ST. CHARLES – After more than 36 years of working, Sharon Cornwell is finally ready to take it easy.
Wednesday was Cornwell’s last day as the afternoon receptionist at the St. Charles Municipal Building, 2 E. Main St. She received many well wishes from employees across many of the city’s departments during her last shift.
“I didn’t realize I had so many people that thought I did a great job,” Cornwell said. “I guess I took this for granted.”
Cornwell started working for the city in August 2001. Before that, she worked full-time in a steel company’s sales office in Bloomingdale for 24 years. Cornwell said when the company was sold, the office she worked in was shut down. She said she was too young not to work, and she applied for the receptionist job with the city.
“It’s only a mile from my house – a good fit,” Cornwell said of her part-time position.
Cornwell’s role was to be an information center, answering the city’s main number and the questions of people who would come into the Municipal Building. She made connections with many residents, including those she sees only once a month when they drop off their utility bill payments.
The city had cake and cookies available at Cornwell’s desk while people stopped by to wish her good luck. Her guests ranged from her grandchildren from Michigan to Bob Vann, the city’s building and code enforcement division manager.
Vann said Cornwell is going to be hard to replace. Cornwell follows through with everyone and keeps everyone up to date, he said.
“We’re going to miss her,” Vann said. “She’s been a great person to work with, a lot of energy.”
Cornwell said she has paid her dues and is ready for the next chapter in her life. She will continue to do many of the things she enjoys, including making memory bears, T-shirt quilts and playing golf with her husband, Ron.
“It’s been a great ride here,” Cornwell said of her city work.