This past week, members of our newspaper staff attended a funeral at Root River Community Church in Rushford, Minn., to pay our respects to Peggi Redalen.
Peggi worked in advertising sales for the Fillmore County Journal since way before my wife and I purchased the company in 2009.
And, she had worked for the Rushford Tri-County Record for many years prior to joining the Fillmore County Journal. She had been a part of the many transitions that had taken place in the newspaper industry over the past couple decades.
Her true passion was landscape design, and she balanced her time between working for the newspaper and creating landscape masterpieces for clients.
Peggi was always proudly talking about her children and grandchildren.
When you work with someone in a small company like ours, you get to know your co-workers to the point you know the names of their family members, their pets, and their passions in life.
“How was your weekend? What did you do this past weekend?”
That’s how nearly every Monday starts out at the office.
A work family is like a second family in our lives. We spend upwards of 40 waking hours per week (2,080 hours per year) together with this second family.
When something affects one of your co-workers, it affects other members of the second family. When co-workers are hurting, the second family feels the pain, too.
Back when Peggi left our team at the Fillmore County Journal in March of 2017 due to serious health concerns, I honestly thought it was temporary. I was crossing my fingers that she would be back to work again, soon. I guess that was my eternal optimism.
Peggi had battled health issues in the past, and her determination helped her overcome whatever challenges she faced. I figured her determination would prevail again. I was wrong. She was up against a much bigger challenge.
And, I am sure that Peggi would still be working with us today at the newspaper if she wasn’t faced with this terminal disease.
As I have shared with members of our team at the Fillmore County Journal, every idea that we implement over the years becomes a compilation of our collective talent. Peggi helped us make the newspaper better. She left her mark.
For a long time, I have felt that every person we cross paths with in our lives has been a part of our lives for reasons that we may not fully understand or appreciate at that moment in time. Regardless of the duration, it was important.
We surely cannot understand the pain that Peggi’s family is feeling right now, but we know she will be missed by so many family members, friends, and her second family at the Fillmore County Journal.