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Croes retires after 20 years with St. Croix County

Shar Croes has worked for more than 20 years as a real property lister in the county planning and zoning office and retires Jan. 3 after putting it off for a while.

Sharleen Croes said she dragged her feet on retirement until she was over 70, but has finally made the choice.

Jan. 3 marked her last day as real property lister in the St. Croix County Planning and Zoning office after more than 20 years on the job.

"I loved the job," the town of Cylon native said during a conversation late last week as she reflected on the past two decades.

Contrary to what her title suggests, the position doesn't include listing property as such.

"We check a deed to make sure it is right and put it in for tax purposes," she said.

The work can include divided property which can be difficult. "We try to keep people happy," she said.

"The deeds that are most troublesome are those people do themselves," she said. "Sometimes a parcel comes out looking like a star or a snowflake."

The advancement of technology has been a help in her field. "When I started we had a dot matrix printer and computers had been used for only about six years," Croes said.

"Now with a website, realtors and the public can find the answers to their questions quickly," she said.

Croes, who grew up on a farm in the town of Cylon, graduated from New Richmond High School in 1958, was married in 1959 and she and her husband, Jim, raised five children on a farm in Cylon.

"My husband was a city boy who always wanted to be a farmer," she said. Their dairy farm had 80 milk cows at the peak. Now they rent the land, she said.

After raising the children, Croes went to work for the county in July 1992 starting as assistant real property lister. She admitted to working up to retirement by taking Monday and Tuesday off over the summer to ready herself for the final day.

Croes lost two sons in a farm accident and has three grown children including Andrea Wilkerson in Blaine, Minn., Dianna Croes in Minneapolis, and Kevin and Roxanne Croes who farm in the town of Glenwood and have provided her with two grandchildren.

Retirement will eliminate a 30-mile one-way commute to work every day and what she is looking most forward to, "No alarm clocks," she said.