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Letter: Longtime Worthington residents bid farewell

By Scott Nelson, Worthington

The time has come to say goodbye. Peggy and I have decided to move north, hopefully to Alexandria and closer to family and other personal business interests.

We moved to Worthington in August 1989 and, finally, landed at 727 Lake Court, on the west side of Lake Okabena, for the last 10 years. I had just finished my Mechanical Engineering degree, at NDSU in Fargo, and interviewed with management at Bedford Industries. We had to find Worthington on a map and were concerned it was so far from Thief River Falls, and relatives and friends.

Peggy spent 26 years at Worthington Regional Hospital (now Sanford) primarily working in human resources, and she retired from Sanford in March. My job at Bedford Industries was originally to design process equipment related to the twist tie production, and then later designing custom machines for resale, plastic lumber molds and production equipment. While at Bedford we patented several new technologies related to tin-tie application onto products like doughnut and coffee bags, which gave us market entry and protection. It’s fun to walk through a grocery store and see products that were processed through Bedford machinery.

In 1998 Bob Ludlow conceived the idea of “spinning off” a new business known as “Bedford Technology” and invited four partners as co-founders, including myself, along for the ride. Peggy and I are very grateful to Bob and all the great employees we’ve had over the years; what a fantastic opportunity. The new company was not without risks. We took on difficult custom machine projects with demanding customers and spent long hours perfecting the machines, all the while marketing new plastic lumber shapes.  Bedford Technology now has over 100 employees and manufactures in three locations, with the headquarters in the Twin Cities.

In 2008 I was elected to the Worthington City Council, and for two terms we worked on a wide variety of projects. I felt my greatest contribution was my pro-business, common-sense approach. Our town is in good hands with a very positive outlook but we need more folks stepping forward, volunteering for committees and running for public office.  

So, going forward, Peggy and I will be “semi-retired.” We’ll take the summer off, and would imagine at some point we’ll get bored and work part-time somewhere.  We close on our home at 727 Lake Court later this month, and will be down the road in early June. We’ll be back to visit for King Turkey Day and visiting friends whenever possible.

We’ll miss all you fine folks here in Worthington! Take care.