LEWISTOWN – After 15 years of hard work along the highway, Junior Baker is looking forward to retirement.
The Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Job Club recently held a reception to honor Baker, complete with a cake and plaque acknowledging his years of service. Baker said he loved working at the local Bellefontaine U.S. Route 33 rest area. He began his career there working three days a week, eight hours each day for the Ohio Department of Transportation’s contract cleaning service Cleaner’s Extraordinaire.
Mary Crace is the current ODOT accounts manager for Cleaner’s Extraordinaire, who provides supervision for all their ODOT contract worksites. She speaks highly of Baker’s work ethic: “Working alongside Junior has been very rewarding. It was always inspiring to see how Junior worked through his challenges and has been successful, and to see how his earned income has improved his confidence and over all quality of life.”
Crace says Junior will be missed. “He has become an integral component in keeping the rest area facility clean, neat and presentable for all travelers,” she said.
Baker said after so long his supervisors and co-workers had become like family to him. So he slowly asked to go down to two days a week and after about a year or so of working two days, he decided to go down to working one day a week.
So with the help of his support team at the Logan County developmental disabilities board, RTC Employment Services, and family, Junior developed a plan to keep busy in retirement. Since then he has set additional goals for his life such as traveling, spending time with his brother, and becoming more involved with Special Olympics. When asked if his life would be boring after retirement, Baker quickly responded with his normal gruff voice, ”I don’t think so!”
Baker’s official retirement date was Nov. 3.
Submitted by Indian Lake Local Schools.