Racine, wrote to let us know there are several city employees who have been employed longer than Michelle Bellaire, who we'd list as the city's long-serving current employee.

Here's the email we received from Pace, who herself has worked for the city for 39 years:
It was brought to my attention that in your article in the Racine Post (online) you state that Michelle Bellaire is now the city’s longest serving employee.
Please be informed that your information is incorrect. Mary Lou Nordstrom, a Library Department supervisor is now the longest serving employee starting in 1970.

Followed by myself with 39 years and Gary Hagen, Civil Engineer with 39 years also.

Besides that, there are many more employees that started long before 1983 when Michelle Bellaire started her employment with the City.

Please correct your information.
Thanks, Mary and our apologies. This is a case of misreading some information and passing it on without knowing the full story. Hopefully, this sets the story straight.


  1. Blame Dickert...He caused her to retire. I need to blame him for something today.

  2. I work in the private sector where most people plan to retire around age 65, and that's only if they were able to save enough money along the way since they don't have a pension.

  3. I can't believe there are old ladies around here that keep track of this sort of thing.