After 34 years at Farmers State Bank, Signe Lunde is retiring.
Her last day at the bank is Friday, Feb. 28.
“It’s been really, really great,” Lunde said of her career there. “The bank has provided so many opportunities.”
The Waupaca native graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in home economics education. After college, she worked as a substitute teacher and part time at the former Ron and Lloyd’s Grocery Store before joining Farmers State Bank as a drive-up teller.
“I was doing bookwork at Ron and Lloyd’s and making deposits every day (at Farmers State Bank),” Lunde said. “When I came in every day, they knew me from making deposits.”
Through the years, she went from being a drive-up teller, to a teller, vault teller, lead teller, teller supervisor and then assistant cashier.
“I’ve always enjoyed math. It’s kind of been my favorite subject,” Lunde said. “I’ve always worked with figures and numbers, so it just seemed the way to go.”
For the past several years, Lunde has known and been planning for her retirement.
Her husband, David, retired in 2012.
The couple met at a dance in college and opened Edgewood Arts in downtown Waupaca in 1993.
He ran the business, with Lunde joining him there on Saturdays.
“That is the day customers could come in if they had knitting questions. It just kind of evolved,” she said of the business. “Anything we were interested in and couldn’t find in Waupaca, we found a dealer and kept stock. It just kept growing.”
Lunde also saw Farmers State Bank grow.
The bank she has worked at in Waupaca’s downtown was about one-half the size it is now, when she began working there.
“We were very compact and close to each other. Everything was done manually. You had an adding machine, and that was about the only thing you had for help,” she said. “Now, we have so much technology. It is so much advanced. You can find out whatever information you need just by going on the computer.”
Lunde said it was a different way of life when she first started working at the bank.
“There weren’t insufficient checks,” she said. “You didn’t write out the check unless you had the funds.”
Since her first day at Farmers State Bank, the business has grown to include branches in King, Fremont and Wild Rose.
“I think one of the things I’m going to miss the most are all the co-workers and people I worked with through the years,” she said. “And there are so many customers I will really miss. They’ve become very dear for me.”
Those who worked with Lunde will also miss her.
“Signe has been an extremely valuable employee for the past 34 years,” said Laine Lazers, president of Farmers State Bank. “She is excellent with customers and always took care of all their needs. We hope you can stop down on Friday, Feb. 28 on her last day and thank her for all she has done. We will truly miss her.”
Jay Krcmar, vice president, said “Signe has been a mentor to so many employees at the Farmers State Bank. She is so knowledgeable in all aspects of our bank and has been able to teach so many of us how to help our customers. We wish her well in her retirement.”
At Farmers State Bank, Carrie Schneider and Tracie Oldenburg will be taking over Lunde’s job duties.
“It’s worked out well to the point they’re completely trained,” Lunde said. “I know everything will be completely taken care of. We’ve got some great tellers who can handle everything. It’s a great feeling to retire knowing everything will be taken care of.”
She enjoyed working at an independent bank where decisions are made right within the building.
Lunde said for her and David, the bank made it possible for them to buy their house and their first brand new car.
Her retirement plans include traveling, quilting and knitting.
“Our car stops at almost every quilt shop we see,” she said. “We will probably just take off in a direction and see where it takes us.”
She and David, who will continue to live here, have two sons, seven granddaughters, four grandsons and one great-grandson.
“They all live very close to us,” Lunde said. “One of my granddaughters said once I retire, we’re going to make lefse together.”
Lunde and her husband will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary in May. One of their granddaughters will graduate from high school. Another one will graduate from college, and a grandson will get married in June.
It will be a busy spring for them.
Lunde’s retirement plans also include organizing recipes and making greeting cards and a miniature dollhouse.
“I’m really looking forward to having the free time to play with the things I’ve accumulated through the years,” she said. “Hopefully, I will have time to do some spinning, weaving, rug hooking. I won’t be bored.”