Wil Burdorf honored as Brown County’s Oustanding Senior Citizen

NEW ULM – Wil Burdorf of New Ulm was honored Thursday for his longtime service to the community with the Brown County Outstanding Senior Citizen Award.

Burdorf was honored Thursday at the Brown County Free Fair’s Senior Citizens Program, along with Joleen and Warren Jorgenson of New Ulm, who received the 2013 Good Folks Community Service Award.

Burdorf was picked for the honor in light of his long service and involvement with veterans organizations and causes. He was commander of the local VFW Post 1648 for 13 years and commander of American Legion Post 132, and District Vice Commander.

His long service extends from leading the local organizations, to counseling veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on their benefits, to working with the Comrades of Valor honor guard, where he is assistant chaplain, to mentoring young people through the Voice of Democracy high school speech program, and 5th and 6th grade essay programs. He has been involved with Legion and VFW baseball programs as well.

New Ulm Police Commander Dave Bechtold wrote in nomination of Burdorf’s willingness to help other community organizations, including the police department and its drug education programs.

Burdorf is not just a leader, but a worker in many veterans programs.

Burdorf was a founding member of the Brown County Veterans Council, which was instrumental in creating the Brown County Veterans Memorial at the courthouse. He is a crew leader for laying memorial stones twice a year, and he installs and removes flags and poles at the memorial 16 times a year. He is a driver for the Veterans Hospital Shuttle.

He has been an active member of the New Ulm Lions Club in all its fundraising activities and community service projects. He has been honored by New Ulm High School with its Outstanding Lay Educator award for organizing interviews with 40 WWII veterans conducted by the NUHS 9th grade class. He was also honored with the KEYC TV’s Jefferson Award for Public Service.

Burdorf accepted the honor with a simple statement that “I don’t do this for the recognition – I do it for the satisfaction.” He also pointed to the efforts of many fellow volunteers whom he hopes will also be recognized.

Burdorf will represent Brown County in the Minnesota State Fair Outstanding Senior competition on Aug. 29.

Community Service Award

Warren and Joleen Jorgenson, lifelong residents of New Ulm, were honored for their active service and involvement in Senior Citizen activities and service.

Both are active officers in the New Ulm Golden Age Club, and deliver meals to shut-ins throughout the community.

Joleen helped coordinate Bingo at the Senior Center, and Warren has been a caller for many years. Both are active participants in other activities at the New Ulm Senior Center.

Warren, a recipient of the Purple Heart, is an active member of the Prairieland Defenders, and a volunteer for the Disabled American Veterans and their weekly clothing collection.

Joleen is active with the Christian Mothers at Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

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