Health Department Employee Retires After 30+ Years

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Jeanne Thompson’s to-do list just opened up. Well, to some extent.

Instead of spending her hours in her well-known office off of Main Street, her office now includes a comfortable arm chair, the backyard and possibly tourist destinations throughout the Beehive State.

After 35 years of work with the Southeast Utah Health Department, Thompson’s time came to an end recently as she officially moved to the gold-gilded status of “retired.”

After moving to Price in the 1980s when her husband took a teaching position at Carbon High School, Thompson soon began working in the area. After a two-month stint at the local McDonald’s restaurant, she applied for a position at the health department after seeing an advertised position.

To her surprise, she received the job offer.

After working for Home Health for three months, she moved to the Women, Infants & Children Program, or WIC as the program’s clerk.

It was as the program’s clerk that Thompson met and worked with countless individuals from Carbon County, often hand writing their food vouchers before the introduction of computers to the workforce.

“What I like about WIC is we really try and help,” said Thompson.

“WIC is a nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers and young children eat well, learn about nutrition and stay healthy,” the organization’s website shares.

“I felt like I was a mom to a lot of those people,” said Thompson.

For Thompson, however, her job was more than just a chance to earn a paycheck; it was a learning experience as well.

“I think I just realized that you can’t look at everybody and think they should think the same way,” she said. “I learned the diversity in people.”

Besides WIC, Thompson also worked with the department’s program devoted to car seats as well as cancer screenings, immunizations and vital records, among others.

Now, however, the desk is empty and Thompson is faced with free time she hasn’t had in a while.

“It hasn’t been easy,” she admitted. “But I’ll get used to it.”

For now her to-do list includes plenty of books, home improvement projects as well as trips to visit family who live outside of the area and even to some areas within Utah not visited before. Time with daughters Kim and Janine as well as grandson Jonathon also take a priority for Thompson as does spending time with her husband James.

It’s easy for Thompson to look back on years that bring a smile to her face. Now, she plans to look forward to years that can do the same.

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