FLANAGAN - Eunice Reinhardt never planned on staying at Flanagan State Bank for 48 years. She said it just happened.
"I planned on staying at home, and giving up my job," said the mother of two. "It just happened, and I don't know where the time has gone. It's been a wonderful job."
Reinhardt is retiring from the bank Friday, where she started as a cashier when she was 17 years old. Now, she is a co-branch manager.
"To a lot of people, she is the face of the bank," said bank President Kent Schwerin. "It is going to be an adjustment. (Her 48 years of service) is in a complete class by itself."
Reinhardt, a graduate of Toluca High School, moved to Flanagan with her husband in 1958. She interviewed for the job with H.J. Schwerin, chairman of the bank's board, over the telephone. Her starting salary was $175 a month.
"I was hired over the phone," she said. "My first day was the first time I was ever in the bank. (Schwerin) knew my parents, and that was all he needed to know."
Reinhardt said working at the bank really helped her to learn other people in the community. She would read the town's newspaper column about who-visited-who to learn how people were related.
"I've really got to know the people in town," she said. "I wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet people otherwise."
Over the years, she has also watched the changes in the banking industry and the bank itself.
Reinhardt said in years gone by most of the work was done on paper or by hand. She remembers having a large adding machine that had to be cranked and using carbon paper.
Today, everything is done on computers. But even with the many ways of banking online, some people still enjoy the face-to-face service.
When Reinhardt started at the bank, there was only one branch and four employees. Today, there are five branches and 40 employees. She will miss the daily 8:15 a.m. meetings, where those employees talk about the day or share personal concerns. Over the years, she has worked with 39 different people.
And she'll also miss other people who come to the bank every day " its customers.
"It's the people that I'll miss most," she said. "It's always been like family. We've had a lot of fun."