Eagle Valley native leaves longtime county job
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Rhonda Parker has chalked up an employment record that will be hard to top.
For the past 35 years, the Eagle native has been on the Eagle County payroll. But proving the old adage that “all good things come to an end,” Parker is leaving town and her job.
Parker and her husband, Rich, bought the Napa Auto Parts store in Rifle and have purchased a new home there. That makes for big change in their household.
Parker started her career with Eagle County in what was then called social services. Her grandmother, Ruth Beasley, worked for the department and told Parker there was a position open.
While she stayed with the department for 18 years, Parker said the work could be emotionally draining. She will never forget the Christmas Eve when a woman came into the office, placed her 2-year-old child on the counter and told the staff she didn’t want him any more.
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“I wanted to take him home to have Christmas with us, but we weren’t allowed,” recalls Parker. What the staff could do was locate a foster home for the child. While the story is heartbreaking, Parker says the youngster actually found a supportive family and is now doing well.
After leaving social services, Parker worked for the Finance Department and the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Ten years ago, she transferred to the Road and Bridge Department. Her latest posting has been a particularly good fit.
“Rhonda is one of the few people that people all over the county call for advice,” says Brad Higgins, road and bridge director.
“We will all be calling her once a day to ask questions,” adds Gordon Adams, assistant director for road and bridge. “This place isn’t going to run the way it has without her, that’s for sure.”
While her official title is administrative coordinator, Higgins and Adams say Parker really acts as the department’s mom ” continually checking in with employees to make sure all is well.
Higgins and Adams say they have a rare thing going at road and bridge ” three people in one office who work well together. “I remember when we were interviewing Rhonda. She already knew everything,” says Adams.
“It’s a rare thing to have someone here who can read your mind and not be scared to do it,” adds Higgins.
Parker’s future plans include working at the Napa store in Rifle and enjoying her new home and land. She will miss the people she has worked with for more than three decades, but with her son and other family members still in Eagle, Parker predicts she will be visiting often.
As for Higgins, Parker won’t be far away at all. Her new home is only about a half mile from his.