By Sam Hosler
Kearny – Margaret Gaston, who for 24 years was an employee of the Town of Kearny, retired from her position as Interim Town Manager on Jan. 30.
A host of present and former town employees as well as Mayor Sam Hosler, and all available Town Council members, hosted a reception for Margaret in the council chambers at Town Hall and presented her with gifts, including a plaque and a sculpted glass saguaro.
Sunday, Feb. 10 has been proclaimed Margaret Gaston Day by Mayor Sam Hosler to honor Margaret for her service Margaret’s children and their families are hosting the celebration with the help of many others, including the Elks Lodge and The Church of the Good Shepherd.
Margaret Gaston is a life-long resident of the Copper Basin area. She was born in Ray and has lived in Hayden as well as Kearny. She is a graduate of Ray High School and Northern Arizona University.
She began working for the Town of Kearny as a laborer in the public works department. She was no stranger to a shovel, and she also worked heavy equipment, including several stints on the garbage collection truck.
For 16 of those years she served as Town Clerk. Her duties for the town included supervising all elections.
In addition, she also became a large community presence, being active in the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, church activities and town and chamber-sponsored events. She also became an active member of Volunteers in Policing (VIPs).
An accomplished pianist, she played regularly for Kearny Baptist Church and The Church of the Good Shepherd, where she continues playing on this day.
Perhaps one of her favorite roles has been being the parade chairman of so many events over the years. Her organizing skills are prodigious, and her attention to detail benefited the many parade participants and onlookers.
Margaret was asked by the Town Council to take on the role of Interim Town Manager last year after the resignation of long-time Town Manager, Gary Eide. She accepted the position and has overseen all town employees and town business during a difficult time, including the drought which affected Kearny so deeply this past year.
She has been ardent in seeking a solution to Kearny’s water problems, and, with the assistance rendered by ASARCO, has enabled several avenues toward a solution to the problems.
As she herself points out, Margaret’s retirement is only from her role as Town Manager. She plans to spend more time with her family, especially her grandchildren, and intends to renew her skills as a horseback rider. She intends to continue her active role in Kearny and the Copper Basin, especially with the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and her church pianist position.
The celebration of Margaret Gaston Day on Sun., Feb. 10, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Elks Lodge is for all citizens. The buffet meal will be available throughout the three hour period. Margaret and her family hope that this will be a joyous day for all.