Longtime volunteer gets his day
There are only so many hours in a day and John Loch has a lot of plans for the ones he has left. So at the age of 62 and in good health, the longtime Rosemount pharmacist decided to retire to do some of those things.
Loch's last day at the Rosemount Cub Foods was June 29. It's not that he didn't enjoy the work but Loch said he feels his time could better be spent doing other things.
Loch, an avid volunteer, said he wants to spend more time on his community work and personal interests including stamp collecting and wood carving.
"I've had a countdown for 15 years," said Loch. "I have so many other things and interests that I want to pursue that I felt it was time."
Loch said he especially wants to put more efforts towards developing the Rosemount Area Arts Council. One of the founding members of the group, Loch said he would like to help it become a viable resource in the community. Additionally, Loch said he wants to see the former St. Joseph's Church turned into an arts and cultural center.
"We've had a great start and I want to help take it to the next level," Loch said of the RAAC.
Loch has brought that sort of passion to everything he's done, including getting Rosemount's Leprechaun Days started 30 years ago.
"Rosemount is the way it is because of John. There have been lots of other volunteers who have helped out but John has been instrumental," said friend Maureen Geraghty-Bouchard.
In addition to Leprechaun Days Loch helped start the annual Haunted Trail event and helped form the RAAC and the Rosemount Area Historical Society.
The announcement of his retirement set in motion events that would overwhelm Loch. On Sunday, June 28 friends and family honored Loch with an emotional party at the Rosemount Community Center.
Geraghty Bouchard said they used his retirement as a ploy to say thank you for all he has done for the community.
"He's gone above and beyond in everything he's done," said Geraghty-Bouchard.
In addition to the party mayor Bill Droste proclaimed June 30 John Loch Day. That day also happened to be Loch's first day of retirement and, coincidentally, his birthday. Gov. Tim Pawlenty also sent Loch a certificate of appreciation.
"He's done a tremendous amount of work for Rosemount and our community events," said Droste. "His heart is for Rosemount."
Loch actually lives just over the border in Apple Valley. Despite his physical address his home is Rosemount, Loch said.
Loch was following in his father's footsteps when became a pharmacist. He has actually worked in a pharmacy since he was 12 years old.
"I've been working in a pharmacy for 50 years," said Loch.
When Loch first moved to Rosemount he worked at Robert's Drug. When the store came up for sale 10 years later Loch and his wife, Ann, bought it. They ran Loch Pharmacy at several locations for 15 years until he closed the store.
For the last eight years Loch has worked for Cub Foods. Seven of those years have been in Rosemount. He worked one year in Burnsville while the Rosemount Cub was being built.
Over the years Loch developed relationships with many in the community. Those relationships spurred his desire to give back.
"For me and my wife it seemed natural to serve the community that supported us," said Loch.
While flattered by all the attention, Loch also seemed uncomfortable being recognized. Geraghty-Bouchard that's just the way Loch is.
"He's humble and not comfortable in the spotlight," she said.
Loch said out of all the attention he most appreciates the good tidings from the people he has provided care to.
"Seeing the people I have provided care and friendship to all these years has been the most meaningful part of it," said Loch.