GREENVILLE — Susan Fowble was honored at an open house Thursday in observance of her retirement, which goes into effect today.
Fowble has worked for the local telephone company for 43-plus years.
“I started Oct. 19, 1970,” said Fowble, who began working there as an operator when it was known as United Telephone, which became Sprint, then Embarq and now Century Link. “I was an operator for three months and then became District Manager Robert Ryan’s secretary.”
Now, she is the administrative assistant, a clerical support position.
“I worked with a lot of different people in different departments,” the former Susan Brown said.
Fowble worked locally except for the five years she spent at Sidney with engineering and construction.
“When I was hired, they wanted me to be in another position,” she said. “Being an operator was kind of boring … I just had a desk with buttons on it, and all days long I would say, ‘Your number, please.’”
She said they did away with operators in 1982. That’s when she worked in the business office some, helping to convert from paper to computer.
“It was a big deal,” she said.
As administrative assistant, she supports the people in Greenville, Eaton, Sidney, Lebanon, Marysville and Bellefontaine.
“I work on time entries, scheduling, ordering materials and involved with call-out scheduling, and I work with permits for service drops,” she said.
Most of the time, she worked at the telephone office at Broadway and Water but, for the past 10 years, has been at the warehouse located on East 12th Street.
“I have been very fortunate to work here,” she said. “A lot of people lost their jobs to attrition and downsizing.”
She remembers well the blizzard of 1978.
“I walked to work and did operator stuff,” she said. “I lived three blocks away, and they took me home on a snowmobile.”
Another memory is working strike duty in Warren, Mason and Lebanon.
Fowble thinks it is time to retire.
“I want to have time to do what I want to do,” she said. “I want to be somebody else, not Telephone Susan. I want to do things with my family and work on projects around the house.”
Fowble said she has been involved with Main Street Greenville and would like to continue with that. She has helped a couple of events, especially the Artisan Stroll, a Friday event in October.
“Last year it was a huge success, like 3,500 people came to it,” said Fowble, who is into her third year with Main Street Greenville. “I was on the allocation committee with United Way and was campaign manager at work for Greenville and Eaton for Darke County United Way. I am the public relations person and assistant treasurer of the Greenville Business and Professional Women.”
The 63 year old takes part in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica every year and is a member of St. Mary’s Church.
Her plans in retirement include taking yoga classes and continuing her running and working out at the Y.
“I have done some 5Ks in my spare time,” said Fowble, who indicated she cleans her house on schedule every Saturday. “Probably 10 years ago, my sister, Mary Jo, and I decided to do our first 5K at the Ansonia Firecracker Run. Then, we found out we had to pay. I had just enough money on me for both of us. Now, it’s our tradition each year.”
Fowble said she has also done some 10Ks and a half-marathon run. One year, she even won a challenge in her age group.
After graduating from high School in 1969 from Westmont in Hollansburg , she worked at The Daily Advocate in Greenville for a short period of time in circulation. After that, she went to the phone company and has been there since.
Even though she has no children, she said juggling her work and home life has been a challenge.
“That’s the reason I’m retiring,” she said. “I don’t even have kids, but I can’t get things done. I admire people with children. I’m a very busy person. I like to get involved with the community. “