Featured Photo: Mrs. Colbert’s family helped end her last day of work on a high note. From left are, Jim Williams, brother-in-law, sisters, Melissa Stephens and Carletta Williams, Dionsha James, daughter, Irma, andMike Colbert, Aniyah Colbert, granddaughter, Michael Colbert II, son, and granddaughters, Tekaya Woods, Taeler McCall.
BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
After 35 years as a food service worker for Mercy College, 2221 Madison, Irma Colbert was officially retiring on Friday, July 8, for a much needed rest.
She knew her close co-workers were going to have an intimate retirement party for her, but Mrs. Colbert wasn’t expecting her husband, Michael, children, and other family members to surprise her at work, 15 minutes before she was to clock out for the last time.
As Mrs. Colbert finished the last of her duties, her husband and family came into her work area and yelled the indoor version of surprise.
With a look of, “What are you all doing here,” Mrs. Colbert’s look of surprise, turned into a teary eyed face, as her family hugged, and kissed, her.
They gave her flowers, and told Mrs. Colbert how much they loved, and appreciated her.
“I’m totally surprised,” Mrs. Colbert told The Toledo Journal. “I wasn’t expecting this,” she said.
Unlike most people, who retire, and begin traveling, Mrs. Colbert said she was just going to relax, and do nothing the first year. “I will visit my children, grandchildren, and sisters. And on Mondays I’ll dust; Tuesdays I’ll wash, and on Wednesdays, I’ll have to find something to do,” she said.
Then, she remembered, “Oh yeah, at the end of the month, we’ll be going to Jamaica,” Mrs. Colbert said.
Then, Mrs. Colbert officially punched off for the last time. And with a smile still on her face, she looked at her husband and said, “He’s such a great man for doing this for me.” As she continued, more tears began to flow down her face. “He’s phenomenal. He’s a great husband, and a great dad,” Mrs. Colbert said. Starring at his wife while she was saying how appreciative she was of him, Mr. Colbert too, began to cry tears of joy.
Kathy Wielfaert was Mrs. Colbert’s coworker for 15 years. She said of Mrs. Colbert, “She has been a great worker, friend, and listener. I couldn’t have done my work without her. We’ve been a team, and I’m going to miss her.”
As the Colbert family walked down the hall of Mercy, headed to the parking lot, Mr. Colbert had one more surprise for his wife of 34 years; a limousine waiting to take them home.
“When my wife started working here 35 years ago, she had to walk in the rain, and the cold, so I decided I’m taking my baby home in style,” Mr. Colbert said.