‘You get involved in the community’

Jay and Mary Eull named Albertville Citizens of Year

The 2013 Albertville Citizens of the Year, Jay and Mary Eull, each have lifelong connections to St. Michael-Albertville. They will be the grand marshals of the annual Albertville Friendly City Days parade Sunday, June 9.

The 2013 Albertville Citizens of the Year, Jay and Mary Eull, each have lifelong connections to St. Michael-Albertville. They will be the grand marshals of the annual Albertville Friendly City Days parade Sunday, June 9.

Somewhere between Albertville and St. Michael is a border that separates the two cities. One thing the border has never seemed separate is a history of common family names in the two cities, and the name Eull is no exception.

For example, the 2013 Albertville Citizens of the Year — Jay and Mary Eull — personify that “Albertville or St. Michael” connection.

Jay is from Albertville. Mary is from St. Michael. Jay attended Elk River High School. Mary attended St. Michael High School. The couple lives in Albertville but are members of St. Michael Catholic Church.

Heck, there isn’t even consensus on how to pronounce Eull.

“When I went to school in Elk River, the teachers pronounced it ‘yule,’ ” Joe said. “The argument is the English pronunciation is ‘yule,’ and the Germans said ‘ile.’ ” My dad didn’t care, and it makes no difference to me.”

Jay Eull is the son of Earl and Connie Eull of Albertville, where the family operated a farm for years. Connie Eull is still alive and recently moved to a senior facility in Elk River. Mary Eull has lifelong area roots, as well. She is the daughter of Bernard and Rose Hackenmueller of St. Michael.

Jay, Mary and children Michael, Joshua, Paul and Dean actually left the community for seven years, moving to Askov, Minn. Jay, a banker, then got an opportunity to move back to the area in 2001 and work for the State Bank of Rogers. He eventually took a job at the former Lake Community Bank in Albertville and recent began a new position as vice-president of 21st Century Bank in Rogers. Mary works for the Altron circuit board company in Ramsey as a group leader. The couple is also proud grandparents of five grandchildren, including a newborn to son Josh.

Jay said community service was very important to his father, Earl, and that Jay thus carries on the tradition of giving back. He is a long-time member of the Albertville Fire Department, presently serving as its assistant chief. Sons Dean and Josh are also in the department. Jay is also the gambling manager for the Albertville Lions club, and does all the fire inspections for the city of Albertville, recently receiving commendation for doing 800 inspections in the last five years.

“If not for my wife and understanding family, I couldn’t do what I do,” Jay said. “She’s the one that keeps everything together.”

“Yes!” Mary responded. The couple has been married for 31 years. “It seems like forever!” she added.

Mary said growing up in St. Michael meant “knowing everyone.” When they moved back to St. Michael in 2001, she said the city had definitely grown and changed. “It was a little tough (getting used to the changes), but it’s just more hustle and bustle,” she said.

Jay said some things have changed, and some haven’t, such as Main Avenue in Albertville. “It still has that old hometown feel,” he said. “We need new things though, that’s just growth.”

As Citizens of the Year, the Eulls will ride in a convertible leading the extremely popular Albertville Friendly City Days parade Sunday, June 9. Jay Eull said he remembers the first Friendly City Days decades ago where the pig roast was supplied by his family farm. As a Lion member, he remains busy helping with the annual summer celebration every year, including with the Lions beer garden, helping close city streets, and working on floats.

Jay credited his children for also helping out. “They never said no when we want something for the community,” he said.

The bashful Mary said that while it’s an honor to receive the Citizens of the Year award, she gave all the credit to Jay, who in turn joked, “I don’t think it’s deserved.”

All kidding aside, Jay Eull said, “I do volunteering because I want to. That’s the way my dad was, you get involved in the community.”

“We’re a team,” Mary Eull added.

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