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Gloria Bullington to cap 43-year Marengo banking career Jan. 30

January 21, 2009
Sometimes you don't choose life; rather, it chooses you, and if you're blessed, you're better off for it. Such is the case for Gloria Bullington, who will cap off a 43-year career in banking at Marengo on Friday, Jan. 30, with a public reception from noon to 5 p.m.

Gloria Bullington, left, will retire from her 43-year banking career Jan. 30, when the bank, now MainSource Bank, hosts a public reception from noon to 5 p.m. Bullington has worked for years with some of the same employees, including her daughter, Janice Peabody, and assistant branch manager Janice Mitchell, who started at the former Marengo State Bank in 1977. (Photo by Chris Adams)
A few months after graduating from Marengo High School in 1964, she married Jesse Bullington and the next spring took what she thought would be a temporary job at Marengo State Bank.

"I was newly married and I thought there would be a child in the future and I thought I would go into nursing," Bullington said.

The child, Janice, came in 1969, but Bullington never went to school to become a nurse. Soon after their daughter was born, Jesse was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis by Dr. Richard Jordan. The doctor, a stockholder in the bank, advised Bullington that her husband may not be able to work much longer and she should stay at the bank.

Jesse, who passed away a few years ago, ended up working for years, but Bullington hasn't regretted her decision.

"It worked out, it was convenient," she said. "I lived two blocks from the bank."

Bullington worked her way up to teller, then into loans, and, in 1980, became the manager of Marengo State Bank's new Carefree branch. However, the area, along Interstate 64, never developed, and she returned to the home branch as the head teller a couple of years later.

Now the branch manager, Bullington served as a cashier and vice president since returning to the Marengo location. Just as her job titles have changed, so has the name of the bank. In 1998, Marengo State Bank was purchased and became 1st Independence Bank and then, just a couple of months ago, it again was sold and became part of the MainSource Bank family, which has locations in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.

Bullington, who still lives in Marengo, said serving her friends and neighbors and working alongside many of the same people, including assistant branch manager Janice Mitchell, for years has created a family-like atmosphere at the bank, which moved into a new facility, along S.R. 64, from its decades-old downtown location last year.

However, going to work the past 15 years has truly been a family affair, as Bullington's daughter, Janice Peabody, a customer service representative, followed in her mother's footsteps.

"I didn't really think she'd go into banking," Bullington said, adding she has never served as her daughter's direct supervisor.

While on the clock, Peabody refers to her mother as Gloria, even when customers specifically ask to speak to her "mother."

"So, she keeps it very professional," Bullington said, quickly adding Peabody reverts to calling her "Mom" once they leave the bank.

Bullington said she decided a year ago that she would retire when she turned 62, and despite joking that her 401K plan becoming a 201K plan in the past several months, she hasn't changed her mind.

"Even though the economy issue is here, it's still time for me to leave," she said.

That doesn't mean she hasn't gotten emotional as her last day has drawn closer, as she thinks of the people she has served through the years.

"I've just had the privilege of working for a great bank and a great community," Bullington said.

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