‘Born to work:’ 95-year-old Lamesa banker celebrating 75 years and counting on the job
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On average, people in the United States live to be about 76 years old. A Lamesa man has spent nearly an entire lifetime serving his community, by working at the bank.
Every morning, Elwood Freeman makes the short drive to work at Lamesa National Bank. It’s hard to believe after seeing him, but the bank president just turned 95 years old.
“Seemed like the first little job I had in the bank in Aspermont was 30 days ago,” Freeman said.
White it may not seem like it, his first day was nearly 80 years ago, at only 16 years old.
“I started as a bookkeeper, posting people’s accounts, and when they had checks and deposits and updated their accounts every day,” he said.
Freeman decided he would become a banker, and went to school for two years before he says he ran out of money.
“Worked about three more years, and Uncle Sam came along with an invitation, and I spent two years in the service,” he said.
After serving in the Army, he worked some more, and then went back to finish his degree at Texas Tech University. He worked at First National Bank in Lubbock, before making his way out to become the president at the bank in Lamesa.
Through the years, he’s been a part of changes in technology, staff, and customers. Now, most people drive through the mobile bank. But he says back when he was getting his start, things were very different.
“We had big crowds in this lobby, and back when we had so many people picking cotton, we have a lobby full on Saturday morning. That’s when they got paid,” he said.
While most people would be enjoying retirement, Freeman was recognized by the Texas Bankers Association for 50 years of service in the 1990′s. Recently, he was recognized again for 75 years in the industry.
“I guess I was born to work because I like to be busy, and I couldn’t see staying at home and doing nothing,” Freeman said.
When asked for his best piece of advice, Freeman said he’s usually the one asking for it. He got his first job because he didn’t know what he wanted to do, so he says if people are on the fence about something, give it a try.
“If They have any inclination at all to want to do it, try it. And the old saying try it, you’ll like it,” he said.
That advice has worked out for him for 75 years.
The coordinator for the 50-year banker awards from the Texas Bankers Association says she’s seen one other banker with 68 years of service, but no one else in Texas with more than 70.
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