By Brenda Erdahl
Since 1969 the Maple Lake American Legion Post #131 commander has handed over the gavel 21 times, and it’s about to happen again.
Gary Jude will preside over one last Memorial Day Service on Monday, May 28, before handing the reigns over to Randy Mavencamp.
Jude, who has been a member of the Legion for the last 53 years, said he is excited to see younger members like Mavencamp step into leadership roles with fresh ideas to share.
Of his 53 years with the American Legion, Jude has been commander for about 20 of them. He served in the position from 1980 to 1981, then again in 1994 to 2011. He took up the reigns for the last time in March of 2017 when then commander Curt Maxson passed away. He has held the position until now.
“I don’t think I’ve missed over three or four meetings in all those years,” Jude said.
A dedicated member, he’s also been in every Memorial Day service the city has ever held and ran the program for 25 years. He remembers when the event was still held on the south side of the Community Park where the skate park is now.
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