There are a few things most of us can count on with regularity..
The sun will rise in the east. The tax man cometh on April 15. And June Sanders will be available to help people with their newspaper needs.
Those first two will continue to be part of our regular regimen. Sadly, June has retired from her position at the Eastern Wake News and the Garner-Cleveland Record after more than 35 years working in the newspaper business.
June is a rarity, something people who know her would readily admit.
In this day and age, it’s hard to find someone who has worked for the same company as long as she has. Job hopping has become the norm as people have become more mobile.
But for June, there was never a need to find a better job. She was working at a place she loved, doing work she was good at. Her skills with people are as good as anyone I’ve ever met.
And, like many of us, June has always had two sets of people to deal with: those she works with and the customers she serves.
Each group, I suspect, would have many of the same nice things to say about her. She’s pleasant. She has an engaging smile and she’s quite good at her work.
If you ever need a sign of someone’s commitment to their work, consider these measuring sticks: Who’s the first one in the office each day? Who is usually the last one to leave? Who works a little bit even when they are on vacation? Who takes work home with them?
All those descriptions fit June.
Even in retirement, June has agreed to stay on with us for a few more weeks to help smoooth the transition with her replacement.
Beyond the work ethic, though, June has a personality that draws everyone to her. She knows a good joke when she hears it. She tells good stories. She remembers birthdays and celebrates them with you. She knows when to be quiet and just listen.
Over the past several years, June has watched my daughters grow up and my children have made a habit of stopping by June’s office door first when they come to visit their dad. She has commiserated with me as my children made mistakes and she has celebrated their successes with me. She has given me advice on parenting and consoled my wife when my mother-in-law passed away. She has, without any effort at all, become a part of our family.
That story could probably be repeated by any number of people.
June’s life at the newspaper began early. She grew up in a newspaper family and she has long held the belief that the newspaper has a public service obligation.
That has shown up in her personal life as well. She’s been involved in more civic efforts than I could name here and that effort will continue beyond her work here.
I will miss June’s sure presence at work everyday. But, what’s more, I’ll miss that close friendship we built. My hope is that it will continue long into the future.