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Vets home superintendent leaving

uperintendent Jerry Towne is leaving the home in Retsil, where he’s been superintendent for more than a year, to accept a position in the state capital.

Effective Jan. 1, Towne will be the program director for transitional housing and rehabilitation services for the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs in Olympia.

He will be replaced at the 262-bed home in Retsil by the superintendent of the Washington Soldiers Home and Colony in Orting, Jon Clontz.

“About 10 days ago (I was offered) a position in transitional affairs, where I came from before I became superintendent,” Towne said on Monday, explaining his decision to accept the position in Olympia.

“I always found (the homeless veterans issue) challenging,” Towne said. “It’s exciting because every time you take a step forward you’ve helped a lot of people who need it the most.”

According to Towne, he will also be involved in the creation of a state cemetery for veterans in Eastern Washington. Still, Towne said, he feels a real sense of accomplishment about his work at Retsil.

“It’s been an exciting year and a half here,“ Towne said. “I’ve gotten a lot done.”

Towne said the Retsil home’s new superintendent has been the superintendent of the Orting home for over a year.

“He came from the private sector,” Towne said. “He was an administrator of a for profit (home for the elderly).”

According to Towne, Clontz was also previously involved in social work and is getting his Masters Degree in Public Affairs.

He said Clontz will be a great addition to Retsil’s veterans home, but he will miss his staff and friends there.

“There going to miss me and I’m going to miss them,” Towne said. “I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends here.”

Jon Clontz could was unavailable for comment.

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