Laclede Community Credit Union retiree Verdie Greeling is pictured with some of the credit union’s tellers. Greeling retired as branch manager of the credit union’s Broadway location.
ALTON — The year was 1969 and Verdie Greeling was two weeks out of high school, searching for a job when Laclede Community Credit Union just happened to have an opening. About a week later she would be hired for what she thought would only be a brief job. Now, 45 years into her career with the credit union, Greeling said her goodbyes at an open house Friday, May 9, and she moved into the next phase of her life: retirement.
“My goal was 45 years and I reached my goal,” Greeling explained, though her husband of 41 years, Ron, jokingly says she should try for 50. “It’s just perfect timing for me.”
From teller, to book-keeper, to branch manager, even vice president of administration for a time, she’s moved fluidly through the company and has been a part of many of the locations. It’s the branch manager of the Broadway location that marks her last position.
“I grew up here — straight from high school. Just grew up here: from a kid to an adult. Now I’m Social Security age, and it’s time to go.”
But as she grew, so did the company. Just starting out, she remembers Laclede being all about savings and loans. Those were the only two options. But as the 1970s rolled around, checking became a focus. And then came CDs, ATMs, online banking and bill pay and home banking up until it became a full-service facility. Whatever could be offered was, including things that may not be as usual for a credit union.
Since 1997, she headed the travel club, booking everything from the motor coach to the locations for roughly four trips a year.
“It was a total blast. And that’s one thing I am going to miss more than anything,” Greeling said. “It’s already been a plan with my travel people that we will meet maybe once a quarter to go out to dinner just so we can all stay in touch. Because there were about 40 or 50 that were dedicated travelers with me, so over the years, you just become very very close with them.”
As she heads into retirement, traveling is an adventure she plans to continue on with — visiting family in the North and traveling to the South, she said she will restrict her traveling to the United States. However, taking it easy is first on her list with projects like remodeling her house being at the top.
As Greeling enjoys retirement, one thing is for certain as she leaves behind her coworkers, who she lovingly says are like family — she will be missed. It’s the happy attitude, her room-filling laugh, knowing nearly every name of the members and casual use of the pet name “honey” that immediately makes you feel welcomed. That is Greeling.
“I just want to thank the board of directors for giving me the opportunity to work here,” Greeling said. “It was a wonderful place to work and I’m going to miss everybody.”