By Daniel Karell
GEORGETOWN — Mary Latham has been working at the Brown County Senior Citizens Center for a long time.
“Twenty-five years and two months,” she said, to be exact.
Last Friday,July 24 was Latham’s last day working at the SCC, and on the afternoon of July 27, a special luncheon with employees of the SCC and other county agencies was held at the SCC house in Georgetown.
Latham, a graduate of Mt. Orab High School in 1959, first went to work as a phone operator with Cincinnati Bell communications. Later, she worked as a baby sitter and a homemaker before deciding it was time to go back to work.
“I went by here and they had a sign out front for a job that had 20 hours a week,” Latham told The News Democrat. “I said to myself, ‘you know what, I can still do my work at home and do 20 hours a week somewhere else.’ So I put in my application.”
Originally, she said she only wanted to work part-time hours, but soon she discovered that she was working 40-hour weeks on a part-time salary.
“I thought, ‘well I might as well go full-time’, and I’ve been here ever since,” Latham said.
When she was offered a full-time job about a year after joining the Brown County SCC, she took it immediately.
Latham started out as a driver for the SCC, but soon after transitioned into her post as a transportation coordinator.
Latham said that over the years, she has had more responsibilities added to her role as more and more people have been served by the SSC.
“It’s gotten a lot bigger. I didn’t have near this much work when I first came here,” Latham said. “It’s really become a big job. Some of the other drivers have said, ‘when you leave that job, they’ll probably have two or three (employees) in that office.”
Last year, Latham nearly decided to retire due to shoulder surgery, but after contemplating her options, she decided to come back for another year.
“I thought about quitting then but I didn’t give my notice that I would quit,” Latham said. “I would really hate just to leave after sick leave and tell them I’m not coming back.”
“I finally decided this was the time to do it.”
Latham, who has four children and is a grandmother, said that while she will continue to take care of the cattle on her and her husband James’ farm, she will miss the routine of the job.
“After getting up this many years and coming to work at this time and going home, I think I’m going to miss that,” Latham said.
Latham, who will turn 75 in December, said that what she will miss the most is her relationship with the SCC drivers.
“The drivers have really been good to me,” Latham said. “The ones we have now, they always want to make sure that I do have lunch. They always call and want to know if I’ve had lunch. I think that’s wonderful, for anybody to think that much of you.”
“The drivers I’ve had have all been very good. I can’t complain. I’ve enjoyed my job working with them.”
Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell