A check for $10 million was on the wall in Alvin “Squeaky” Marquart’s office.
It was made out to Marquart several years ago to recognize him for the interest he earned for the county in 14 1/2 years.
On his desk was a basket of buckeyes, which he said are good luck.
Now, after 20 years serving as the county treasurer, Marquart has retired “because of my age, and it’s time,” he said last week during an interview with The Missourian.
“It’s sad, and it’s joyful,” he said.
But he plans to stay busy with another passion — college basketball.
He will follow the University of Missouri Tigers around the country and plans to go to the Final Four tournament. He has been to 24 of the last 25 Final Fours.
The only reason he missed one was because his wife got ill.
Other than sitting in the stands, he has broadcast local high school games over the radio. A native of Franklin County, Marquart has always supported the community, especially children.
He bought an animal at the Washington Town and Country Fair each year for more than 30 years, he said.
Public service was also a passion for Marquart, and he is modest about his accomplishments.
He is quick to credit others, just like a good basketball player knows it is all about teamwork.
For instance, he said the $11.6 million in interest generated during his 20 years is largely due to other county departments getting their money submitted to him in an efficient manner.
With two decades in office, he has seen the economic pendulum the country has gone through, including the 2008 recession. Now, the certificates of deposit that he invested the county’s money in are not bringing in as much as they once did.
Prior to entering public office, Marquart developed a good business sense by running a potato chip and candy company, and he shined shoes as a kid. He also sold an all-purpose food seasoning called Vanzandt’s.
The barber he worked for in his shoe-shining days gave him the nickname “Squeaky” when he was 11 years old.
“I accepted it, and I’ve been known as that all my life,” Marquart said, adding that some people just know him as “Squeaky.”
The nickname came from the squeaky voice the barber thought Marquart had as a child. Since then, it has stuck, and it applied well when it came to looking after public funds. He said he was “squeaky clean, squeaky tight” with the taxpayers’ dollars.
His dad delivered milk for Missouri Valley Creamery, and his mom was a housewife looking after the 12 children. Marquart was second to youngest.
Now, Marquart has five sons, and they are all college graduates.
He is thankful to all the voters who kept re-electing him through the years.
“I’ve been humbled by the amount of support I’ve been given,” Marquart said. “I love coming to work.”