Still going strong
Usually there is a time in your career when you decide to retire, but that is not the case for one city of Thomasville employee.
Dixie Fincannon, 70, celebrated 50 years of employment with the city on Tuesday. Her tenure is the longest in the city’s history.
“It is a very long time, but it feels great to know that you are appreciated,” Fincannon said. “Fifty years ago, I had no idea that I would still be here. I like working with the finance department. We have an excellent staff. I really like the city manager, and we have an excellent City Council. I thank God that I have had the health to work this long.”
The Thomasville native said within that time period, she has watched the city change into the what it is today, all from the finance department. She graduated from Thomasville High in 1961, then graduated from Ashmore Business School in 1962 before beginning her first day with the city on Jan. 29, 1963.
“I have seen this city expand from 15,000. I have seen industries leave like Thomasville Furniture Industries and the new fire departments that have come with expansions,” Fincannon said. “I like progress. I like changes. Changes have never bothered me.”
Pete Lydens, the city manager who hired Fincannon in 1963, said when he hired her as a switchboard operator, she was one of the first faces that residents would see.
“I know her well enough to know that if she decided to be here after 50 years, she’d be here,” Lydens said. “She was a very determined individual as well as being one who related extremely well to fellow employees and to the public. There would be days that I would be overloaded with problems and then I would run into Dixie and she was always so positive. Just talking with her for a couple minutes helped my attitude change.”
When Fincannon interviewed with Lydens for the position, he said her directness impressed him.
“She was a vivacious young woman who answered all of the questions that I had directly and completely, not covering up any warts or scars,” Lydens said. “She impressed me as a person who would really give her all to the position.”
Finance director and Fincannon’s current supervisor Tony Jarrett said she is outgoing, reliable and very detailed-oriented.
“She is a very detailed person, which is great for finance. She has a work ethic that is not trained, but the type of work ethic that you are born with,” Jarrett said. “She believes in punctuality — still 50 years later she is on time for work. She is a great person to work with and a great and caring person to have as a friend. She is an absolute joy.”
Fincannon said she does not have a desire to retire at this point, although she does enjoy her home in Moore County and shopping with friends. Maybe she’ll retire in a few years, she said, but until then, she plans to continue serving the residents of Thomasville the way she’s been doing for the past 50 years.
“I love working with people and I see no reason to leave,” Fincannon said. “I have enjoyed working with the residents of Thomasville because, after all, they have been my job. I take care of them and give them the same respect I receive from them, and I will continue to do so.”
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