City of Laurel mourns the passing of former Parks and Recreation Director
Mayor Craig A. Moe releases statement of condolences for Ms. Janet Chavrid
It is with sadness that I announce the passing of former Director of the Department of Parks
and Recreation, Ms. Janet “Jan” Chavrid.
Ms. Chavrid was hired by the City of Laurel on September 21, 1965, as a Recreation Leader in the Department of Parks and Recreation. She was promoted to Assistant Director of the Department on February 2, 1967, and then appointed to Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation on January 1, 1979, by Mayor Robert J. DiPietro, and continued in that position until she retired from the City on July 6, 1990.
Ms. Chavrid graduated from High Point High School and attended the University of Maryland where she studied Physical Education.
During Ms. Chavrid’s Management Performance Evaluation in 1981, City Administrator Roland B. Sweitzer wrote, “The Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation has guided the operation to provide the utmost in cooperation with other governmental agencies. The management techniques and principles employed by this Director has resulted in good employee morale and a high degree of efficiency. The overall performance of this manager can best be described as Excellent.” Mayor Robert J. DiPietro gave his concurrence to these statements.
Ms. Chavrid’s contributions to the Department of Parks and Recreation and her dedication to the City and its residents is immeasurable. She received high praise from former Mayor Dani Duniho for her well-reasoned budgets with excellent supporting materials.
During her tenure, Ms. Chavrid and her staff developed many wonderful recreational programs, and she played a key role in creating many of the City’s popular recreational spaces, such as Duniho-Nigh Community Park, Roland B. Sweitzer Community Park, and Granville Gude Park and Lakehouse. Ms. Chavrid was also instrumental in the renovations of Alice B. McCullough Athletic Field and in the City’s First July 4th Celebration as well as the Prince George’s County Volunteer Firemen’s Association Convention held in Laurel.
As part of her legacy, while Director, Ms. Chavrid accepted the keys to the first handicapped lift-equipped van provided through Prince George’s County, for transporting Seniors or those with special needs in and around the City.
Under her leadership, Ms. Chavrid set the department on the path to what the City can boast as one of its most popular and responsive services that remains in operation.
While saddened by the loss of one of its Parks and Recreation family, the Department of Parks and Recreation will honor Ms. Chavrid by continuing the tradition of offering quality recreational services and parks that she helped to establish.
For her service to the City of Laurel and community, I have ordered the City Flag to be lowered to half-staff in honor and memory of Ms. Janet “Jan” Chavrid, Former Director, Department of Parks and Recreation until Friday, March 4, 2022.
A celebration of life is being planned for Ms. Chavrid, and when these details become available, the City will notify the public.
Craig A. Moe