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Toledo store closing- Bev Snyder to take memories of 45 + years with her at end

To Bid Farwell To Sales Career

March 13, 2019
By John Speer - Editor (jspeer@tamatoledonews.com) , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"I wasn't really looking for a full-time job," Bev Snyder says of the day she put in an application to join in readying the new Gibson's Discount Center in Toledo for its opening in 1974. Then living in Tama, Bev, along with five other local people began working to ready for the pre-opening at the 1006 South County Road (U.S. Highway 63) location. Beginning wage was $1.95 / hour she recalls.

Well, 45 and one-half years later she's still working at the location - now Shopko Hometown. Shopko announced on Feb. 7 the Toledo store closing as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding involving about 200 of its locations.

Bev, 65, earns, of course, the honor of being the longest serving employee of the retailer which has gone under three ownerships during the time - Gibson's, Pamida and since 2012, Shopko.

Article Photos

Bev Snyder displays her coat one of which employees received when the Shopko Hometown was Pamida before the companies merged in 2012. Snyder began work at the Toledo location before it first opened as a Gibson’s store in 1974 and is wrapping up a 45 and one-half year career on the sales floor.
Chronicle photos/John Speer

Gibson's became Pamida in 1979.

"Howdy Mrs. Gibson," is how now retired Toledo barber Pat Johnson always has greeted her since the store's original opening she recalls. "I made plenty of friends here," Bev says.

And some of Bev's fondest memories revolve around the customers and her fellow employees. "My grandchildren are amazed" when they are out with her and people constantly call out her name to say "hell-o," Bev says.

Bev also remembers adventures with fellow employees after the workday visiting such places as the now-gone Dick's Restaurant and downtown Tama.

Bev says she worked in about every department the store has featured over the years except fashion. She was offered management positions but turned them down favoring working on the sales floor.

Bev recalls products the store carried in the past including vehicle tires, electrical supplies, lawn mowers and equipment. She fondly remembers being in charge of the pet department which included fish, birds and hamsters. "I had to take some of the hamsters home to take better care of," she says.

"We carried stuff everybody wanted," she says. Some of the best sellers for the store have been plants and trees she recalls.

A native of Marshalltown and Marshalltown High School graduate, Bev has four adult children and 13 grandkids.

While she is down to working Fridays only now, she plans to be at Shopko until the week of the May 12 closing.

 
 
 

 

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