When the Austin branch of ABC Bank moved from its longtime location at 5645 W. Lake St. to its new location at 6400 W. North Ave. last week, it left a world in its wake — namely that of Rosie Moses and Mary Cullitin, both of whom retired last week after working at the bank for more than 40 years.
“When I started here, baby, they didn’t have these,” Moses said, pointing to a computer that was nearby. “They had these great, big old adding machines.”
Moses came to Austin from Gary, IN (by way of her native Kosciusko, Mississippi) in 1971 — the year she got a job at ABC. She started in the bookkeeping department before transitioning to the bank’s savings and checking departments. For the last three year’s, Moses said, she’s be a receptionist.
“She knows at least 1,000 people by their first names,” said Bernard Clay, a good friend, who had dropped off some flowers for Moses and Cullitin last Thursday, the day before the last day of their working lives.
Cullitin was busy while Moses chatted during a brief interview, posed for cellphone photos and exchanged contact information with patron Lucille Webster, who wasn’t ready to see Moses leave.
“I’ve been coming here for 10 years,” Webster said. “I met Rosie at Edna’s restaurant. She came there to recruit some people for the bank. That’s how I met her. She’s a very nice lady. I love her to death. We’re going to keep in contact.”
Moses said she’s worked under five different bank presidents, before naming them on one hand. Colette Loesher, ABC Bank’s current president and CEO, was effusive in her praise of the two women.
“They are two of our most valuable employees,” she said during a phone interview on Friday. “They represent everything the bank represents. Although I’m sorry to see them go, they’ve earned their retirement. I wish them all the best.”
Loesher said that, while Moses and Cullitin are among the bank’s longest tenured workers, it’s common for ABC employees to stay for the long haul. Founded in 1891, ABC Bank may be the oldest chartered bank in Cook County.
“We have very little turnover,” she said. “A lot of our employees have been here for over 15 years. I’d guess maybe more than half.”
After four decades working, Moses is ready for the next stage of her life. She has grandchildren to dote on, siblings to visit. And after nearly a decade away, she’ll finally be able to return to Kosciusko — the place where her life began.