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Retirees enjoyed jobs, look forward to leisure

Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012 1:48 p.m. CDT
Caption
Lenny Wells, right, visits with Nelson Miller and Keith Avey at an open house held in his honor Monday morning at the Mt. Morris Post Office. Wells is retiring after 35 years on the job. Photo by Vinde Wells
Caption
Carol Janes' grandsons, Alex Wragg, left, and Owen Wragg were among the well-wishers at her retirement open house Monday afternoon at Kable News Company. Photo by Vinde Wells

After more than three decades each on the job, employees of two Mt. Morris businesses retired Monday.

Lenny Wells retired after 35 years  with the Mt. Morris Post Office, and Carol Janes stepped down after 33 years at Kable News.

Both were honored for their years of service with open houses at their respective work places April 30.

Wells, 65, said he became a postal worker at the urging of his father-in-law, the late Keller Smith.

He was working in the rotopress department at Kable Printing Company when the unions went on strike in 1974. The strike lasted for several years.

"My father-in-law was a carrier and he advised me to take the civil service exam and apply at the post office," Wells said.

The lifelong Mt. Morris resident did just that, and he was hired in 1977 as a mail carrier.

After several years, he became a mail clerk and retires as a sales and service associate.

Wells said the best part of his job was the people he served.

"I always tried to have a smile on my face and called the people by name," he said. "I had the attitude that the customer is always right and made it right for them."

Although Wells greatly enjoyed his job, he is looking forward to retirement.

"The time was right," he said with a grin.

He and his wife Barb have three grown daughters.

Janes said she plans to spend her newfound spare time with family and friends.

"I want to spend as much time as I can with my family and friends," she said. "And working on my hobbies."

She enjoys scrapbooking, knitting, and reading and wants to get back to gardening and cooking.

Janes, 65, began working at Kable News in January of 1979, a year of record snowfall.

"We lived at 301 Front St. then, and I walked up here through the snow and applied for this job," she remembered with a grin.

She started as a transportation clerk and worked her way up to manager and director.

She traveled frequently to meet with people in all aspects of the industry.

"I really enjoyed it and made such wonderful friends. I had a passion for it," she said. "It's funny how things work out. I never set out to do this, but I've loved it."

She and her husband Terry live in Dixon. They have four children and six grandchildren.

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