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Assistant manager at Farm & Home hangs up tool belt

Don Tarnowski was honored at a noon lunch Friday at Doyle's Farm and Home in New Richmond.

For 25 years, Don Tarnowski has helped customers at Farm and Home in New Richmond figure out their hardware needs.

Now, Tarnowski has retired and he's looking forward to a little travel with his wife.

Employees at Doyle's Farm and Home gave Tarnowski a rousing farewell on his last day, Friday, by sharing a noon lunch and cake with the retiree.

In a short interview, Tarnowski said he's enjoyed his time at Farm and Home.

Tarnowski worked in the oil fields of Colorado earlier in his life, before taking a job in New Richmond. He started off by working part time, but quickly was hired full time.

He started out as the electrical and plumbing department manager, and then switched to hardware and tools.

Later, Tarnowski was promoted to an area manager. When Pat Doyle purchased the store, Tarnowski was made assistant manager. he's held that position for about 20 years.

"Pat Doyle has been real good to our family through the years," he said. "I couldn't have asked for a better boss."

Tarnowski said he's seen a lot of changes at the store over the past quarter decade. He was there when the building expanded and additional products were brought in, along with many additional employees. He noted the expanded garden center was also a big change for the business.

"I've enjoyed being around all the people," he said. "There are a lot of nice people at Farm and Home."

Tarnowski said he'll miss the customers and co-workers as he leaves.

"This has been my life," he said of his job.

But he and his wife are already planning their first post-retirement trip -- to Spokane, Wash., this summer. They've also purchased a camper and looking forward to camping throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota in the coming months and years.

"There's a lot to see in these two states," he said.