Prospect officials sworn in, community members honored during ceremony

Michael Shurkus, left, is honored by Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield, center, and state Rep. Lezlye Zupkus during a ceremony Nov. 15 at Prospect Elementary School. -ANDREAS YILMA

PROSPECT — The town swore in recently-elected officials Nov. 15 during a ceremony that was about more than the results of the election.

Led by Mayor Robert J. Chatfield, who is in his 22nd term in office, officials were sworn in front of gymnasium full of students, family and friends at Prospect Elementary School.

After the swearing-in ceremony, the town honored six community members — Carol Jones, Shirley Sabo, Doug Merriman, Michael Shurkus, Marie Delage and Babettee Strumpf — with lifetime achievement awards for the service to the community.

Jones has owned the Prospect Dairy Bar, which is a staple in town and closing this week, for over 30 years.

Sabo, the widow of former Mayor George Sabo Jr., served on the Town Council for 20 years.

Merriman served on the council for 34 consecutive years before resigning earlier this year for health reasons. Merriman is also active with American Legion Post 194, which is named after his brother, Thomas Merriman, who was killed in the Korean War.

Shurkus, a beloved former town employee, worked for the town as a custodian for over 40 years.

Delage served on the Region 16 Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, and as chairman for the senior center building addition committee.

Strumpf made sure soldiers received letters from home during the Vietnam War. When American Legion Post 194 was in jeopardy of closing, she and her husband worked to make sure the organization stayed open.