TORRINGTON – Thirty-eight years ago, one Torrington resident began her teller career at Pinnacle Bank. Later this month, she will officially retire from the position – leaving behind a wealth of information and a legacy of customer service that has spanned decades.
Barb Dunn was born and raised in the area, graduating from Torrington High School and attending Eastern Wyoming College.
“I was actually born and raised on a farm west of town,” she said. “My parents were Donald and Lillian Kemper.”
Dunn’s father worked as a supervisor at the post office, and was also a Commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Her mother was predominately a homemaker; however, she did work at the train depot at night for a short while.
“That was back when we had loads of cream and stuff here, and the mail would be picked up and dropped off,” Dunn said.
Dunn met her ex-husband while “dragging Main” and had three sons, Kelly, Kevin and Kenny. Sadly, Kelly was killed in an automotive accident in 2001. Kevin lives in Henderson, Nev., and Kenny is in Loveland, Colo.
“When my boys were young, we were hurting for money, so I went and applied for jobs all around,” Dunn said. “On Nov. 1, 1980, I applied for the job at Pinnacle Bank and got it shortly after. It was a full-time job, and the people were so wonderful. I was pleased to have it.”
When Dunn first started, she said one wall in the back room of the bank was covered with cabinets full of hand-filed checks.
“We filed checks by hand all day every day,” she said. “We used to balance the generals and cash items … in the back. We had a 10-key adding machine that we balanced everything with. There were no computers, the tellers all had 10-key adding machines.”
In addition, a courier service picked up the tellers’ work at 4 p.m. every day and delivered it to be posted.
“We had … a 10-key proof machine we used to run all of our work through,” Dunn added. “It was quite fun, too … now everything is done on a computer, basically.”
Her career has also spanned two “big-time” remodels.
“The first time, we had cages that were really high … it seemed like the bank was dark. The remodel – wow, it made it brighter,” she said. The second remodel added more offices.
“The thing I’ve remembered the most, I’ve done a lot of the training for the new tellers,” Dunn said. And she gushed about her customers.
“It’s like having a family. They always want to keep track of you if you’re sick and find out how you’re doing, it’s neat – people are so wonderful,” she said. “I’ve had lots of people say, ‘I’m going to miss you so much,’ or they say, ‘You always take care of all my problems.’ I say, ‘Well, all of the girls have my phone number, just tell them to call Barb.’ It’s really heartwarming that people in this area think of me as theirs. It’s like one big family. Torrington has always been that way – it’s really heartwarming.”
With her retirement, Dunn plans to catch up on things at home.
“I know there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do back in the good old days, but I can’t remember now,” she said, laughing. “I love genealogy. (My research is) overflowing my computer room at home. I haven’t done anything with that for the last several years.
“I tell everybody I have to get my husband (James) straightened out first,” Dunn continued. “He was in the Navy for 24 years, a long-distance truck driver, railroad engineer, construction … he’s retired from many jobs. Now, his current job is making improvements all over our yard. People drive by our house and stop in the middle of the street and just look, and people come in (to the bank) several times a week and just ask, ‘What is Jim doing today?’”
Eventually, Dunn hopes to travel the country and visit her family, including multiple brothers and sisters. But her home base will remain in Torrington.
“This whole town and all of the bank has been such a family to me,” she said. “I will never forget any of them. I’m always here, and I will see them again
“My husband is in the bank a lot – like three times a week,” Dunn added. “I won’t be in as much as him, but I will be in.”
Dunn’s official last day at Pinnacle Bank is Friday, Dec. 28.