Amen: Portage church lady decides to retire at age 92
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor
Saturday, 22 June 2013 08:22
PORTAGE - "Well, isn't that special?"
|Ruth Troxell is retiring at the age of 92. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Though Ruth Troxell bears little resemblance to Dana Carvey's iconic Church Lady character noted for that tag line, this church lady is special.
At a time in life when most people have long ago put away the time cards and the tools of their trade, Troxell at age 92, is still running an office - at least for one more week.
Though it is only a part-time job, she will be retiring from her role as secretary for Christ United Methodist Church in Portage effective June 30. It is a post she has held for the last 17 years.
Her pastor and boss for the last 14 years, Rev. Bruce McDaniel, has high praise for her.
"She's still going strong, I don't want her to stop," McDaniel said. "She's still doing a fine job."
Troxell said of her decision, "I just thought it was probably time."
She said many people have asked what she will be doing.
"I jokingly tell them I will be cleaning out all my closets and dresser drawers."
She said she also plans to continue to exercise, and visit with company.
The pastor says he will miss her on many levels noting he has developed a great working relationship which goes beyond supervisory or pastoral ties.
"I consider it more of a mother-son type of relationship than a boss-secretary," he said.
"Her kindness and her humility impresses me. She always thinks of others a lot," McDaniel said. "I deeply appreciate her."
He likes the way "she always seems to be thinking ahead of me. She keeps me on my toes."
Troxell said she was called by the Lord to serve the church.
She began her service to church work in 1959, when she says she took a pay cut to take a secretarial role in the Evangelical United Brethren offices in Findlay.
"I felt that it was something I was called to do," she said.
When the merger with the Methodists occurred, the offices were consolidated.
"They just moved me with the furniture," she said.
She then worked for the combined United Methodist Findlay District office until her first retirement in 1986 as the office administrator.
Though she was enjoying retirement, including annual excursions around the country with a friend, she felt she needed to serve the church when asked to take her current job in 1996.
Troxell, of Bowling Green, previously worshipped at the former United Brethren church located at the Portage and Powell Roads. She said about 35 members made the transfer to Christ United Methodist in the late 1960s. Over the years she has served as treasurer, taught Sunday School, been a part of the United Methodist Women's group, and sang in the choir.
Her husband, Erstill "Pete" Troxell, died in 1983. The couple had two children, one son and one daughter. Her son has died and her daughter lives out of state. She still has close ties with her former daughter-in-law, Caroline Keys, who has since remarried, but remains active in the church.
Troxell has six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with "one more on the way and I am excited about that," she said.
The younger generations have brought her much joy including lots of time at ball games at Carter Park.
Though she used to knit and crochet, she says her hands don't cooperate any longer. She remains a member of the Portage American Legion Auxiliary.
"I feel very blessed that I have got to serve all these years. I feel I have gotten stronger in my faith and I am fortunate I haven't had any mean bosses."