September 9, 2015 Edition

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Jean Osburn

Jean Osburn
to mark 50
years at FNB

John Bland
Publisher

Just a few years ago, Jean Obsurn retired from First National Bank, but she agreed to be on call to help out as needed.

Her retirement turned out to be a mere pause, which included a 10-day mission trip to Thailand. When a co-worker broke her shoulder, Jean went back to work full-time and has been doing so ever since.

Jean is now marking her 50th anniversary with the bank. She will be honored in the lobby of the Walnut Ridge bank on Friday at a 2 to 4 p.m. reception. Jean’s friends and customers are invited to drop by for refreshments and to congratulate her on this milestone.

"I'm glad to be here. It's a good place to work," Jean said.

The only other jobs Jean has had consisted of working at the Dairy King in Portia during high school and a summer spent at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. "I don't know how to do anything else," she joked.

Jean has worked with three generations of the Smith family. When she first came to the bank, both Robert H. Smith Sr. and Jay H. Myers had desks in the building and spent part of their days there. She has spent most of her banking career working under the leadership of Robert Smith Jr. and now Milton B. Smith, the current president.

"The bank has been very good to me," Jean said. "Milton and his dad have both been good bosses, very good."

The feelings are mutual, according to Milton. "Jean has displayed loyalty to an extent that is very rare today," he said

"Jean started at the bank the same year as Fran Tucker and my father, Robert Smith Jr.," he said. "I know they both had a great appreciation for Jean’s loyalty and work ethic. And, I cannot express how much I value Jean."

As one would imagine, the processes of banking have changed a lot in 50 years. "It's totally, totally different," Jean said. "I've seen a lot of changes, from doing everything by hand to computerized now."

During her career, Jean has worked as a teller, in bookkeeping and has filled in as a secretary. She spends much of her time at the Walnut Ridge location but works as needed at First National's Hoxie, Pocahontas and Bono locations.

Besides her 50 years with First National, Jean and her husband, Darrell, will be celebrating their 50 years of marriage in April of this coming year. Jean and Darrell have two sons, Jeff and Jason, six grandchildren, as well as a great-grandchild and one who died.

In addition to her own family, Jean also feels a kinship to the First National Bank's staff.

"This is kind of my family, too," she added.

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