In 1983, Ronald Reagan was president, Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, TV viewers tuned in to watch the final episode of M*A*S*H*, and Maria Maskell joined Arizona Public Service.
Ms. Maskell, of Litchfield Park, who recently retired from the electric utility company, has also volunteered with the nonprofit organization Duet: Partners in Health & Aging.
In honor of her service to APS, and everything she does for her community, APS recently donated $5,000 to Duet in Ms. Maskell’s name.
“Maria represents the best of APS and who we all aspire to be,” said Damon Gross, leader at APS’ community affairs department. “During her 37-year career, Maria has been universally revered for her commitment to supporting those around her — whether they be APS colleagues, or our community partners focused on making Arizona a better place. She’s built one of the most successful volunteer programs in the state, created opportunities for our retirees to remain engaged with the company, and mentored our next generation of community-minded employees.”
Over the years at Duet, Ms. Maskell spent much of her time helping her Duet “neighbor” Wynell Burchett. The two formed a close bond and Ms. Maskell often helped Ms. Burchett with tasks like grocery shopping or paperwork before she passed away earlier this year.
Although Ms. Maskell misses her friend dearly, she said she finds comfort in the memories they made together and reflects fondly on the moments they spent in each other’s lives.
APS made the monetary contribution to Duet in honor of both Ms. Maskell and Ms. Burchett.
“The contribution APS made to Duet on Maria’s behalf is a small measure of the appreciation that countless employees at every level of the company have for her friendship,” Mr. Gross said. “Her many important contributions and the special relationship she had with Wynell is heartwarming and APS is a better, more caring company because of Maria.”
Ms. Maskell was awarded the donation at a recent APS virtual retirees’ reunion. She was flooded with gratitude and pride after receiving the incredible honor.
“I was so surprised and overwhelmed when APS leadership announced the gift to Duet in recognition of my retirement,” she said. “I am passionate about helping seniors and have volunteered with Duet for several years, but for APS to recognize my efforts in this way, and to also memorialize my relationship with Wynell, is truly humbling and special. In my 37 years at APS, I’ve seen many changes, but commitment to the communities it serves has always been a core value. This gift reflects those values.”
Ms. Maskell said she will continue volunteering at Duet and is excited to serve as part of the organization’s Service Area Committee at the beginning of the year. She encouraged everyone, even those with busy schedules, to find time to volunteer, calling it a rewarding experience for her and those she helps along the way.
Editor’s note: Emma Wolff is a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University.