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Marsh closing ends woman's 57-year career

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 21:13:13-04

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A woman who has worked for Marsh Supermarkets for more than five decades will say goodbye to her first and only employer this weekend when the Bloomington store closes.

Thelma Jean, 74, said Marsh is the only job she has ever known. She began working at the Bloomington location on South Walnut in 1960.

"I was 17 years old. Fresh out of high school. First job,” said Thelma. "I opened the first store of Marsh in Bloomington and I'm going to close the last store of Marsh in Bloomington.”

In the last several months, many stores closed around central Indiana, which the company said was due to poor performance and increased competition.

In early May, Marsh officials filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and said the remaining 44 locations could close if the company did not find a buyer.

Topvalco purchased 11 Marsh locations for $16 million, and Generative Growth II agreed to buy 15 locations for $8 million.

Thelma said over the past 57 years, she’s adapted to business and technology changes.

"When I started, there was no food stamps, there was no sales tax, there was no debit/credit cards,” she said.

Thelma has held nearly every position in the store, including manager. She even tried to retire once for about six months, but returned due to boredom, she says.

“It's always a customer friendly personality. She's outgoing. She's pretty forward,” said manager Jon Stinson.

After news of the store being sold to Kroger, Thelma said she’s decided her next step.


“I'm going to retire,” she said. “This just kind of made my mind up for me.”

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