Worthington man retires from 44-year career days after 86th birthday

In late March, Prinzing was the guest of honor at a combination birthday and retirement party at the Prairie Justice Center.

Celebrating Verle
Verle Prinzing holds a celebratory cake honoring both his 86th birthday and his retirement from Nobles County on March 22, 2023.
Photo courtesy of Barb Hussong

WORTHINGTON — Most people can’t wait to retire.

They may dream of traveling, spending more time with family or with a favorite hobby. They probably relish the idea of never setting the alarm again to go to work.

Verle Prinzing is not like most people.

He wanted to work until he turned 100, and even then he may have decided to keep working.

And why not, especially when a person loves their job like Prinzing did.


Verle and Sheriff Kruger
Verle and Sheriff Kruger
Photo courtesy of Barb Hussong

In late March, the Worthington man was the guest of honor at a combination birthday and retirement party at the Prairie Justice Center. Prinzing turned 86 on March 19. His last day of work was three days later, on March 22.

Prinzing’s retirement marked the end of a 44-year career working for Nobles County. He was hired in the maintenance department back in 1979, shortly after the new government center opened in downtown Worthington. At the time, he worked the overnight shift, starting his workday at 10:30 p.m. and finishing up at 7:30 a.m., just as county staff arrived to work.

“I enjoyed it,” Prinzing said of working in the three-story government center as all of the offices were quiet.

Only one time does he recall getting spooked, and that’s when he spotted a couple of men trying to break into the building. When they saw him, they ran off and he never had another experience like it.

Verle and Captain Nate Grimmius
Verle Prinzing is shown with Worthington Police Captain Nate Grimmius during his retirement and birthday party on March 22, 2023.
Photo courtesy of Barb Hussong

Prinzing, who grew up in Faribault, moved to Worthington in 1977. His mother had moved to the community and remarried, and her husband started Schaap Sanitation. Prinzing worked for him for more than a year before applying for the job with Nobles County.

“I worked on anything related to power in the building,” Prinzing said of his job in building maintenance. The overnight shift meant that he could spend time with his mom during the day, as his three children lived with their mother in another city.

Prinzing said the people he worked with in Nobles County were like his family — a feeling that remained through all of his years of work and the many faces that came and went from the buildings he maintained.

“I had no family (locally), so I kept on working,” he said. “When you don’t have a family, coming to work is like coming to a big family.”


Maintenance crew
Verle Prinzing, left, is shown with fellow maintenance workers Rich Linsmeier (second from left), Wilmot Knuckles and Mitch Mastbergen.
Photo courtesy of Barb Hussong

During his career, he spent countless hours cleaning tile floors, washing the windows, emptying garbage and recycling bins, vacuuming and generally making the buildings look their best.

“I used the vacuum cleaner a lot,” Prinzing said. “It was a steady job.”

He worked in the library, the government center, human services, and, from 2002 until earlier this year, at the Prairie Justice Center. At the time of his retirement, he was working the 2 to 11 p.m. shift.

“I enjoyed making everything neat,” he said. “Some people come in and they mess everything up. They don’t mean to, but they do.”

And the best part of his job?

“The breaks,” he said in all seriousness, and then began to laugh. “No, I’m kidding. The people.”

Before his move to Worthington, Prinzing worked for railroads, both the Milwaukee and the Illinois Central. Taking care of the county’s buildings, though, was his favorite.

Now nearly a month and a half into his retirement, Prinzing is looking for things to keep him busy.


“I like to watch the Twins, but I’ll find something to do,” he said. “Sitting and watching TV all the time, that’s not good for a person. It’s OK for the first month.”

Prinzing said since he worked all of the time, he doesn’t have any hobbies. In retirement, he’s already volunteered to deliver Meals on Wheels, and he really enjoyed that.

Then he paused.

“I should have kept on working,” he shared. “I could have worked ’til I was 100.”

“I think it would be wise for all of our local governments to come up with a moratorium until we have more information from OCM,” Sanow added.
Members Only
“I thought this would be one of the best opportunities to help the city, whether in supporting our members or bringing in new members and somehow attracting new business to town,” Salinas said.
In October 1872, the family bought oxen, a covered wagon and all of the supplies to fill it and headed west with a group of Danes.
“Laura and I pretty much grew up on the farm,” shared Sarah. “Grandma was our day care. Grandpa helped more with Laura, but he had a stroke before I was born.”
The news of a match came last week, mere months after more than a dozen Nobles County residents formed the Worthington Welcome Corps sponsor group.
89 Minnesota farms are being recognized as Century Farms in 2023, while 43 families are being honored as Sesquicentennial Farm owners.
Members Only
Lodge traffic, timing of dust control draw ire from Paul Langseth's brother and his family.
Wieneke sought to construct a machine shed closer to a county road, while Middagh asked to construct a home addition closer to a county road.
In talks with Sheriff Ryan Kruger, they identified a need for a thermal imaging drone, which will be shared between public safety and emergency management.
The military held appeal because it offered them an opportunity to travel, and get an education.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
What To Read Next
Get Local