After 25 years, Dexter resident Lynn Wilcox is retiring from Hackney ACE Hardware, leaving behind the longest career in retail service in the history of the company, and a legacy of outstanding work over the years as a store associate.
Wilcox began working at Hackney Hardware in March 1987 as a part-time bookkeeper to pass the time while her children were in school. Since then she's held positions as a cashier, shift leader, and sales associate, greeting customers with a warm glowing smile every day.
"I love it here," Wilcox said about her stint with the company. "It's close to home, it's a low-key job, and the people are fun to be around."
Wilcox, 62, said she began working at the hardware store to make some extra money and never expected to stay for a quarter century.
"It was just something to do for fun," she laughed.
Twenty-five years later, Wilcox still comes in every morning when she's scheduled to stock the shelves, clean and organize her stations, and greet customers.
"She has a great work ethic," Shelley Adkins, general manager for Hackney Hardware said. "You don't see people like Lynn applying for jobs anymore. She can't be replaced."
The decision to retire was not an easy one, and Wilcox said she mulled the idea around before giving notice last year.
"It'll be nice to be off of my feet and to have more time to travel with my husband," she said.
Wilcox and her husband, Richard, are avid motorcyclists, and enjoy traveling the country to visit tourist destinations during vacations.
"(Motorcycle riding) is the best way to see the country," she said. "You can take in all the sights and smells."
In addition, Wilcox said retirement will free up more time to spend with her grandchildren and work on projects around her house in Dexter.
"We replanted a lot of stuff last spring after the tornado that will need tending to," she said. "I'll be doing a lot of putzing around."
Adkins said Wilcox embodies the small town spirit that the local hardware store is known for.
"People know her by name, and they look for her," she said. "I'm sure all the customers will miss Lynn."
In honor of her retirement, a special reception will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 19 at the store. Refreshments will be provided.