Everyday people: Red Wing's guideMarion Fitschen enjoys telling people about the city she loves.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Marion Fitschen enjoys telling people about the city she loves.
A friendly face at the front desk of the Chamber of Commerce, Fitschen often is the first person people meet or talk to in Red Wing. And she enjoys being their guide.
“It’s fun to tell people all the different things you can do in the area,” she said.
In her free time Fitschen finds her own ways to appreciate Red Wing. She volunteers as an usher at the Sheldon Theatre, takes care of flowers at Central Park and teaches Sunday school and Vacation Bible School at her church, Our Redeemer’s, among other activities in the community.
She also enjoys “getting in the country and getting some good fresh air,” especially when gardening or walking.
There are many great things about Red Wing, Fitschen said. When visitors stop, for example, she often directs them to see the world’s largest boot at the Red Wing Shoe Museum or to local shops, restaurants and hotels.
But for Fitschen, green spaces are her favorite Red Wing amenity.
“I love the parks along the river and being able to view the Mississippi,” she said. “Our parks are such a peaceful place to be.”
Fitschen grew up in Red Wing and, in a shift from the cliché, returned to Minnesota after she retired from teaching in Florida and South Carolina.
“It’s where my family is,” she said of Red Wing.
She also enjoys the smaller community, “where people know each other more.”
She was a teacher for more than 40 years and taught preschool through second-grade students.
“I love the little ones, they’re so much fun,” she said. “I enjoyed helping students learn to read and getting to know them and their personalities.”
While Fitschen is working with a little older clientele now, she still likes to meet and interact with new people.
“It’s fun to be able to meet and greet people and learn about them,” she said.
Working for the chamber, she also participates in networking and social events with businesses, another aspect of her job she enjoys.
“I enjoy getting out to the other businesses and seeing what they have to offer the community,” she said.
Fitschen started volunteering with the chamber in the summer of 2009 and later was hired to handle visitor and member services.
“That’s why I say I didn’t really retire, I just changed professions,” she said.
The shift was a positive one, especially for a self-proclaimed people person.
“I loved teaching, but I love this too,” Fitschen said. “I work with wonderful people and I enjoy meeting people who are in the area.”
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