By CRISTIN REECE
PALESTINE — A fixture of downtown Elkhart is no more.
Elkhart State Bank employee Glenda Starr retired from her 32-year banking career last week during a come-and-go soiree held at the bank on Friday. Co-workers, customers, friends, family and visitors to the bank on Friday enjoyed cake, punch and other refreshments as they wished Starr well.
“We're going to miss her terribly,” co-worker Rena Beazley said. “She always had a smile for everyone — she was lots of fun to work with and I know her customers are going to miss her, big time.”
Starr can do almost every job at the bank, according to her boss, bank President Jim Bob Parker, but she preferred manning the drive-through window at the bank.
“We're happy for her of course, but we're going to miss her,” Parker said. “She was a wonderful, loyal employee and she was a fixture there at the drive-through.”
Starr said she initially took the position at the bank because, “I was bored,” she explained with a laugh. “The kids were grown and I decided I wanted to work. I hope I don't get bored again!
“It's kind of bittersweet,” she said of retiring. “The only thing I ask of whoever takes over the drive-through is take care of my customers. Spoil them. I'm going to miss them, bad.”
Some of the changes she's seen in her three decades at the bank were mostly technological.
“We used to have to file checks by hand, our adding machines were manual — we haven't really used computers all that long,” she remembered. “It was much more paper and pencil back then.”
So what's she planning to do with her new wealth of personal time?
“My dad is 92,” she said as well-wishers, one after another, hugged her neck and presented her with festively wrapped packages or bouquets of fresh flowers. “I'll be taking care of him and my grandkids and great-grandkids, working in my church — pretty much what I'm already doing.
“I guess the only real change will be I won't have to set the alarm clock for so early anymore.”
Starr, who's lived in Elkhart her whole life, is married to Truman Starr, has two children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.