Marge Stirtz’s 65-year career as a legal secretary is coming to an end
For many, retirement age usually comes along when people are in their mid- to late-sixties. However, many people do continue to work in some capacity – either in a different field or part-time way.
Marge Stirtz of Missouri Valley has worked a little beyond that norm – working for 65 years and into her early 80s as a legal secretary in the community. She will be retiring in late October from Missouri Valley’s Kellogg Law Firm. A few months following her retirement, Marge will celebrate her 83rd birthday – on Feb. 6, 2016.
She began her legal secretary career right after graduating from the Magnolia High School in May of 1950.
“I started out working for Kenneth Acrea,” said Stirtz, “and then I worked for John Kellogg’s dad, and then for John Kellogg for about the following 25 years. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it!”
Stirtz shared that she had always been interested in law.
“It was always interesting what was going on in the law firm, from one day to the next,” said Stirtz. “You might open an estate one day or a dissolution the next. It was very interesting. I took shorthand, typed up notes, letters, anything that needed to be done. I still do shorthand. It might be my own version, but I still do shorthand. I love the work because when you go to work each day, you never know what you’re going to do. It’s the variety I like.”
Stirtz commented that she figured 65 years was long enough to work, and it was time to just have fun.
“I like to play cards and I can play cards at the Rand Center on Tuesdays and Fridays,” said Stirtz, “and we play Bingo on Mondays and Thursdays.”
Stirtz stays busy as president of United Methodist Women of the Missouri Valley United Methodist Church, and her card club meets on every third Wednesday of every month. She already has plans to volunteer at the hospital, as well.
Stirtz commented that her motivation to continue on in the work force into her 80s was simply enjoying her work and people.
“I enjoy getting up every morning and knowing there is something to do,” said Stirtz, “and I am sure there will continue to be. I am a diabetic, and I have a little heart problem, but I try to keep it under control. I’ve always enjoyed keeping busy and I enjoy meeting the people.”
Stirtz shared that she would miss everyone, especially the drainage trustees because she always held the drainage elections.
“I will miss them,” said Stirtz. “They were great guys, and I enjoyed working with them.”
Marge will continue to work into November and December a couple of days a week to work on the books.
“Amber Story is taking the Iowa Bar Exam in February, and when she passes that, she will take over the office,” said Stirtz. “She has asked me if I would come back, and I said I would consider it, only on a part-time basis.”
Stirtz grew up in Magnolia and has never married or had children.
“My folks were from Magnolia,” said Stirtz. “We had a nice little house on the edge of town and would walk to school. I did clerk at the local store and picked strawberries and raspberries to make a nickel a box and thought I was making big money.”
Jennifer Mumm and Ashley West of Mumm Law Office hosted a retirement party at Kellogg Law Firm in Missouri Valley for Stirtz on Thursday, Oct. 15, to celebrate the upcoming conclusion to her long legal secretary career.
"I enjoy working with the people and have enjoyed my job very much. John Kellogg has been a super boss. I couldn’t find anyone better," said Stirtz. "I will miss the people.”