Before he came to SLUH, DeBrecht worked at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Clayton. However, he did have connections to SLUH as his son was a graduate. After work, he would help out with the Fathers Club and Cashbah. In 2008, Director of Facilities Joe Rankin offered DeBrecht a job in the maintenance department, which he gladly accepted.
At SLUH, DeBrecht was often tasked with shutting off electricity, plumbing, carpentry, drywalling, and painting, among other things. While he did not consider heating and cooling to be among his top skills, he worked on them nonetheless.
“I applied them all (the skills) in different points in time, and there were some other little specialty ones like lock and key. I have done that, and of course digging holes out there in the ground for some project,” said DeBrecht.
DeBrecht appreciated the wide variety of skills he learned due to the fact that SLUH was an older building, with new technologies throughout the campus.
“Being that was an older building, they also could use the skills in old technology, and that is one thing SLUH offered,” said DeBrecht. “Not only do they have old technology, but they also graduated into the newest and cutting edge technology, so you have this wide variety of skills you have in order to work there, which is really nice.”
Although DeBrecht enjoyed SLUH, he believed it was his time to retire. He cited his age, 67, and health as reasons for retirement. With all the work he has done with his hands, arthritis is a concern for him and his shoulder is not in ideal shape. He also has more free time to work on projects at his own house, which he has fallen behind on in recent years.
DeBrecht greatly enjoyed the nearly 11 years he spent at SLUH. He said he will miss the great people and all the work and goal setting the maintenance department has done in his tenure.
“I would like to thank everybody on the staff and administration and all the teachers and people involved. I would just like to say that I am grateful that they have let me serve them all these years. It was a real pleasure and I am certainly going to miss everybody,” said DeBrecht.