Published On: Thu, May 22nd, 2014

Retirement will not slow down the Wemhoffs

Paul and Diane Wemhoff, who live southwest of Coleridge, are retiring from the jobs they have each held for a number of years.

Diane worked for the Coleridge School for 27 years. Paul has put in 13 years, which have included the Coleridge School and the Laurel-Concord School.

Paul and Diane both liked the work they did through the years.

Both talked about how much they enjoyed being around the students and how much they appreciate the staff they have worked with.

Diane was a library aid but also helped in other areas at the school.

“I worked in the library, but, sometimes I did recess or I helped with lunch,” Diane said. “I would help out wherever I was needed.”


Diane appreciated a lot of things about her job at the school.

She enjoyed the students and staff members, along with the atmosphere at the school.

“It was so comfortable — the kids, the people at school — everything,” Diane said. “There were no weekends to work and I didn’t have to work during the summer when our kids were home. Another good thing was that I never had to pack a lunch. That was a big benefit. We always had good food at the school.”


Paul also talked about how much he enjoyed being around the kids at school, as well as the teachers and other faculty members.

“I had a lot of fun with all of them,” he said.

Paul would say “hello” to the students and joke with them, or ask them how they were doing.

Paul has a compassion for people who are going through a hard time.

He remembers the time he stopped to talk to a student who was enrolled in the Credit Recovery Program.

“The student was surprised when I asked him how he was doing. He was used to being teased and made fun of or ignored before he got into Credit Recovery,” Paul said.


Paul started working at the Coleridge School, but later became the Head Maintenance person for both the Coleridge and Laurel-Concord Schools.

Paul worked year-round and would be at the school in the evening if he was needed.

“During the summer time we would get the school ready for the next year,” Paul said. “I would stick around in the evenings for the games, concerts, and other activities.”

One of the most important lessons Paul learned about his job came from Dan Hoesing who had served as the superintendent of the two schools.

Paul still remembers Hoesing telling him, “If it doesn’t look good for you, it won’t look good for the public.”

“Dr. Hoesing taught me so much,” Paul said. “He and Craig Frerichs were not afraid of work. At times they would even help out.”

During the summer months Paul and his crew of workers would strip the floors and clean them, clean the carpets, take care of the painting that needed to be done and get the whole school building ready for the next school year.

“When I would get done with a job I would stand back and look — and then smile,” he said.

Paul and his staff were encouraged by all of the good comments that came their way.

“I always appreciated the comments we got. It wasn’t just me. We had a good team that worked together. I would set up different people for different areas,” Paul said. “We had fun working together.”


Last Friday, May 16, was the last day at the school for Paul and Diane who had put in 40 years at the school between the two of them.

The couple, who have been married for 42 years, have lived in the Coleridge area all of their married life, except for the first six months when they lived in Columbus.

Diane has lived in the Coleridge area all of her life and is a Coleridge High School graduate.


Paul and Diane do not have any definite plans put in place for their retirement years but they know there will plenty of things to do.

“We won’t have any problem keeping busy,” Paul said.

They both agree they want to do some traveling.

“Our kids are spread out. We have eight kids to go see and help out and we have 13 grandkids to see,” Diane said. “Paul’s Mom lives in Columbus so we will have more time to go see her.”


All of Paul and Diane’s kids graduated from Coleridge High School.

Jenny, now lives in Sidney; Carey in Hudson, Colo.; Clinton is in Thornton, Colo.; Brad, Tom and Jay live in the Columbus area; Curtis is in Norfolk; and Kathy is close by in Randolph.

All of the kids are married with children except Clinton and Brad.


Diane enjoys sewing and loves quilting.

She will now have time to add to the dozen or more quilts she has already stitched together.

“I have always wanted to make a quilt for each of our kids,” Diane said.

Paul will be spending time outside and will do some gardening.

“I love to garden,” Paul said. “It’s the only farming left for me to do.”


Paul and Diane will also be doing things to help out in the community and at their church.

“It will be nice to have a choice each morning on what you want to do that day,” Diane said.

“I want to do some traveling but we’ll just take one step at a time,” Paul said.