McQueen: ‘There was not a day that I dreaded to go to work for the City of Elizabethton’

Published 2:18 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

David McQueen wore many hats in his 37 years working for the City of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department.

He has worn the hat of janitor, and most recently supervisor of grounds, maintaining more than 130 acres of parkland, two recreational centers, a public pool and 10 city parks. His retirement was recognized on Thursday during the Elizabethton City Council meeting and was honored by having Riverside Park named the David McQueen Riverside Park.

“This is a tough night for us,” said Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains. “We all know that time is coming with retirement but we certainly want him to stay around a little bit longer. On behalf of our department and staff and the citizens, we are going to miss you. (McQueen) is known throughout the United States having many friends in the Twins organization. We thank you for everything that you have done. You won’t find anyone with his heart who wants everything done right.”

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McQueen began working for the city when he was 17 years old in 1985 as a seasonal part-time employee. In 1990, McQueen was promoted to full-time maintenance employee for the Parks and Recreation Department. In 2001, McQueen was promoted to the Athletic Director and finally in 2008 he was promoted to Maintenance Supervisor.

“First of all, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because without Him, there is nothing possible,” McQueen said. “He created happiness in me and there was not a day one that I dreaded to go to work for the City of Elizabethton. I enjoyed every minute of it. I have had the opportunity to work with many people that have been a blessing. I have served under over a dozen mayors. Most of all, thanks to my wife who raised our girls because when duty calls, you have to go. To get this park named after me, words can’t say what it means to me.

“I have lived the dream and still am living the dream. I am fighting cancer right now, but I am a winner either way and that’s how I look at it. Cancer can’t take ol’ Dave out; my name is going to be on that park forever.”

During his tenure, McQueen always stressed that the needs of the citizens come first while remaining committed to the City of Elizabethton and its citizens. He obtained the State of Tennessee Licensed Playground Safety Inspector certification while maintaining an outstanding safety record. And McQueen had a longstanding relationship with the Minnesota Twin organization where he built lifetime friendships with former players and front office staff.

The retiree has been married to Shelby McQueen for 32 years and has three children: Axie, Katarina, and Izabella.