Marks retires after 57 years on the job

For those inclined to complain about their jobor think after a year or two they can't stand it another day, take a lesson from Billy Marks, who celebrated his retirement after more than 57 years at Shenandoah Mills. "We gave him a little send...
Jan 21, 2013
Marks 2  Photo: Submitted to The Democrat

Billy Marks receives a watch from Shenandoah Mills president Dale Nunnery to mark the occasion of his retirement.
Marks 1  Photo: Submitted to The Democrat

Billy Marks stands under the Shenandoah Mills sign. Marks recently celebrated his retirement after more than 57 years with the company. It was the only place he has ever worked.

 

For those inclined to complain about their jobor think after a year or two they can't stand it another day, take a lesson from Billy Marks, who celebrated his retirement after more than 57 years at Shenandoah Mills.

"We gave him a little send-off," said Shenandoah's vice-president of sales Stan Edwards.

Donya Claxton, who handles accounting, human resources and benefits for the company, said Marks has been a mainstay at the mills since he started work there in 1954 at 18.

"He is the last one left from the original plant when it was Martha White," Claxton said. "When Dale Nunnery bought the plant in 1990, he was one of the ones who stayed with him."

"One thing that has always impressed me about Billy is that fact that he rarely took days off. That's unheard of in today's world."

Marks, who worked as a miller - someone who grinds the corn into meal, began at a salary of 65 cents per hour and managed to make a life for himself and his family.

"He raised a family of five kids on that salary," Claxton said. "He has been an awesome person here."

Marks gives new meaning to the term employee loyalty.

"This is the only job he's ever had in his life," Edwards said. "He has been a life source of the company and the most stable, long-term employee we ever had."

What does Marks plan for an encore?

"He plans to travel. He likes to travel and has already been to Europe and the Holy Land," Edwards said. "His wife is gone now, so he will be traveling with his daughter."

After a lifetime of dedication and hard work, Edwards agreedMarks has earned the right to do whatever he wants now that his time is his own.

"I think that's the truth," he said.

 

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