HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Known for his constant presence in a village he has called home for more than 50 years, Hastings-in-Hudson Department of Public Works staffer Rocky Tollefsen retired this week after nearly 40 years on the job.
Rocky, as almost everyone in Hastings knows him on a first-name basis, began his career with the village as a 22-year-old part-timer in 1974 and would have celebrated 40 years on the job in December.
"It's just time to relax and take it easy," the 62-year-old Tollefsen said. "I guess I'll get around the village and do some things, but it will be good to just relax."
The entire DPW staff met at The Prime restaurant in Hastingsn on Friday, March 28, to honor a friend and co-worker who has been on the job before most of them began. The staffers toasted Tollefsen and presented him with a pocket watch inscribed, "Rocky, We Will Miss You" -- The Hastings DPW."
"This is great ...I'll hold on to this for sure," Tollefsen said. "I didn't expect it. I know I will miss the guys. too. I always liked working with all of them."
Rocky's duties included all kinds of public works chores but he did not quit caring about his "streets" or neighbors when he punched out at the end of each day. He would instruct a resident who didn't recycle properly, pick up stray refuse that found its way on to sidewalks and help someone carry groceries up a flight of stairs when he saw the need.
"Everyone knows Rocky and everyone that worked with him will miss him," co-worker Brian Schnibbe said. "He never complained about a job and would help in any way he could. He's just a good man. And he really cares about Hastings -- and knows everything that goes on."
Co-worker Sam Brecker posted a photo of Rocky on the 10706 (Hastings) Facebook page with a tribute where several others wished Rocky well in retirement.
"I have had the honor of working with this legend for the past year, of which I will never forget," Brecker said. "Congratulations on your retirement Rocky. Work will never be the same without my partner."