Bookkeeper retires after 60 ?good years?

By Ryan Bentley
Petoskey News-Review

PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — When asked what Anne Shepherd has brought to her 60-year career at Michigan Maple block, company general manager Fred Polhemus describes her as a dedicated employee, one who’s often been the first to show up for work at the Petoskey plant in the morning.

“She’s just been a special person,” he said.

Polhemus noted that retiring bookkeeping and payroll employee Shepherd is unique, too, in a statistical sense.

Based on various workforce statistics he retrieved and extrapolated, Polhemus noted that about 5 million Americans retire yearly.

About 200,000 of them are 78 — Shepherd’s age — or older. But only about five of those retirees have spent as long as Shepherd has in the same company and in the same job — making Shepherd approximately one in 1 million.

Past and present co-workers, family and friends recently joined Shepherd at the wood products company to celebrate her retirement.

“I never thought I’d be in this place this long,” Shepherd said. “But they’ve been good years.

“(The company) has been awfully good to me.”

For years, Shepherd couldn’t make up her mind when to wind down her career.

“I was always satisfied here, so why retire?” she said.

After her husband, Edward, died a couple of years ago, Shepherd said she found the social contacts at work to be helpful for her.

But now, Shepherd said she’s ready to begin spending more time with family members.

Polhemus and Shepherd noted that bookkeeping and payroll work have gone through considerable technological change during Shepherd’s tenure.

In the 1950s, the company paid its employees in cash. In more recent decades the process of generating paychecks, like many other tasks involved in Shepherd’s job, have become

Shepherd, a Harbor Springs resident, has three children and six grandchildren.

Along with seeing more of her family, Shepherd plans to spend more time on hobbies such as travel in her retirement.


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