They say when you retire, you have to find a hobby.
Pat Spoerl decided to take her former career working for the Forest Service, eliminating the bad stuff, and volunteering for the fun stuff, all in the town of Oro Valley.
Spoerl was recently recognized by the town as its Volunteer of the Year.
This is the second year volunteers have been recognized in Oro Valley, which was founded in 1974.
“For me, a lot of this is a continuation of the things that I have background and experience in with the Forest Service,” Spoerl said. “The fun things I didn’t get to do enough of. Like working with restoring historical sites, doing tours of archeological sites. For me, that has been the most rewarding for me.”
Spoerl was one of the founding members of the Oro Valley Historical Society, and has been its treasurer and president.
In doing different jobs and wearing different hats, Spoerl has broken away from the regularly scheduled days at the office.
She makes each day a different one.
“I don’t have a typical day,” Spoerl said.
On one recent day, she had a meeting with the Oro Valley town staff about a cultural resources survey, which the town is funding.
Then, she and several others went out to Steam Pump Ranch to tour the property.
In the afternoon, she started to work on a presentation for the town council, on behalf of the historical society, for the historic gardens project and guided tours at Steam Pump Ranch.
Spoerl volunteers her days because she loves what she does.
Her career was spent working on the fringes of tours and preservation efforts, but never as hands-on as she would have preferred.
Now, during her many weekly volunteer hours, Spoerl is doing what she always wanted.
And she’s been recognized by the town of Oro Valley for her contributions of time and effort.
“It’s special,” she said. “It’s very nice to be honored with that award by the town and to be nominated by peers, people who I volunteer and work with. I think that is what is very important to me, it’s the people I associate with … who nominated me for it.”