When did you retire from DTE?

This is a photo of Karen and I from July when my eldest granddaughter made her first communion.

Karen and I retired on the same day, December 30, 2019 (I originally retired in October, 2017 but returned to Fermi in early 2019.)  

How have you and Karen been spending your “free” time? How did the pandemic change your retirement plans? 

Well 2020 isn’t exactly what we envisioned for our first year of retirement with the pandemic. But we did something new for us and for the first time ever we rented a house in Florida for a few weeks last winter. However, the pandemic started while we were there, pretty much closing up the area. We isolated there and stayed over 2 months because, well, why not since we didn’t have to go back to work and the weather was nice. 

We enjoy traveling, and in fact had planned to see Hawaii (with our entire family) for the first time this month, but we have postponed it because of the corona virus. We’re shooting for next year. 

We have 10 grandchildren and we spend a great deal of time with them or watching them in various activities. We did lots of Zoom calls in 2020 with our children, grandchildren, and our extended family, and played a lot of cards with Karen’s parents. Over the summer when things loosened up a little, we ventured out for carry out dinners and attended several small outdoor gatherings. Although we miss our friends, we have mainly stayed around home doing several projects. We are comfortable having contact with our families and have resumed normal interactions with them. Fortunately, I was able to play in my golf league for the whole summer. Karen and I also got in a few rounds of golf. 

We are also part of a small business that builds and remodels homes and have a few in the works now keeping us both isolated from the pandemic, and busy. 

Are you involved in any charitable organizations or community efforts? If so, tell us a bit about them: 

I am still on the Board for the Plymouth Community United Way, on the Downtown Development Authority/Brownfield Reclamation Authority for Plymouth Township, and recently was voted onto our HOA committee where we live. I enjoy them all but the DDA is especially interesting seeing new businesses come and go in the community and watching economic development restored in the community, even as the coronavirus continues to affect everyone.  Karen is doing some skill-based volunteer work with the Monroe County Community College.  

Have you read any good books lately? Watched any good movies? 

I have always been an avid reader and have had ample time to enjoy that, my preference is of the action/adventure/mystery genre although I have recently been reading histories of WWII since both of my parents and all of their families experienced it first hand in Europe. We have talked about spending several months in Germany in the next few years, where I have many relatives, and venture around at our leisure. We have not been to a movie theatre this year but enjoy a lot of PBS programs and of course any sports that is available on TV. With 6 granddaughters, we have become very familiar with Barbie movies and know most of the lyrics for Frozen songs.  Karen has actually sat down long enough to read several rock biographies including Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Lynard Skynyrd, and a few others. 

What are you most looking forward to in the New Year? 

  • That a vaccine is found for the coronavirus for sure.  
  • The end of the political campaigns and all of those disruptions and discourse. 
  • More time with our friends traveling and trying new restaurants. 
  • Attending concerts and sporting events. 
  • We just cannot narrow it down! So many things we want to do in 2021. 
  • Going back to Florida for several months. 

 Is there anything else you want to share with the Alumni Network or the DTE team? 

As I am sure every retiree realizes, retirement is great as long as you have interests that keep you busy. The pandemic really drove that home. It’s great to see DTE continue to do well, especially as a socially conscious corporation, and we are all proud to be part of the foundation that current employees continue to build on.