Dean and Karen Mozena were nominated to be this year's Kimball Days Grand marshals. Both have been integral parts of the Kimball community for many years. Congratulations to them both! The Kimball Days parade is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11. Watch for the Mozenas to lead the parade. Dean and Karen Mozena will lead the Kimball Days parade at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 11 … in a school bus. That’s appropriate as Dean was recently celebrated for having been a bus driver in Kimball for 55 years. This coming school year, both Dean and Karen will drive for Hendricks Bus Service.
Dean and Karen Mozena were nominated to be this year's Kimball Days Grand marshals. Both have been integral parts of the Kimball community for many years. Congratulations to them both! The Kimball Days parade is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11. Watch for the Mozenas to lead the parade.
Dean and Karen Mozena will lead the Kimball Days parade at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 11 … in a school bus.
That’s appropriate as Dean was recently celebrated for having been a bus driver in Kimball for 55 years. This coming school year, both Dean and Karen will drive for Hendricks Bus Service.
Nominations were received by the Kimball Days Committee for three people, says Kimball mayor Tammy Konz, who is not part of the committee. The committee voted, and the honor was bestowed on Dean and Karen Mozena.
When they learned of it, both had to be convinced to do it.
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Dean Mozena arrived at Lake Carnelian, north of Kimball, at age 12 when his family moved here from central Iowa. That was February 1951. Dean graduated from Kimball High School with the Class of ‘55. So did his boss, Joann Hendricks.
Karen grew up in South Haven and graduated from Annandale High School after attending the country school in South Haven until about eighth grade..
The couple met and courted, sometimes with the help of a school bus that Dean drove at the time.
After they were married, they lived in a small house on Lake Carnelian, with Dean’s parents living in the big farm house he grew up in, not far away. A few years later, they swapped houses.
Dean and Karen raised four children in that house. All attended Kimball Area High School.
Pamela, 51, is housekeeping supervisor at Grand Casino Mille Lacs.
Penny, 50, has been receptionist at St. Cloud Medical Group for more than 20 years.
Dale, 46, is an independent trucker and talented mechanic
Kari, 31, is in sales at Northland Capital Leasing.
There are 11 Mozena grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Dean has always been busy. He still drives bus for Hendricks Bus after 55 years. He also has Dean’s Farm Seeds business, although he says that’s winding down with corporate competition. Karen remembered that he sold livestock feed when they were first married, so that’s been a constant in their lives.
Konz recalled that Dean was a part-time cop with Dick Copeland, Deb Brower’s grandfather.
Dean also farmed, until he retired from it. He now rents the land.
For about 10 years, Dean was a partner in H & M Furniture, owned with Dave Hendricks.
For about 15 years, Dean was an auctioneer with Dave Hendricks, until their auction house (in what is now Willow Creek Park) burned down. After that, he did weekly consignment auctions for a woman in St. Cloud until she retired.
Dean is a charter member of the Kimball Lions which was formed 30 years ago; he is still on the board. He is on the church board of the Kimball United Methodist Church. He has been on the Maine Prairie Cemetery board for more than 20 years and, as he says, probably will be until he’s buried there. He was on the Centennial Committee that planned the big celebration of Kimball’s centennial in 1986. Dean is usually the emcee at his class reunions, often together with Joann Hendricks.
When something needs to be done, Dean is just the guy to jump in and get it done. He doesn’t expect praise or acclaim, he simply enjoys being a part of something positive, part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
Karen has been busy all these years too, although she prefers to work quietly in the background. For instance, she kept the books for Dean’s feed and seed businesses.
“[Dean’s} been the one who’s always been the active one,” said Karen. “If I could get on a committee where I could set back and do my thing without being noticed, I was fine. But he’s one of these that has to get out front. Whether he likes it or not, that’s where they put him.”
Karen drove bus full-time for
12 years, and she worked at DeZurik for 26 years. Now she drives van for Hendricks Bus.
Karen was on the board of Kimball Combined Charities for many years. This organization, now defunct, had about 20 pre-approved charities to which they contributed, all approved by the board, and by a state review board. There also was a contingency fund to help after a house fire or other disaster.
Today, they enjoy a little slower pace. Their kitchen window looks out on one of their gardens and beyond, into the woods. They enjoy watching birds and wildlife out the window. And the flower and vegetable gardens keep them busy. Both are collectors, of glassware and tractors. And family is very important to them.
“Dean is a good role model,” said Tammy Konz, who also is daughter of Joann and Dave Hend-ricks. She pretty much grew up with Dean, who has worked at the bus garage all of her life. “He’s kind of like a dad to me.”
“I think we keep Deanie young down there [at the bus garage], and he keeps us in line,” Konz added.
There are so many reasons that Dean and Karen are appropriate Grand Marshals for Kimball Days 2013. Their positive attitude, love of people and love of Kimball, willingness to jump in and help where needed, and ability to stay calm and steady even when others are going crazy.
Congratulations, Dean and Karen. And thank you for all that you’ve done for our community!