Smiling, cheerful DRC receptionist retires

Donna Coley ends 50-year career; last 14 with City of Yukon

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Donna Coley, who retired this week from the City of Yukon, earns one of many hugs from co-workers, friends and Dale Robertson Center patrons during her Nov. 1st retirement celebration. Coley has spent the last 14 years with the City of Yukon during a 50-year career. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

“Good morning. I’m glad you’re here today.”

Over the past 10 years, those became familiar words spoken by Donna Coley to patrons entering the City of Yukon’s Dale Robertson Center.

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This week, Coley couldn’t have asked for a better send-off as she concluded a 50-year career on a most special occasion.

Friends, family and fellow city employees joined Dale Robertson Center patrons to pay tribute to Coley during a Nov. 1st retirement celebration inside the center, 1200 Lakeshore.

“I’m REALLY glad you’re here today,” Coley told the audience.

Coley has ended 14 years of service to the City of Yukon – the last 10 as the Dale Robertson Center’s friendly and outgoing front desk receptionist. Her first four years were in the Utility Billing Department.

“This has been a wonderful day, recognizing the memories I’ve been able to share with so many friends,” Coley said. “I’ve had a great career.

“I’m just blessed that the last 10 years of my 50-year career has been spent with the seniors here at the Dale Robertson Center. I’ve enjoyed getting to know them and bless them in any way I could. I hope it was as much as they blessed me.”

Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar read a Yukon City Council proclamation declaring Nov. 1, 2022, as “Donna Coley Day” in the City of Yukon.

“During her years of service at the Dale Robertson Center, she has organized and led various projects, and has applied her knowledge of the center and her organizational and administrative expertise to the benefit of all employees and citizens for the city,” Kretchmar said.

Coley has “greeted everyone visiting the center with a smile, kind word and a cheerful demeanor,” she added.

Casey Barnett worked 10 years alongside Coley while serving as the Dale Robertson Center’s manager.

She advised Coley, “Just because family doesn’t see each other, doesn’t mean we stop being family. So, we better keep in touch.”

Barnett, who recently was promoted to Yukon Parks & Recreation’s assistant director, spoke fondly of the retiring City of Yukon employee.

“Donna is one of the most compassionate people I know,” Barnett said. “For years, she’s been caring about everybody who walked through the door and what she could do to make their day a little bit better.

“She’s hard to replace. She’s been a ‘staple’ in this center for so long that she’s going to be missed by everyone.”

Retiring Dale Robertson Center receptionist Donna Coley admires an engraved cutting board, which she received as a retirement gift from fellow city employees. She is being recognized for 14 years of service to the City of Yukon. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
The Dale Robertson Center’s longtime receptionist, Donna Coley (front row, second from left) celebrates her retirement with family members: From left, Terry Coley (husband), Donna Coley, Xander Baccus (grandson), Kendall Baccus (daughter), JJ Lee (son), Bonnie Coley (mother-in-law) Amanda Cook (daughter in law), and David Sturgill (family friend). Not pictured are Teyonna Coley (daughter), Chase Baccus (son-in-law), and Keira Baccus, Kailee Baccus and James Cook (grandchildren). (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
City of Yukon retiree Donna Coley (center) is flanked by Dee Gibson Poe (left) and Dawn Reister, who she worked with in the Utility Billing Department before becoming the Dale Robertson Center’s receptionist. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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LENGTHY SERVICE

Before joining the City of Yukon, Coley worked as a nurse in physicians’ offices, was senior vice president for an insurance company and president of the Del City Chamber of Commerce.

She thanked God for leading her to Yukon – where she belonged.

As she wound down her long career this week, Coley thanked the “wonderful” Yukon community, her family and fellow city employees.

“I’ve been fortunate and blessed to be able to get to know so many people across the city who come and support us in everything that we do on a daily basis here,” she told DRC patrons and staff at the retirement reception.

“I’ve had a wonderful career and I’ve had many opportunities. … From the bottom of my heart, thank you for blessing me every day with your presence. I appreciate the opportunity to get to know you and your family.”

Coley plans to return as a visitor to the Dale Robertson Center, where the new receptionist is Terri Trent.

“We have similar backgrounds; she also has had Chamber of Commerce experience,” Coley shared. “Terri has a great smile and a good laugh.

“She will do wonderful.”

See more photos from the retirement reception at www.yukonprogress.com

The guest of honor accepts a proclamation from Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar declaring Nov. 1 as “Donna Coley Day” in the City of Yukon. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Josh Gotcher, who worked in the City of Yukon’s Information Technology Department, signs Donna Coley’s retirement book. At left is fellow IT employee Jerome Brown. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Veteran City of Yukon employee Donna Coley cuts her retirement cake during a Nov. 1st reception at the Dale Robertson Center. At right is former Dale Robertson Center manager Casey Barnett, who recently was promoted to Yukon Parks & Recreation’s assistant director. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Members of the Silver Chords, directed by Dianne France, sing a farewell song to retiring Dale Robertson Center receptionist Donna Coley. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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