East Texas Man Retires After 50 Years - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/31/07-Tyler

East Texas Man Retires After 50 Years

It's the first time it's ever happened at one of East Texas' biggest employers.  Friday, Tyler Pipe retired its longest working employee after 50 years.  He knows more about the company and it's history then anyone else, and now Willie Woodard of Tyler says he's ready to retire.

"I don't know what I will miss, but I do know I want to retire, and I'm going to retire," said Woodard. 

With his family and friends by his side, Woodard celebrated 50 years Friday, telling story after story about his time at Tyler Pipe.  Like the story about his first job with the company on the loading dock making $1.07 an hour.  For the last 40 years, however, Woodman worked as a journeyman patternmaker.

"Sunday evening after nine o'clock I thought about coming to work," said Woodard.  "Nothing else crossed my mind, and now I don't know what I'm going to do Tuesday."

"He's just one of those employees where you can't put a price on him, you can't put a value on him," said Woodard's Supervisor Gary Moore.  "He's just absolutely amazing when it comes to help." 

"I don't regret working," said Woodard.  "I don't regret being out here.  It's a good experience to work, to work and be able to get the things necessary for your family." 

A family and a work family that could not be prouder.

Woodard has three children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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