Roxy Gavin entertained the group via Zoom as she gave her introductory talk with humor and grace.
Roxy was born in March in Eau Claire during a tornado and a power outage.
"People have commented that it explains a lot about me," she joked.
Roxy grew up in Hudson as an only child, but that didn't mean she got everything she wanted all the time, even if her dad did tend to say she was perfect.
Her parents were a bit ahead of their time, as mom worked and dad cooked the meals because he worked at night at Hamm's Brewery.
Roxy credits being an only child with why she likes to read so much, as well as a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) during her school years in Hudson.
"From about fifth grade on, I didn’t want to miss anything!" she said. "I would get in trouble in school because I wanted to visit with people all the time. In kindergarten, they had to put me in the rug storeroom during nap time so the other kids could sleep."
Roxy graduated from Hudson High and went on to major in medical technology at UW-Eau Claire. She liked chemistry, biology and physics in high school, so it seemed like a good fit.
"I didn’t want to be a nurse or teacher, so I looked in the newspaper and saw ads for medical techs."
She credits her dad's association with Hamm's with paying for her college education, as she received an almost full scholarship from the company.
After three and a half years on campus, Roxy completed a grueling 12-month internship in her senior year at St. Vincent's Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
"It was a hard year. We had lectures and spent time in the lab, and then they would use us as cheap labor on the weekends, too. It was intense," she said.
Halfway through the year, a health crisis necessitated the removal of her thyroid. She later read that her condition was often misdiagnosed as cancer. She never had any treatments afterward and it has not come back.
She said that the year-long internship has since been compacted, and that current students don't attain the background in trouble shooting that she received.
Roxy moved back to Hudson, got married to Mike, and had two kids, Scott and Stephanie.
During her 42-year career in St. Paul, she had a wide variety of experiences, starting in a small lab, then moving on to Bethesda until the late 80s, when she went to St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul.
"Mergers and downsizing took their toll, and once they merged with Fairview, I was glad she was retiring," she said.
In all the years of working in microbiology, she counts herself lucky that she never got sick.
"I always thought it was pretty good, since when I started we never even used gloves or masks. But after the AIDS epidemic, we used more protective gear. When i watched the news, if there was an outbreak of cryptosporidium, we'd know we were going to get busy, because everyone would think they had it," she said.
Her husband Mike died suddenly in June 2009, during her son's sophomore year in high school. She credits family and friends with supporting her and her family through that terrible time.

FOMO is not all bad

Roxy's FOMO has had some positive results - she's been able to influence her circle quite extensively.
"I have always enjoyed groups or activities and was always super involved in high school. They have a pom pom squad in Hudson still, and I was a founding member," she says. She also joined her sorority in college and still belongs to a few professional societies in her field. Organizations like the Minnesota Interlaboratory Microbiology Association. She jokes that some might find it "kinda weird" to talk bacteria over dinner, but not her. She also served on the hockey board during her son's hockey years.
"Even though I never wanted to be a teacher, we did have students in our work life, because hospitals would sponsor students. It was interesting, because when we learned about these things in 70s, we never thought we would need what we learned about malaria, blood parasites, etc. But now, we are diagnosing that," she said. "I did like my job. It was hard to retire, but it was time."
Roxy enjoys reading, following local and regional sports, and shopping. She says that she enjoys the activities of Rotary, and likes the international as well as the local aspects of the club. She looks forward to the days after COVID and hopes to be involved with many more events.