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Blugold dining employee retires after 47 years

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - If you've ever visited the Hilltop Center at UW-Eau Claire for a bite to eat, you've probably met Susie Deacon at the front door. Now after 47 years, Susie is hanging up her apron.

Susie clocked in for her last day of work on campus Friday. She started working at UW-Eau Claire in 1972, serving as a cashier and food server. She became popular on campus for her kindness and warm heart, at one point becoming so popular that a restaurant was named after her, called Susie's Place in the Davies Center.

One reason why Susie said she stayed so long was for the vacation time.

"I get the summers off which is nice for me," Deacon said. "I got a big yard and flower beds, and my animals like it when mama's home."

But what was most important for Susie was getting to know the students.

"I really enjoy the kids," Deacon said. "They always keep me on my toes. I like talking to them, and that's what I'm going to miss the most."

The students feel the same way. Her kindness always makes them feel welcomed on campus.

"She's super nice and super friendly," said a student at the Hilltop Center. "She'll always come up to my table and we'll have a little conversation every time I'm here."

Some of her colleagues who have been with her for decades can't imagine serving breakfast and wiping tables without her.

"We almost all cried together this morning," said Deb Heisz, a co-worker of Susie. "It's going to be hard not seeing her everyday. We're really going to miss her, she's been like a fixture for us."

The thousands of students and staff Susie met along the way will always be a fixture in her life too.

"I've really had a good life here, and meeting all of the people here," Deacon said.

Susie said she's looking forward to working on her flower beds and visiting her relatives more often in her retirement.

Evan Hong

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