A True Gift of Service: Clay County Says Goodbye to Don Vogel
He worked as a Maintanence Supervisor for the City of Dilworth and a part-time sheriff's deputy with the Clay County Sheriff's Office
DILWORTH, Minn. — 64-year-old Don Vogel was a true gift of service.
“This was his farm, his land. He’d be out on it every day looking around checking things out, making sure things were doing what they were supposed to,” said Jodi Wedll, Vogel’s niece.
It’s the attitude he adopted after growing up in a Minnesota farming community. But that also means never taking the credit.
“He didn’t want recognition for anything. He just did things out of love for his community,” said Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting.
Both as a Maintenance Supervisor for the City of Dilworth and as a part-time deputy sheriff at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s not just a loss to the Dilworth community, this is a loss to Clay County and our whole area. He was just such a great man,” Empting said.
In 24 years on the job, he only called in sick twice.
“During several blizzard events, he would be in a payloader plowing paths for us to get to calls for service or during major flood events, he was always there to make sure the ditches were filled,” Empting said.
While he will be remembered for providing that service, many will also cherish the little moments that really became anything but.
“We got up a little earlier at the lakes. That’s kind of when I would get his little bits of wisdom here and there or if we were up late and it was just the two of us, he would tell me about things when he was younger,” said Vogel’s daughter Shannon Lien.
“He was quick witted to say the least and a jokester and a prankster at that. He may have gotten me a time or two. You want to share those? Nope. Too embarrassing? Yeah. He was a good man,” Empting said.
Above all, showing up is what he did best.
“He’s going to start watching us in other ways so they’ll be other things happening and we’ll just have to pay attention to. We’ll know he’s helping up in some other way, shape or form,” said Vogel’s niece Lynn Lyndo.
And it certainly won’t change anytime soon.
Don leaves behind his wife DeLaine of 42 years, two kids and six grandchildren. His daughter says they meant the world to him.