Denise Weeks Retires After 27 Years With HomeWorks
It's not that HomeWorks Administrative Assistant Denise Weeks has a retirement countdown going or anything, but in a recent discussion, she just happened to be able to rattle off the exact amount of time, down to the hour, between her and endless days of Florida sunshine.
"I think it's down to 67 days and one hour," she said with a laugh.
But who's counting, right? Her Dec. 1 retirement date looms even closer now, and despite her excitement for the freedom it will bring, she knows leaving the organization she has been with for more than 27 years will be bittersweet.
"Through the years, the people here have become like family to me, so it's going to be tough," said Weeks. "I'll miss the people most of all."
Those warm feelings extend, she says, to HomeWorks staff, the board of directors and the cooperative's members. In her position, the friendly and engaging Weeks has interacted on a personal level with all three groups.
"Through the years, my position has grown and evolved, and there came to be two different aspects of it: working with the directors and working with the employees on the human resources side of the job," she said. "I enjoyed the personal relationships I was able to develop with the directors and the employees, and with our members. I've just enjoyed the human aspect more than anything."
Weeks won't give up that human aspect when she retires; she'll just experience it in new ways. She and her husband, Pete, who is also recently retired, plan to travel and spend more time with their children and other extended family and friends.
"We plan to spend six months of the year at Recreation Plantation RV Park in Florida, near the Villages, and five months in Ionia at Lakeside Resort," she said. "The other month, hopefully, we'll travel, which I'm really excited about. I have five sisters, and we love to take trips together."
She's most excited, she says, about the chance retirement will afford to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it.
"Where we'll be near the Villages, there are dances every night," she said. "There is lots of recreation, and a lot of opportunities to do anything you want to do."
Don't think her retirement means you'll never see Weeks around HomeWorks functions again, though.
"I'll still attend my district meeting and retiree lunches and other events, but instead of an event planner, I'll be a guest," she said. "I'm looking forward to joining that club."
Still, it won't be the same at HomeWorks without the lovable Weeks.
"Denise has been the Cooperative face to many of the members for the past twenty seven years," said HomeWorks General Manager Mark Kappler. "I know the members who have gotten to know her over the years will miss her sweet personality. Personally, I will miss Denise's positive outlook to work and life that she brought to the office every single day."
November-December, 2017 Michigan Country Lines