GREENVILLE – Phil Shiverdecker is planning on retiring May 31 from Dickman Electrical and Industrial Supplies on Sater Street – after 50 years of service.
What does it feel like to retire?
“It feels good,” he replied. “The first day I came to work, my goal was to work 50 years for one business. June 2 would have been my 50th, but I thought I’d do it all on May 31.”
A 1969 graduate of Ansonia High School, Shiverdecker said he went to night school for a short time, but spent most of his time working.”
“I didn’t apply for this job,” he said . “Claire Lynch (his business teacher at Ansonia) set up an appointment with me to go to Stolle’s in Sidney, but the night before, she called and said her husband, Chuck wanted wanted me at Lynch Supply, which was in Union City, Ohio.”
Lynch Supply, it was noted, was sold out to Dickman Supply, in 1986.
Shiverdecker, the son of the late Thurman and Imogene (Seward) Shiverdecker of Woodington, enjoys watching TV, movies and working on the computer.
A resident of Greenville, he said he has enjoyed working with the people he has worked with as well as the many customers he’s met over the last five decades.
Shiverdecker has never missed much work and could possibly be considered a workaholic.
“I get here at 5:20 a.m.,” he said. “I get in here early to get the truck route ready and get the computers set up. I am not one to walk in and have that to do. I do it ahead of time. It’s always been fun to come to work.”
Not only has he worked at the same company, but he has also found work elsewhere while working t the store. He worked third shift for a year at Westinghouse in Union City before it moved to Mexico.
“I would get off at Westinghouse at 7 and be here at 7:30 or 8 to work and get off at 5, clean up and lay down a couple of hours,” recalled Shiverdecker, who also did some bartending at the Whistle Stop and American Legion, both in Ansonia, for awhile.
Shiverdecker, who will mark his 68th birthday on July 17, said he got his work ethic from his father.
“Dad never missed work at Hobart Manufacturing, where the Bistro is today,” he said. “ He worked there and retired from there after 39 years.”
Shiverdecker said his bosses over the years included Chuck Lynch, Bob Short, Tim Geise (who retired in November from Dickman’s also with 50 years) and now Brad Holzapfel, the assistant branch manager.
“Phil started here in 1969, when he was 17, and I started here in 1969, when I was 17,” Holzapfel said. “Phil trained me at the warehouse on Wayne Avenue, the old Grubb’s Supply. We moved there in 1996 from Union City. Phil was a father figure, a mentor.”
Holzapfel said a two-month employee of Dickman’s, Adam Shepherd, will be taking Shiverdecker’s place in counter sales.
“Phil will be dearly missed,” Holzapfel said. “He will come back in here to see us, but we won’t put him to work. We’ve had our current computer system for 20 years and the days he leaves we are getting a new computer system.”
Shiverdecker just smiled.
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