Rita Owen Retires
After 17 years with the cooperative, you can’t fault billing specialist Rita Owen for feeling a little bittersweet about her retirement this month.
“I think I’m probably going to miss everything about this place,” she says. “It’s really become like a second home to me.”
Owen came to HomeWorks in 2001, after 15 years as a home daycare provider. At the time, she was ready for a new challenge, and the Westphalia native says she found that and more at the cooperative.
“The timing was perfect,” she says. “It was a good change for me, and it happened at a good time in my life. Right from the start, everything here has just been great for me.”
The best part of any home is the people inside it, and Owen says HomeWorks is no exception to that rule. It’s the relationships she has forged with her colleagues at the cooperative that are the hardest part about saying goodbye.
“I’ve learned a lot from everyone I’ve worked with at HomeWorks,” she says. “You learn and you grow together, and you become like family. I will miss everyone for sure, but I plan to stay in touch and come back to visit.”
Not that she will be lacking for other things to do. An avid adventurist, Owen is looking forward to spending her retirement traveling to new places with her husband, Mike, spending time with their three children and families, including six grandchildren, and volunteering as much as possible.
“I’m most excited about just being able to do what I want, when I want,” she said.
She’s also excited about the opportunity to join an exclusive club made up entirely of the HomeWorks retirees who have gone before her.
“They’ve already invited me out with them,” she says. “Now I get to see if I can keep up with the retirees.”