Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 08:55 AM
Sue Brock is retiring from Marshall South after more than five decades of service
One of Marshall Medical Centers’ longest serving employees is retiring after 55 years working in the Boaz hospital. Sue Brock has grown up at Marshall South. She hired on when she was 19 years old and has worked for 55 years.
“It’s been my whole life,” she says with a big smile.
Brock started at the former Boaz-Albertville Hospital in 1962 when she was still a teenager. She started her career on the switchboard, and also worked in admissions and medical records, which back then were saved on microfilm.
“That’s how we gave people copies of their medical records,” Mrs. Brock remembers.
People have been asking her about her retirement plans for a long time. She didn’t know herself until last Friday when she woke up and said, ‘’It’s time.”
“People always told me I would know when it was time,” she said.
John Anderson, administrator of Marshall South, said Brock’s retirement is more than a treasured employee going home.
“To bring Sue’s longevity and commitment into perspective, she has been a part of the hospital for over 55 years of the 61 years that Marshall Medical Center South has served our community,” he said. “We are going to miss our most knowledgeable historian and our longest serving member of the team.”
A lot has changed in half a century
After five and a half decades in one workplace, Brock expects she will miss her second home.
“How could I not walk these halls every morning?” she said. “I can’t wait for Monday morning to come just to see.”
The hospital had 16 rooms when she started. Private rooms were across the front, but those patients still had to share a bathroom. Often there were so many patients – especially during flu season – beds were set up in the hall and sheets hung for privacy. Volunteers sat at a hospital auxiliary desk in the lobby enforcing visiting hours and issuing strict passes to hospital visitors.
The emergency room was literally one room with one chair. Staff members like Brock were required to collect fees from patients. An ER visit cost $3 and the doctor’s fee was $5. Doctors’ fees were kept in cash envelopes for physicians to pick up. Once TVs were installed, $1.50 a day was collected from patients who watched TV.
The hospital had one operating room, which apparently had many uses.
“I had my ears pierced in there,” Mrs. Brock remembers.
Brock's retirement timing was perfect. Just after her announcement, Brock and her husband Charles found out he has a health condition that will require her to be with him. The couple is looking forward to traveling with GoldCare55+, Marshall Medical’s group for seniors. No one will be surprised to hear that Brock has already volunteered to work with the group.
Brock and Charles, who’ve been married since 1967, owned a retail store called The Bag Place in Boaz for more than 20 years. After finishing her shift at the hospital, she would go to work in the store.
“I just enjoy working,” she said.
When Brock hit her 50th year of employment, she was believed to be the first employee at Marshall Medical to work that long. The hospital honored her with a proclamation from the board of directors and an engraved crystal vase. People assumed she would retire but Brock said she sees no reason to stop working.
“It’s been fun,” she says.