Friends, colleagues honor Riekena at retirement party

Retiring Supervisor Harlyn Riekena (left) passes his gavel to his successor, Heidi Nederhoff (right), during a party in honor of his service to Grundy County. Riekena, a farmer from Wellsburg, has sat on the board since 2001. (Robert Maharry/The Grundy Register photo) 

Ask 10 people who know Harlyn Riekena what they’ll always remember most about him, and it’s a safe bet at least nine of them will say something about his trademark wit. It’s his greatest asset and his defining characteristic.


Over coffee, punch, cake and assorted treats, friends and soon-to-be former colleagues gathered at the Grundy County Courthouse to wish Riekena well last Wednesday as the Republican supervisor—who’s been on the board since 2001 and serves the Wellsburg and Holland areas—prepares to retire at the end of the year.


Fellow Supervisor Mark Schildroth, who came aboard in 2003, recalled his first impressions of Riekena and how wrong they ended up being.


“I remember looking over at him and thinking ‘Boy, that grumpy old man must be a bundle of fun to work with,’” Schildroth said. “And you know what? He was. I’ll really miss him.” 


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