Archive for Thursday, April 28, 2005

Eloise ends long career

April 28, 2005

A friendly smile and a warm hello have been greeting people at the Baldwin State Bank for nearly 30 years, but that face has been missing since the middle of March.

After 50 years of working inside Baldwin State Bank, Eloise Craig retired. Craig was not a full-time employee until 1979, but did work part-time before that.

"I was perfectly happy there," Craig said. "They were like family to me. Deaths and other things were hard to take sometimes."

When Craig graduated from Vinland High School in 1955, she turned down a scholarship to Baker to come work for Nutt-Butell Insurance.

"I just liked it, but I was off part of the time when my kids were small," Craig said.

Don Nutt said he hired Craig after she opened an account at the bank.

"She was a great person, and I enjoyed working with her a lot," Nutt said. "I remember her mother and her opened a savings account here, and that was one reason I hired her. She was a real honest hard-worker and you could always rely on her."

But when the insurance company closed down, she stayed in the same building but became the receptionist for the Baldwin State Bank.

Craig had many duties for the bank, and became very good at many of them. Craig said she was always being moved to different tasks.

"Each time when I got something mastered, I got moved to a different job," Craig said.

Craig did stop working for a little while when her children were born, but did work part-time until she took over at full-time again in 1979.

Craig said she was able to get her parents to watch her children for her sometimes.

"My mother and father were in Baldwin, so they could watch them part of the time," Craig said.

There were some hard times for Craig at the bank. She remembers when Leona Butell passed away, because they were very close.

"It was tough on me when she passed away, because I was close to her," Craig said. "She used to invite me to her house and make lunch for me."

Craig also said she never thought about working somewhere else, because she enjoyed her job so much.

"I just continued to work because I liked it," Craig said. "It was easy to take off when I needed to."

When Craig retired from the bank, her co-workers threw her a party, which she knew was going to happen.

"I knew they were going to have something for me, but I was happy just to slip out of there, because when you have been with a place so long it's hard to leave," Craig said.

Nutt said he was sorry to see Craig leave the bank, but knew that everybody has to retire sometime.

"I hate to see her leave," Nutt said. "You always hate to see someone leave when they had been there that long, because they know the ropes. But we all have to do it."

Carl Butell said Craig was a great worker, because she could do many different tasks.

"She was a hard worker and knew all of the jobs," Butell said. "She could make things move along."

Craig said there were never very many really exciting times at her job, she did remember a bomb threat that happened eight to 10 years ago.

Craig has still been coming into the bank on occasion to help train the new receptionists.

"She is still here occasionally, for which we are very grateful," Butell said. "She has mastered the craft."

Craig said she is enjoying her time off from work now.

"I'm just keeping up with my grandchildren," Craig said. "I have one that's about to graduate from high school in Arkansas, so we'll go down there. I am also working on my garden and trying to keep house."

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