Shelby Brown to be honored

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2001

at SouthTrust Bank today


Features Editor

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For many people, thoughts of retirement come early and often, but not Shelby Brown.

She found her place in the work world early and enjoyed her work so much that thoughts of retirement didn’t cross her mind for almost 28 years.

When she did think of it, she decided it must be time to move into another phase of her life – one of different opportunities and challenges, but hopefully one that would bring as much joy and pleasure to her life as she had found in the banking business. So, today, she will officially retire after 28 years with SouthTrust Bank, previously Citizens Bank and Pike County Bank.

Brown working in the banking business before she got married, but, strayed from her "calling" for four years. Perhaps, strayed is not the correct word to describe her move to First Baptist Church as education secretary. Brown loved her work at the church and the people, but some something kept nudging her back to the banking business.

"I worked as education secretary for four years and I enjoyed it and the people, but I have always liked working with figures and solving problems. The bank offered me those opportunities and the opportunity to work with people. I went to work with Citizens bank when it opened and I’ve never wanted to do anything else."

Getting in on the ground floor of a new bank was exciting, Brown said.

"Most all of us had banking experience, so we were a good bank from the start,"

Brown said. "And, we were a small bank so we could give our customers personal service and our full attention.

Banking in 1973 was very different from today, but just suited to Brown’s interest in "figures."

"We did everything in-house – bookkeeping, microfilm, printout of statements,’ she said. "We filed our own checks. We just did it all. But, with central banking, you lose those type jobs."

Brown started as a loan teller and closed out her career as the branch supervisor of the SouthTrust downtown branch.

In between, she worked as head bookkeeper, proof operator, balanced the bank’s statements , invested federal funds, worked in accounting and CDs.

"I can’t say that I enjoyed one type of work more than another," she said. "I enjoyed it all and I especially enjoyed my co-workers and our customers. They made the job very special. That’s what I think I will miss the most – my co-workers and our customers."

Brown said the banking business in Troy is a friendly business and even the competition is friendly.

"We have a good relationship with the employees at the other banks," she said, adding that she has an especially good relationship with one Troy Bank & Trust employee, her son’s wife, Stephanie.

"I know I’ll have mixed emotions today at the retirement reception," she said. "I’m glad that I’ll have time to spend with my mother now and Richard and Stephanie, but I’ll miss going to work every day and the people who have made my 28 years so wonderful. But, then I’ve already started making plans with all my retirement time."

First, Brown is going to get her yard in shape and so some wallpapering and painting.

Then, she wants to travel, volunteer at the Troy Public Library and read until her heart’s content.

"I’m interested in genealogy and I love to read, especially historical fiction and I’ll continue to work with the American Cancer Society. I’m

the secretary for the Relay for Life Luminary Committee and that work is very important to me."

And, if she’s not too tired at day’s end, she just might drop by SouthTrust Bank for some of that hometown personal attention that the bank still has plenty of time to administer, especially for Shelby Brown.