by Dennis Dalman
Revolution 5, a local Beatles cover-band, will perform at an event to raise money for the family of Jon Maus, the Albany man who was killed May 28 when part of the Verso Paper Co. exploded.
The Maus Family Benefit will take place from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, July 22 at the Bernick’s Arena in Sartell. Admission to the event is free. There will be items to buy, including “Remember Jon” T-shirts, food and beverages. There will also be a raffle. All proceeds will go to the immediate family of Maus, who was 50 when he died. His survivors include his wife, Lucy, and their four children.
The main organizers of the benefit are Vern Barthel of Sauk Rapids, who knew Maus as a co-worker at Verso; and Barthel’s son, Aaron, of Sartell, who is a founding member of Revolution 5.
Others involved in the event are other Verso employees and management, United Steelworkers Union 274 and many area businesses. The management of Bernick’s Arena waived the usual rental fee for the event.
“Jon was a very nice gentleman,” said Vern Barthel. “He was very easy-going, very laid-back, very friendly.”
Lucy Maus said she is grateful for all the support she has received from people in the wake of her husband’s death. She and her children plan to attend the event at Bernick’s Arena. Her children are Anthony, 22; Philip, 18; Olivia, 13; and Veronica, 7. All live at home on the family farm just north of Albany.
In an interview with the Newsleader, Lucy Maus said she has days that are very difficult and days that are a bit brighter, thanks to the kindness of so many people – family, friends and even complete strangers.
Maus is a hair stylist and owns her own shop in Albany, called “The Hairitage Shop.” She also enjoys antiques and garage-saling.
“We’ve gotten just a tremendous amount of support from people,” she said. “It’s just overwhelming. People we haven’t heard from in years. People Jon knew when he was young and growing up in the Twin Cities. They share little tidbits of stories about Jon. Good memories they have of him. From all that support, it’s so obvious that Jon touched so many lives.”
Maus described her husband as “very motivated and hard-working” and also “very friendly and outgoing.”
Most of all, Maus loved farming. It was one of the central passions of his life – a rarity for a city-bred boy.
“He could talk to anybody, and he had such a sense of humor,” Lucy said. And, oh my, could he talk. Especially if the subject was farming. All someone had to do is raise that topic – farming – and Jon would talk to them and go on and on.”
Maus was born in St. Paul. He used to love more than anything to visit his grandparents and uncle on their farm north of Albany. He used to go there to help on the dairy farm, and that is when the Melrose-born Lucy met him. For a time, Maus lived on that farm while he was going to vocational school for farm management. He also worked as a hired hand for his uncle. Maus had just finished vocational school when he and Lucy met. They lived on that farm for six years. And then, 13 years ago, Maus’s uncle sold it to the Maus family. For a time, they tried sheep farming but then switched to raising bull calves and steers.
“That was always Jon’s thing – farming,” Lucy said. “The boys want to carry on the operation Jon started.”
Maus’s favorite hobby, other than farming, was NASCAR. He was thrilled when he and his mother had a chance to drive down to Florida for the Daytona 500.
“That was definitely a significant event in his life,” Lucy said.
Maus also enjoyed watching his sons do motocross and wrestle in school.
“And we live by a lake,” Lucy said. “Jon just loved hanging out on the lake.”