Richard Delk retires from Greenville City Street Dept. after 31 years


GREENVILLE — Today, after 31 years and four months on the job, Richard Delk leaves his position at the City of Greenville Street Department. As such, the department held a retirement party Wednesday at the Ohio Street garage in his honor.

Asked what it meant to him seeing the various people stop in to wish him well, Delk said, “I guess it means I’ve got a lot of friends in the city, and that’s a good thing. We’ve got pretty much every department come to see me off.”

Prior to accepting a position with the street department, Delk worked at Shrader’s Tire, now J&M Tire, which frequently serviced the city’s vehicles.

“I was store manager up there, and frustrated,” he said. “And Bob Smith, the street superintendent at that time, came up one day and I said, ‘Bob, you have any openings?’ He said, ‘I just got a guy going back to the service. You come down and get an application.’ I got an application on a Tuesday, turned it in on Wednesday, and he came down on Friday and asked, ‘When do you want to start to work?’”

Delk retires as a street foreman, but also spent a brief period of time as an administrative assistant. His time at the department is also a family affair, as his son, Ryan Delk, is the current street superintendent. Having his son as boss, however, hasn’t posed any difficulties for either.

“He knows what he’s got to do, and I know what I’ve got to do. His job is to tell me and them what needs to get done, and my job is to get it done. We’ve got along fine that way,” he said.

Ryan Delk confessed to having “mixed emotions” on seeing his father leave.

“From a work standpoint, you hate to lose somebody who has that kind of experience,” he said. “From the standpoint of a son, I’m proud of him and it’s a great accomplishment. And happy for him, for sure.”

“Obviously I’m where I’m at because of him. Learned a lot from him. This has been his life for a long time, my life for a long time,” he added. “Luckily he’s a phone call away if we do run into problems.”

Delk, who was recently reelected to serve a three-year term on the Darke County Fair Board, said he will continue fulfilling those duties, but has no firm plans other than spending more time with his wife, Karen, and their five grandkids.

“For about a month or so, I just want to sit back and enjoy being retired,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of offers, but I’ve told them I’m not ready to do anything, and if I did, I’m not ready to work 40 hours a week.”

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Richard Delk (left, with son Ryan Delk) will be leaving Greenville Street Department after more than 31 years on the job. A retirement party was held in his honor Wednesday.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_Delk-retire-0001-PRINT.jpgRichard Delk (left, with son Ryan Delk) will be leaving Greenville Street Department after more than 31 years on the job. A retirement party was held in his honor Wednesday. Erik Martin | The Daily Advocate

By Erik Martin

emartin@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com