Bank of Eastern Oregon says goodbye to longtime worker

Fran Bunch enjoying a visit with customers as she says goodbye to friends and co-workers at the Bank of Eastern Oregon. The Eagle/Marissa Allen

PRAIRIE CITY - As the vault door closed, so did Fran Bunch's 45 year stint in the banking world. On April 16 Fran Bunch said goodbye to coworkers and friends as she retired from Bank of Eastern Oregon in Prairie City.

"All day I have been saying, 'This is the last time I will open the vault,'" Fran comments as she discusses how it feels to retire. "It's very traumatic."

When asked what she will miss the most she answered, "The people, definitely. That's what has been so hard about this [retiring]."

Bank of Eastern Oregon in Prairie City was decorated with balloons and photos of Fran during her banking years, along with cake and punch to celebrate her retirement. Many friends that Fran has acquired through the years in Prairie City came to the bank Thursday and Friday to wish her well.

"Fran has played a very important part in the financial success of many individuals and families in Prairie City. Her contributions to the community will be hard to match," Bob Quinton, branch manager of the John Day branch respectively adds regarding Fran's contribution to the Prairie City area.

Fran, through the years and bank name changes (Bank of Eastern Oregon has gone through six name changes), has built her place in the banking industry. Starting as a bookkeeper for the U.S. Bank branch in Burns from 1955-63; moving to the Grant County Bank and working as bookkeeper and teller from 1964-68; 1973-96 as a teller for First Interstate; new account representative and operations officer for Wells Fargo in 1996-97; 1997-2004 for Klamath First as an operations officer and finishing her career with Bank of Eastern Oregon as the branch manager.

"Bank of Eastern Oregon has been a great bank to work for," Fran remarked.Fran's husband, Doug, has also recently retired after 35 years with Oregon Telephone Corporation in Mt. Vernon.

"We have no real plan. We are going to the coast and on to Nevada in the next week. We can now do what we want, when we want to do it," Fran says regarding her and her husband's retirement plans. They will continue to reside in Prairie City.

Andie Moles, who has been employed with the Prairie City branch since 1991, will be promoted to the operations supervisor position.

As people walk by and wave through the window or walk in the door to give their best wishes, it showed just how much of an impact Fran has made on the residents of Prairie City.

Happy retirement Fran and Doug!

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