By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
KINGSVILLE TOWNSHIP —
Mary Lou Moody spent 38 years getting people where they need to go, but she found her own destination along the way.
A bus driver for the Ashtabula County Board of Developmental Disabilities for 25 years and the director of transportation for 13 years, Moody retired last week with mixed feelings and a sense of excitement for the future.
“It has been so rewarding working with my students, consumers and parents and co-workers,” she said. “Everyone plays a great part in lives of the people we serve. Our students and consumers show you what compassion is all about.”
Her retirement from bus travel was delayed one day, though, as Moody made good on a promise to a special passenger.
“I had promised one of the consumers that I would ride the bus with them on my last day, but things got so busy that day that there just wasn’t time,” she said. “So I came in the next day to ride the bus and fulfill that promise.”
Moody said her career was supported by ACDD superintendent Anne Zeitler and punctuated with her work on the board’s leadership team along with Zeitler, Lynda Perry, Lori Burdick, Heather Perdue, Cheryl Marshall, Pam Rose and Mike DiMarino.
“I was very proud to be a member of the board’s leadership team and to be a part of our strong planning processes,” she said.
Moody said her time with Happy Hearts and Ash Craft made her a better person.
“The students and the consumers have been like a part of my family for so many years,” she said. “You can be having a really bad day and walk through the shop and suddenly you are having a good day. Everything gets put into perspective. We truly live our motto of ‘Imagine, Believe, Achieve.’”
Moody said she enjoyed her job so much, she never considered it work.
“I never thought about it before I retired, but my job never really felt like a job to me,” she said, “because I loved it so much. I never one day dreaded going to work.”
The mother of five and grandmother of seven, Moody plans to volunteer locally, but her retirement is loosely planned with one main priority — quality time with her husband, David.
“My husband retired several years ago and our priority is time together for travel,” she said. “We are going to go just everywhere.”
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