Lashbrook
Melanie A. Johnson, ACC-RI executive director, presents Rosalie Lashbrook with a certificate of retirement at a recent ceremony celebrating Lashbrook's 41 years of government service.

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - The Rock Island Arsenal and Army Contracting Command-Rock Island bid happy trails to Rosalie Lashbrook, one of its longest-serving employees, in honor of her more than 41 years of government service.

During the ceremony, ACC-RI Executive Director Melanie Johnson said Lashbrook had been a government employee during every U.S. military engagement since the Korean War.

Lashbrook began her career with the Corps of Engineers in 1952, as a typist and switchboard operator. In January 1955, she started at RIA as a clerk. She only held that position until November 1955, at which time she became a stay-at-home mother. In 1973, Lashbrook returned to RIA as a typist and then as a branch chief secretary.

In 1980, Lashbrook began her 34-year acquisition career, as an intern in the Acquisition and Contracting Intern Program, and spent the majority of her career in ammunition contracting.

Shelly Robacker, contracting officer, was Lashbrook's last team leader. She said Lashbrook was a wealth of information and had an extensive history that enabled her to provide insight on previous approaches to dealing with unique contracting situations.

"She was determined to get the best deal for the government," said Robacker. "During negotiations with contractors, she would often use her charm and fun nature to achieve the government's needs. She had an excellent relationship with everyone she worked with and I could always count on Rosalie's contract files to be well-documented and organized."

Other co-workers from her most recent team already miss her unique, whimsical personality.

"She enjoyed listening to the older country western songs that were popular in the 1960 and 1970's," said Luana Gredell, contract specialist. "At Christmas time she especially liked Susie Bogguss's song "Two-Step Round the Christmas Tree."

Thomas Rutherford, contract specialist, said he misses her funny quips.

"A couple of her most famous quotes that I'm already missing are when she would exclaim, 'What a way to run a railroad!' and 'It's another great day in Caseyville!'," said Rutherford.

Gredell also recalls Lashbrook's flair for catch sayings.

"Some of her other frequently used sayings were 'Get a whipp'n with my wet noodle!' and 'In 50 Years, it ain't gonna make a difference'," said Gredell.

Lashbrook was always on point when talking about politics and current events, and loved talking about things that made her happy, said Gredell.

"She was an avid listener of many political talk shows and enjoyed watching Nancy Grace in the evenings," said Gredell. "We will miss her smile, funny anecdotes on every-day issues and hearing stories about her puppy, Star."

Lashbrook said she stayed so long with the government because she enjoyed her job and knows that the idle life is not for her.

"In 2006, I broke my leg and was in and out of the office for two months," said Lashbrook. "I was at home a lot and had to relax, and at that point I realized sitting and watching TV is not my thing. I figured, as long as I felt ok, why not work for as long as I could?"

She said she believes it will take a while for her to get used to retirement. She had planned on spending a lot of time with her cat, Tonto, and her Shi-Tzu, Star. Unfortunately, 14-year-old Tonto passed away on May 20.

"The Lord does work mysteriously and I think my retirement came at the right time, because that cat was such a blessing and I am happy I had more time with him in the end," said Lashbrook.

Page last updated Wed June 4th, 2014 at 00:00