Written by by Don Ratzlaff Monday, 19 March 2007 10:55
For Ramona Beisel, going to work at the same job for 26 1⁄2 years was sheer pleasure.
“I loved the work and I loved the people,” said Beisel, whose extended stint as a teller with Great Plain Federal Credit Union ended earlier this month.
“I’ve always I said I had the best job there was, as far as I was concerned,” she said from her home in Tampa. “I just loved the people, and they would become part of your life—customers and coworkers, both.”
Beisel grew up as the oldest of 14 children in the farm home of Francis and Richard Stuchlik near Lost Springs. She and her classmates gained the distinction of being the first seniors to graduate from Centre High School in 1959.
Her first job in the financial world was with Farmers & Drovers Bank in Marion when she was in her late 20s.
“I couldn’t believe Mr. Lavern Hatzell would even hire me,” she said. “They were looking for a teller and a secretary to the president. ‘I haven’t typed in nine years,’ I think I told him.
“But he hired me—and no other person would have. I credit him for giving me my start.”
Beisel stepped way from her job for a couple of years when she and husband Don welcomed the youngest of three children into the family.
She then went back to work as a teller for Tip Top Credit Union, which was bought out in 1985 by Great Plains.
“I loved being the teller because of the people,” she said. “As they would get to know you, they’d lay out part of their lives to you and you’d become one big family, kind of.
“Each one does have a special place for me. I don’t care if they were young, middle age or old, they were all really special. I know some of them shed some tears with me, too.”
Beisel remembers fondly a conversation she had with an elderly customer who had recently become a widow.
“Usually back then (the wife) didn’t have anything to do with the finance part of it,” Beisel said. “She stood at my window and cried and said, ‘I just depend on you. I don’t know how to do anything.’ I’ll never forget her. It touched my heart.
“When you feel like you can help somebody, I always figured you’re God’s instrument, even with the people in the financial area.”
For the past several years, Beisel has had the distinction of being part of an all-female staff at Great Plains.
“I’ve gotten used to it, but sometimes it’d be kind of nice to have a male in there,” she said with a laugh. “We’re always trying to push for one.”
Beisel said she decided to retire so she and husband Don can do the things they’ve wanted to do while both are in good health.
“We like to square dance and we like to travel,” she said. “The grandkids live a ways away and I couldn’t go to their programs and such. Now we can do that.”
Beisel’s coworkers organized an appreciation and farewell for her on her last day, March 2.
“That was so nice,” she said. “I told them I didn’t want them to do anything because it really bothered me (to leave). But I came to work and they had the cake and napkins and nuts.
“We had people in and out all day long, and it was so nice. They touched my heart. It was really hard to leave.”