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Shirley Isenhour Retires after 32 Years of Government Service

By Jerry Phelps
July 2006

Shirley Isenhour opens a gift during her retirement party on June 2.
Shirley Isenhour opens a gift during her retirement party on June 2. (Photo courtesy of Heping Cao)

June 2 marked the end of Shirley Isenhour's long career as a dedicated public servant. Isenhour began her federal employment as an Electrical Accounting Machine Operator in the payroll section at the Cherry Point Marine Base during her summer vacations while attending school at St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, N.C. Her career included positions with the Veterans Administration, United States Geological Survey, EPA and NIEHS. Isenhour was recruited to NIEHS by a longĀ­time friend and NIEHS employee, Sharon McClung who retired in 2002 leaving a secretarial position open in the Office of the Deputy Director. Isenhour got the job and served in that capacity for four years.

Although Isenhour retired June 2, she continued to work for a two more weeks to help train her replacement and to ensure Deputy Director Sam Wilson wouldn't be without secretarial support.

At the retirement party hosted by her friends in the Office of the Director, Wilson spoke of Isenhour's "critical contributions" and dedication. Referring to her two-week fill-in, Wilson quipped, "Have a great retirement, and I'll see you on Monday."

Isenhour and her husband Bill Turner plan to travel and stay involved in community organizations. First on their list of places to visit is Sedona, Ariz. once named the Most Beautiful Place in America in USA Weekend's Annual Travel Report. Isenhour and Turner met on a mission trip to Haiti organized by their church, St. Andrews Presbyterian in Raleigh. Isenhour sings in the choir at St. Andrews and plans to become more active in church affairs. Turner was recently elected president of the North Raleigh Lion's Club and Isenhour plans to assist him in his duties in the coming year. She also plans to spend more time on her hobbies including making beautiful stained glass crafts. Her one indulgence in retirement will be to sleep late.

Isenhour said she will miss the friends she made at NIEHS and based on the outpouring of good wishes at her party, she will be missed as well.

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