In the Public Service: Esther Rozum

Local 818-009 President Joe Kusiak, left, presents a union recognition plaque to Esther Rozum.

When Esther Rozum started working for the Town of Seymour, Lyndon B. Johnson was president.

Gasoline was 24 cents a gallon. A postage stamp cost 5 cents.

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were starting to rule the rock and roll world.

And America began noticing that a war was raging in a place called Vietnam.

Rozum, a member of AFSCME Local 818-009 (Seymour Supervisors) retired at the end of August after a stunning 47 years on the job, first as the tax collector and assistant town clerk, then as the town clerk.

"You have to enjoy helping people. As long as I was able to help someone, I felt good about my job," Rozum reflected during a retirement party at Seymour Town Hall that drew a large crowd of well-wishers, including her family, friends, co-workers and area politicians.

When asked to same some of her favorite moments, Rozum, who worked under 12 first selectmen, immediately mentioned a town-sponsored fundraiser to help Seymour residents serving their country.

"Every year in mid-November, I would send out $100 checks to the servicemen. They would write back with pictures and thank you notes. I loved that. It was fabulous."

Local 818-009 President Joe Kusiak said Rozum had a terrific sense of humor that endeared her to co-workers and citizens in need of help.

"Esther had a long and memorable time as town clerk. It will be sad to see her go. But now this is Esther's time," Kusiak said.

Rozum has three children, 11 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Her next act: "I'm going to help my daughter baby sit."