Dorothy gets her day

DOROTHY JENSEN will be honored later this week for her 50 years of work at Currie State Bank. Photo / Per Peterson

Currie State Bank will celebrate Dorothy Jensen and her 50 years of service Friday

From technology, to the iconic building itself, there have been a lot of changes at Currie State Bank over the last 50 years. One friendly-faced constant has been Dorothy Jensen.

“I can’t imagine what another 50 years is going to bring,” said Jensen, who will be honored for her 50 years of service at the bank with an open house on June 7 from 1-3 p.m.

While Jensen doesn’t know what the industry will look like in 50 years, she’s more concerned with the here-and-now. And she has no desire to walk away from a business she’s invested so much time in.

“As long as I have my health and they put up with me, as of now, I don’t plan on retiring,” she said. “Maybe down the road a year or two … “

Jensen’s life has taken many twists and turns over the years, especially recently.

She lost her husband, Wayne, in August, and then had knee surgery in November. After returning from a trip to Texas — a sojourn she and Wayne used to make together — she had surgery on her other knee.

“I’ve had a lot going on in my life,” she said. “Now that my knee is fixed I feel a lot more healthy.”

But Wayne’s death didn’t signal the end for her career at Currie State Bank. After losing him, she said sitting at her house by herself day after day was not a viable option.

“Work makes you get out of bed in the morning, and lets you keep meeting people,” she said. “When Wayne took sick, I kept my job because the medical (costs) were so high. We had to have home health care every week. He could still go out, he drove his car, mow the lawn and stuff like that. But it was over $10,000 a year out of our pocket for medical expenses.”

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Looking back to when she started 50 years ago, Jensen recalls what a tough year it was for the farmers in the area — similar to what this year has been. That’s why she decided to enter back into the workforce, after her husband, Wayne, discovered there was an opening at the bank.

“I went in and Bob Roemer said, ‘Can you start Monday?’” Jensen said. “Well, I had no babysitter, or nothing, because I had not planned on being hired right there. I just went in and talked to him, never filled out an application … nothing.”

The rest, as they say, is history. And in hindsight, Jensen looks back on her long career with pride.

“I do think I have a good relationship with customers,” she said. “We had a customer in a few weeks ago, really irate, and I sat back there and thought, ‘I really should go out there’ because I dealt with him in the past … he came back and within minutes I had him settled down and he understood and he was happy.”

Jensen, who is secretary of the Currie State Bank Board of Directors, has built solid relationships with scores of customers over the years and her longevity in the business and her people skills have gone a long way in making customers feel at ease when dealing with money issues.

“I’ve had many customers say, ‘Dorothy, you can’t quit, you just can’t,’” she said.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.