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Ruth Henderson retires from TBamp;T

Features Editor

Several decades ago, most people were very thankful to have a car. Looking back, Ruth Henderson is thankful she didn’t.

If she had, she might never have landed the job that has been nothing but a pleasure and one that afforded her long-lasting friendships.

"When I finished high school I didn’t have a car, so I had to find a job where I could catch a ride with someone else," she said.

She got a ride to Troy with her cousin and a job at Troy Bank & Trust (Troy Finance). She also found a place in the work world that she could call home.

"I don’t remember how much I made back then, but I do remember getting my first pay check and going down to Teppers and buying some new clothes," Mrs. Henderson said. "I was so proud."

Catching rides and unbridled pride in a paycheck earmarked that time in Mrs. Henderson’s personal life. And, down at the bank …

"We did everything much differently than today," she said. "We sorted checks by hand and alphabetically, then posted checks on ledgers and then posted them onto a statement. Now days, just about all aspects of banking are computerized. We even have online banking and customers can pay their bills over the Internet without ever writing a check."

In the past 30-plus years, Mrs. Henderson has also seen tremendous growth at TB&T.

"Back then, we had about 500 accounts and now we have more than 18,000," she said. "We only had two telephone lines on four phones and they were operator assisted. Now, we have 10 lines on more than 90 different phone sets."

When Mrs. Henderson started with TB&T, the bank had one location. Now, it has three offices and three ATM locations.

"The number of accounts has also changed," she said. "Back then, a customer had a choice of a passbook savings account, a checking account and a loan or trust account," she said. "Today, we have more than 50 accounts to choose from . And the number of employees has increased from 16 to about 70."

All of the growth at her "home" bank has been positive, but

Mrs. Henderson said, it’s good that some things have stayed the same.

"The people I work with are caring group of people," she said. "I think, Judy Chancey is the only person that has been here all the time I have. But, over the years, the people at TB&T have been wonderful to work with. They are all my friends and I will miss them."

And they will miss her, said Gary Guthrie, president and CEO of TB&T.

"We are happy for Ruth and pleased that she has reached this milestone," he said. "But, we will miss Ruth very much. Every day she demonstrates the best in employees – loyalty, diligence and a desire to make the customer happy."

But, now, Mrs. Henderson will have time to do the things that make her happy – painting, caning chairs, weaving baskets, sewing, cross stitching, quilting, gardening and, perhaps, a little traveling.

"There are places in Alabama that I would like to see," she said. "I don’t have to see the world. And, we are building a cabin down at the farm and the greatest joy will be spending a few hours there together with family and friends."