After almost 45 years of employment, a local business is saying farewell to an employee who has decided it is time to retire.
Anne Strangmeier first came to work at Turner Chevrolet in 1973 after a friend suggested that she interview for an open position.
“It was at the insistence of a friend that I came and interviewed here because they had an opening,” Strangmeier said. “I just kept putting it off because I was working at a bank. She would call me and say, ‘They tell me you haven’t been in to see them,’ and I would say, ‘No, I haven’t been in yet.’
“Mr. (Henry) Turner called over at the bank and asked me to stop by. Back then, at the bank, if you were looking for another job that was an automatic dismissal. I wasn’t looking for a job, but they were looking for me. I stopped by that evening after he called.”
Strangmeier said at the time, the position at Turner Chevrolet paid twice what she was making at the bank — $125 a week. When she started, Strangmeier worked in accounts receivable and wrote up bills of sale for new car deals.
She said in the more than 40 years at the business she has seen a lot of things change.
“Of course, the price of vehicles with the change of times,” she said. “Even back then, you thought vehicles were high but not when we look back on paperwork from years gone by, we think, ‘Oh my gosh!’
“I’ve seen the body style changes and now all of the paperwork that it takes to do a car deal. There’s so many banking regulations when you’re trying to do loans through banks now.”
Seven years after Strangmeier started at Turner Chevrolet, the head bookkeeper at the dealership died suddenly. Joe Turner said when it happened, he didn’t know what would come next. The bookkeeper would compile and send out financial statements to General Motors each month. The task was to find somebody quickly who could fill the vacancy.
“I thought I was in trouble,” he said. “Here I am, with no bookkeeper. Anne came to me and said, ‘I think I can make that statement.’ I said, ‘You just give it a try and see how you get along.’ She got it out on time the very first month. The statement goes out every month and from 1980 to 2017, Anne has never missed one time getting that statement out on time.
“She’d have deaths in her family, surgeries, whatever — but she always got it out. She was a dedicated person. When it was time for that statement, she got with it and got it done and got it out of here. She’s a good, loyal employee. The best I ever had.”
Turner said in addition to being a great employee, he attends the same church as Strangmeier, their children grew up together and he is glad to call her his friend.
“She’s just been a real blessing to me,” he said.
“It’s been a fun ride, but I’m ready to hang it up,” Strangmeier said. “It’s been a pleasure to work for the Turners. When I first came, I worked for Joe’s dad and they’re all just great people.”
Friends, coworkers and members of the community were invited to the dealership Tuesday afternoon to congratulate Strangmeier on her long, dedicated employment. Today is her last day at Turner Chevrolet.
Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.