Bernie Menke is taking his wide, aisle-lighting trademark smile to Minnesota.
The Carroll Hy-Vee store employee, who is 65, will retire Sept. 29 and head to the St. Cloud, Minnesota, area with his parents, Cecil and Luella, both in their 90s, for retirement.
“It’s time for me to just kind of retire and sit back and find maybe another part-time job somewhere, something that is right close by,” Menke said.
Menke has worked for 32 years at the Carroll Hy-Vee, most recently as a full-time courtesy clerk, which involves delivering groceries to vehicles, keeping carts clean and handling other duties.
“I’m a courtesy person,” he said.
Menke has worked in frozen foods and with the night truck.
He recalled starting in the former Hy-Vee building, located at the current Walgreens location. Menke also is a former Carroll Times Herald maintenance employee.
A native of Fort Madison, Menke moved to Carroll as a child and graduated from Carroll High School in 1974. His father operated the former Menke Hardware in Carroll.
Menke said he will miss Carroll and talking with customers and working with other employees.
“They were fun to work with and I got along with everybody,” Menke said.
But he is looking forward to the next phase of his life.
“I’m kind of excited,” Menke said. “I’ve done this business for 32 years. It’s time to go and get out and relax.”
Menke has two sisters and one brother — Kris Menke and Marlene Grindland of Minnesota, and Greg Menke of Urbandale.
Carroll Hy-Vee Store Manager Kevin Brincks said Menke provided more than three decades of effective and friendly service to the store.
“It’s been a great 32 years working with Bernie,” Brincks said. “We could always rely on him when he was at the store. The strong work ethic and smile made everyone feel comfortable. Bernie will be missed by his fellow employees and all the customers that got to know him. We wish him the best.”