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A Belated Retirement Get-Together for Janet Guthrie

By Robin Mackar
April 2009

Guthrie opened her gifts
Guthrie opened her gifts and smiled as she read cards from her longtime friends at NIEHS. (Photo courtesy of James Huff)

A group of about 30 NIEHS employees and retirees gathered February 26 to give longtime NIEHS employee Janet Guthrie a belated retirement party. The colleagues reminisced and shared a few hearty laughs and offered their best wishes at Janet's well-deserved sendoff.

Janet retired in December after a successful stint of more than 30 years at NIEHS. At her party, her friends and colleagues enjoyed the usual fare of food, beverages, decorations, cake, gifts and fond memories of yesteryear.

Colleagues Jerry Phelps and John Schelp told stories about taking Janet to her first rock concert and drinking a beer with her. Whether Janet's sardonic remarks about not recalling the evening were true or not, the tales set the right tone for some light-hearted trips down memory lane, as colleagues recalled how much they enjoyed working with Janet over the years.

Long-time colleague Tom Hawkins shared an anecdote about carpooling with Janet in the 1980s, and she seemed to remember that one. Many even recalled studying or collaborating with her dad, Dr. Frank E. Guthrie, while he was a professor at nearby North Carolina State University. Retired NIEHS staffers, such as Betty Mills, Donna Shields and others, contributed their stories and wished Janet well.

Janet's face lit up as she relived the memories. "I miss all of you and will forever have fond memories of working with you," she said in a thank you note to the group afterwards, reflecting on her impressive career at NIEHS and the good times she shared with her friends at the Institute.

(Robin Mackar is the News Director in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)

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