By DAVID A. WILSON
It's not often a person can have a career of more than 40 years, yet still retire before his 17th birthday, but Joe Allen is doing it.
Allen, born on the leap year date of Feb. 29, 1948, is retiring on Feb. 28, 2013, after 44 years in banking. Technically, he will not have his 17th birthday until Feb. 29, 2016. Of course, in actual practice, he has a birthday every year and will turn 65 at the beginning of March.
A special "Joe Allen" retirement reception will be held Friday, Feb. 22, from 3 to 5 p.m., at People's Bank of Moniteau County, at the corner of Main Street and High Street in California.
Allen's working life actually started when he was still in high school working at Goff's Supermarket, now Cal's Thriftway. After high school, he started at Bixler's Appliances in California, working mostly in repair and propane.
Banking was something he tried out and actually liked.
According to Allen, he assisted a customer at Bixler's who turned out to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Farmers and Traders Bank (now the California facility of Central Bank). A few weeks later, Paul Kuester, the bank president stopped by and asked if Allen would be interested in a position which had opened up.
"I agonized over it for awhile," Allen said, since it was not something he had thought about.
He talked to his dad about the opportunity, and was advised to give it a try for a year or so.
"I tried it and I liked it," he said.
Allen began in the banking field in 1969, working at Farmers until 1988. In 1972, he and Kathryn got married and moved to a farm north of California. From 1989 to 2006, he worked at Community Bank of Russellville (Now Community Point Bank), beginning at People's Bank in 2007.
Joe and Kathryn have two daughters - Emily Messerli and Penny Harris - and one son, Jay Allen.
Why is he retiring now?
"I'm able to retire in good health," he said. "I plan to go back to the farm and see what happens
and enjoy the three grandchildren."
The grandchildren are an 11-year-old boy and 5-year old twins, boy and girl.