This Friday, one day before his 83rd birthday, Bob Clayville will retire. Again.
Clayville pulled the plug the first time in 1987, after 30 years as a funeral home owner in Estacada.
But he couldn't make it stick. He started a new career as an all-around hand at Nature's Pantry, a health food store in La Grande.
"I never thought of the first time as a retirement, really. I was too young then to quit working," Clayville said this week.
At about the same time he sold his Estacada business, his son and daughter in law, Dennis and Linda Clayville, were starting Nature's Pantry on Fourth Street near Washington Avenue in downtown
It was a big undertaking, and they needed some help. At the age of 65, Bob still had plenty of energy to burn.
"Dennis and Linda were quite influential in getting us to move here. They were getting along fine, but they needed extra help. I wasn't visibly occupied, so I came aboard," Bob said.
Bob and his wife, Peggy, bought a place in Cove, and they've lived there ever since. They've never regretted the move.
"It's a good place to live. Most of the young people behave themselves and we're not bothered with crime or pilfering," Bob said. "That's not to say we didn't like Estacada. We did. Living in a bigger city was a little more convenient."
Bob went to work full time at Nature's Pantry, running the cash register, ordering products, stocking shelves, and more.
He said he learned what he needed to know about the product line, but never set himself up as an expert.
"I got acquainted with the various nutrients that are available and learned a little bit about what they do. The customers who needed education and in-depth information, I sent to Linda," he said.
He said he always enjoyed interacting with customers at the cash
"I've very much enjoyed meeting the people and getting acquainted with them. I'll miss a lot of them, and I'll wish them well."
Linda Clayville said her father-in-law's presence has always been good for the store.
"He's been a real asset to the business," she said. "A lot of the people like to visit with him, because of his dry sense of humor."
Bob Clayville admits to slowing down a bit recently, but said he
doesn't plan to wilt away just because he's retiring.
"There are plenty of chores to do around the house and property. I'm going to do some gardening and help the wife with her flowers," he said.
He and Peggy have been married 58 years.
Clayville said he is grateful for the life he has enjoyed, two careers and all.
"I thank the Lord for what he's given me, and for helping me over the hump," he said.
Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., Nature's Pantry plans a birthday and retirement bash for its long-time employee, who just might stay retired this time.
Customers and co-workers alike are invited to share in the food and festivities.