Member Profiles

Mary Ellen Lins

Mary Ellen was born and raised on a dairy farm in Spring Green, WI with a younger brother who still operates the farm, and a younger sister who is now married and living in Iowa.

Mary Ellen comes from a huge Catholic family on both sides so has many cousins, aunts and uncles that she remains close with; her mother still living on the farm in Spring Green.

Mary Ellen started at the WI DNR in June of 1972 at about $2 per hour with a 60 mile commute and was very excited with that salary!

At that time DNR Central Office was housed in the "great white pillar in the sky" - the Pyare Square Bldg. She worked in the bureaus of Air & Solid Waste Management (and then in Air Management when the aforementioned bureau split into 2 bureaus), Water Management, Water Regulation & Zoning and finally Bureau of Human Resources.

She ended her career at the DNR as an IS Professional providing IT support to the Bureau of Human Resources and also worked on an IT team of 4 supporting IT for the Division of Customer Assistance and Employee Services, Legal Services, Management and Budget, and the Office of the Secretary.

After 37 years with the DNR, Mary Ellen retired in July 2009. During her career at the DNR she met so many great DNR employees in Central Office and in the Regional offices and truly enjoyed working with folks. Mary Ellen currently resides in Lake Mills with her husband Gary of 15 years.

Daryl, Mary and Gary

She has a son Daryl (35 years) who works at TDS in Madison and a step-daughter Mandy (23 years) who will graduate from UW Whitewater in June 2011 as a teacher. But no, she is not a grandma yet.

Because her husband Gary is still employed at Dept of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, there are currently no plans for extended vacations in the cold winter months of Wisconsin, but they are both looking forward to the time when they can do that. Also on the horizon is a Hawaiian Cruise for her 60th birthday (their first cruise was in Alaska and was such a great experience).

Alaska Cruise

In the meantime, Mary Ellen and Gary enjoy bowling, euchre league, golfing, casino gambling/card playing with friends, Packer and Brewer games.

Mary Ellen and Gary visited Virginia Beach area in October 2010 for her niece's wedding who is a captain in the US Navy. And this year 4 couples had a blast staying a weekend in Green Bay to watch the Packers win the Superbowl!

Packer Mania!!!

They are looking forward to a Las Vegas trip in April 2011 with a group of friends. They also enjoy a summer week at a cabin in Pelican Rapids, MN with friends and family. Mary Ellen also enjoys her "girls" weekends which include HoChunk and BRF casinos, and one weekend trip included her first time 4 wheeling through the mud in Forest County.

Mary Ellen and 3 girlfriends also enjoyed a week all-inclusive at Puerto Vallarta in December 2010.

All 4 enjoyed their first deep sea fishing adventure - more or less bait fishing. They caught lots of fish that were then donated to the less fortunate that come to the piers each night looking for fish donations.

One very exciting "bucket list" Mary Ellen has done is sky jump tandem from a little bitty airplane in San Francisco. There is no high quite like free falling from 10,000 feet in the air and would recommend it to anyone that has it on their bucket list!

Mary Ellen has 3 kitties that she adores and does volunteer dog walking in Lake Mills.

Mary Ellen enjoys her long walks outside and the serenity and pacefulness of retirement.