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Bye-bye, Becky! We'll miss you!

Parks and Rec. Director Ron Davis is sad to say goodbye to longtime Parks and Rec. employee Becky Paquin. The Oxford Leader will miss her, too! Photo by Trevor Keiser. (click for larger version)
October 24, 2012 - Becky Paquin started working for Oxford Township in December 1997 as an assistant to Former Supervisor and current Township Clerk Curtis Wright. A year later she got picked up by the Parks and Recreation department.

"In October of 1998, Ron Davis (parks and rec. director) came in and told me I needed to go work some place fun and I needed to get out of the supervisor's office," Paquin said. "So I did and I never looked back."

Now, 14 years later she is packing up and preparing to say her goodbyes as she is getting ready to head to Crystal River Florida with her husband to be closer to family.

Paquin started as an administrative assistant to Davis and eventually worked her way up to senior coordinator and travel coordinator.

"I've seen two supervisors go through the maintenance department and I've seen probably five or six programmers go through here."

The best part of her job, said Paquin was working next to Davis and having him feel comfortable trusting her to help him.

"Our relationship was more of a big sister, little brother than anything," she said. "We're friends as well as he's my boss. He tells me he's not my boss, but he is my boss, so there is a respect level there too."

The feelings from Davis were mutual.

"She is a dear friend, she is an asset to the department," he said. "I will miss her more as a friend than I will employee, because she and I have built a great relationship over the years. She'll be hard to replace."

Paquin said her job was more than just doing bills and payroll, but she did whatever she could to help out. She recalled her second day at work when she helped put grass seed down on the sledding hill out at Seymour Lake Township Park.

"There was a storm coming and here I am in long black slacks and a long sleeve black shirt on the sledding hill spreading seed," she said. "It was about 75 to 80 degrees out and I never had gotten so sick in my life from inhaling all that straw and seed and everything. It was awful."

Another grassy story, she recalled, was when Davis called because they had received a donation of sod and it needed to put down because it was hot out.

"A couple of the girls and I went up to Stony Lake Beach, along the handicap path we laid all this sod down," she said. "It was rotting and it stunk, but we did it."

Probably one of the biggest things she said she did, while working for Parks and Rec. was getting the Vet's hall cleaned up, which included new paint, new lights, and new fans. Paquin said Oakland Community College was having an excess sale and they spent $1,500 and bought an entire computer lab with all computers, monitors, desks, chairs, bookshelves and a teacher's unit.

"We got that all set up and we started to run programs and lo and behold, the furnace broke in the wintertime and the pipes (burst) and it flooded the entire room and everything," she said. "The Vets Hall was just destroyed, everything in the basement, it was unbelievable. After all that work we had to go back redo everything."

Of her other accomplishments, she is proud that she got her Associates Degree in Gerontology, which is the study of aging, three years ago from Oakland Community College.

"It always something I wanted to do, plus I started programming for seniors and trips and things like that," she said. "I could do that because of Ron and because of the department. They were so supportive and let me work different hours and come in at different times."

Paquin was born in North Carolina, then moved to Royal Oak, Port Huron, Rochester, Romeo and after she got married, she finally made her way to Oxford with her husband Larry in 1987.

"The one thing about working here and living in Oxford, you get to know people," she said. "It's like one great big family."

That's something Paquin said she'll miss, but what she'll miss the most is not being able to finish things that she started.

"Pickle ball, the Men's Senior Softball League, Tai Chi Program and the Community Theatre. I hope all that stuff will continue after I am gone, because I would hate to see it go," she said.

While there are a lot of things she will miss as it relates to Oxford, Paquin said she's ready for the next phase of life.

"My husband and I are not retiring, but we're looking forward to relaxing and spending time with our children and grandchildren," she said. "And in the winter we won't miss the snow."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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