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Marsha Russell retires from Building Materials after four decades there

May 26, 2017

On Thursday Marsha Russell took her place at her desk Building Materials Inc. and started her routine. She has been a bookkeeper for the company for 40 years. The only difference on this day is that he only had one day left to work.

Russell is retiring.

“This is not an easy thing to do,” Russell said. “A lot of people have jobs and they have to make a real effort to get out of bed to go to work. That’s not the case with me.”

Russell didn’t come straight out of high school to Building Materials.

“At first, I thought I wanted to be a nurse,” Russell said. “But later on, I decided I wanted to be a hair dresser so I got a job for the summer at Sheaffer Pen to earn money to pay for school. Ten years later she quit that job and walked across the street.

“I took some night classes in accounting to be a book keeper,” Russell said. “I came to work at Building Materials and I made it for 40 years.”

Russell said she has always liked her job, although there were times when things didn’t run as planned.

“Someone came in once and told us about the prisoners who had taken over the armory,” Russell said. “On that day the boss came in and sent us all home.”

This wasn’t the only time the crew didn’t go to work.

“We had a really bad snow one year and I made it in but almost nobody else could,” Russell said. “We didn’t stay open then.”

But then there was the flood. With the business practically right across the street that must have shut the doors for a while.

“No, the lumber was stored at Sheaffer’s old building,” Russell said. “And one of our employees had a flat bottom boat so he would ferry us to work and back every day. No problem.”

Russell said for years she and her husband have worked different shifts. Now they will both be retired and be able to spend more time together.

And what are Russell’s plans for retirement? After 40 years at the lumber company she continued to work on her last day, even working through her interview. She is not the type of person to sit on a rocker and watch the sunset.

She will not go quietly into that good night.

“I plan to spend a lot of time at my cabin on the river,” Russell said. “We have room up there and I enjoy it.”