After 56 years in the banking business, Jeanette Ringley says farewell

Staff Writer

People’s Bank Vice President and Business Center Manager for the Newton branch, Jeanette Ringley has spent 56 years in the banking business.  Now, she is saying goodbye.

On Friday, her co-workers, customers, and friends gave her a lovely send-off, filled with warm wishes, cards, cake, finger foods, flowers, gifts, hugs, and tears.

She was also sent off with an Elvis song courtesy of Dave Lingafelt at WNNC Oldies 101.3 FM. 

He plays Elvis songs every morning, and Ringley is such a fan.

“I love Elvis,” she said. 

She smiled as she looked out at all the people filling the bank for her retirement reception.

“I’m feeling great, but sad,” Ringley said. “I’ve developed so many customers that I consider family and friends.”

So far, she said she’s gotten another job offer and been invited to lunch twice.

“I told them that for the next month I’m doing nothing,” Ringley laughed.

She would like to take back up basket-making and traveling to Virginia to visit family and friends.

Right now, she just wants to see “whatever the day brings.” 

After starting out working for the president of Virginia’s Community Bank, M.M. Long, she soon worked for his son-in-law.

“He said, ‘I’m sending this little girl down to you, and put her to work,’” Ringley chuckled.   That was 1963.  Fast forward to 1968 when she moved to North Carolina.

“It was like coming home,” she said.  “Newton has that community feel that I love.”

Since then, she took jobs at North Western Bank, First Union, and joined People’s Bank in 1987.

When people ask her how she stayed so long, Jeanette said it was because she enjoyed her work. 

Ringley, who will be 75 in January, remembered all the changes she’s seen over the years. 

“When I started out, we had a basic checking and savings account, and that was it,” she said.  “Now we live in a digital world with so many options for people to bank with us.”

With the ever-changing digital world, Ringley says one thing has remained constant in her life-- her husband, Gerald’s love for her. 

They’ve been married for 55 years on January 22. 

“He’s the most wonderful guy,” Ringley beamed.  “He’s been counting down the days.”

The couple just recently moved to Viewmont, and Jeanette is ready to decorate her new home.

She says she can go knowing that she has a good replacement to ease the bank’s transition.

“I don’t think People’s could do any better,” Ringley said of the woman taking her place.

Ringley hired Paula Parker in 1988.  She’s worked for the Catawba Valley Branch, but will be taking Ringley’s place.

“This is like coming back home for me,” she said.  “I spent 10 years at this Newton branch.”

Co-worker Velvet Burton teared up thinking of the many years she’s shared with Ringley.

She first met her in 1994 when Ringley hired her at First Union as the teller supervisor.

“After five years, she seeked me out and hired me again in 1999 for the bank she was at then,” Burton said. “She really helped me learn how to take care of customers.”

As more people came over to say nice words about Ringley, she looked around smiling at all of them.

“There’s a lot of history and fun times here,” she said.