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Retiring at the age of 90

Retiring from one’s job is an accomplishment in its own right. Retiring at the age of 90 deserves quite a bit more recognition.

Such is true for Bob Wasson, a resident of Whitehall who recently retired from HNL Lab Medicine. Wasson was a shuttle carrier for HNL, picking up various specimen at hospitals, nursing homes and medical offices and delivering them to HNL several days a week on eight-hour shifts.

Sixteen years ago, Wasson decided to start a second career with HNL because he had a friend who worked there and recommended the company during Wasson’s job search.

Wasson’s first career was as the owner of a 7-Eleven franchise, retiring at age 74.

His last day with HNL was Sept. 30, and the company was not going to let that day be a normal workday.

“That’s when they had a big party for me,” Wasson said. “It was quite a surprise.”

The company provided Wasson and others who gathered to celebrate with pizza, refreshments and, of course, cake. Wasson said whatever was left over was sent to the shuttle carrier office for other carriers to enjoy.

“The people” are what Wasson said he liked the most about his job. “The people at the hospitals, the lab I worked with. Most of them would go out of their way to help you.”

As with any job, there are always challenges. One challenge for Wasson was driving in poor weather conditions.

“You’d be surprised how many carriers worked through storms,” Wasson said.

He recalled one winter when he had to stay overnight while delivering specimen because the weather was just too bad.

“You make do with what you have,” Wasson said, when talking about having to sleep in a chair overnight during the storm.

You could say Wasson has kept himself very busy - and he’s still going. Wasson loves to golf, and he doesn’t plan on stopping. He said he will continue playing the sport while enjoying retirement. He is part of a golf club that meets once a week, and he is the second oldest golfer in the group.

Wasson also plans on getting out to fish, another passion of his. He said he visited Cancun and loves being on the water, especially the Caribbean.

Another joy of his is driving. Wasson said he is looking forward to traveling to Iowa to spend time with his family, then traveling to Illinois and Kentucky. Driving on the highway is relaxing to him, he said.

But his main priority upon retirement is taking care of his wife, Rosemary, who fell in July and dislocated her shoulder. During her time in recovery, they celebrated their 63rd anniversary. She came home later that month and has pretty much fully recovered. Wasson said, understandably, Rosemary is worried she will fall again.

Some good advice Wasson shared with readers - “I don’t ever worry about things I have no control over. If I have a problem and can’t fix it, I forget about it until it gets back, and I then have to take care of it. That way, I don’t dwell on it for a month or two or three. It just tears you down.”

Wasson reiterated how much he has enjoyed working for HNL. He added he is very appreciative of all the kindness he has experienced during his shifts.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Bob Wasson, a resident of Whitehall, recently retired from HNL Lab Medicine at the age of 90.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO In his second career, Bob Wasson picks up specimen from hospitals, nursing homes and medical offices and delivers them to HNL Lab Medicine. He is pictured here on his last day on the job before retiring Sept. 30.