MOUNT VERNON — At her retirement party Monday at the Knox County Service Center, Gloria Parsisson, longtime administrator of the Children Services division of Knox County Department of Job & Family Services, told those in attendance that she was leaving the service center for the second time in her life.
“The first time I left this building was with mom, about seven days after I was born,” Parsisson said, noting that the service center was originally Mercy Hospital. “So now I’m leaving again. I don’t like the word retirement; I’m just off for another adventure.”
Parsisson’s last day will be June 30. She has been on the staff of KCDJFS 20 years, serving 17 years as administrator of Children Services.
“I have mixed feelings, of course,” she said, indicating the room crowded with friends, family, colleagues, staff and community members. “This is my professional family and I really enjoy working with them. But now I’ll have more time to spend with my biological family.
“I plan to do more part-time stuff here in the county. Not at Children Services, but with some of the social-service agencies in the community. I still enjoy the work; there’s just a lot of it here. So I’m looking forward to working part-time. I believe in service to the community. We each should leave things a little better than we found them.”
Parsisson said her first task is to write a book on Centerburg history, which she promised friends she would do upon retiring. She will continue serving on the Centerburg Farming Festival committee, as vice chairwoman of the Knox County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and as a board member of The DELTA Project and the Centerburg Public Library.
As she held her granddaughter, Parsisson said she is especially looking forward to spending more time with 18-month-old Emma and Emma’s father, Parsisson’s son, David. Especially “playing with steam engines more,” she said, referring to the family hobby of collecting and displaying steam-powered antique and vintage engines.
Her supervisor, Roger Shooter, director of KCDJ&FS, said Jana Shira has been hired to replace Parsisson.
“We are excited about having Jana here,” said Shooter. “And Gloria has agreed to stand by some days when we need her. We can’t replace her; we just do the best we can. But we’ll miss her, that’s for sure.”