MOUNT GILEAD — Chase Bank’s customers and staff said they will miss seeing teller Karen Varner’s smile. She was honored Oct. 1 with cake, balloons and flowers to thank her for 43 years with the bank.
One customer reminisced how Karen had helped her elderly mother avoid a scam several years ago. Her mother came in to withdraw an unusually large sum of money and it turned out that she had been approached by grifters who were travelling swindlers. They were going through town and getting people to give them money without completing the work.
Varner checked into the situation and contacted both the mother and daughter about the possible scam. She kept the woman from losing her money.
For helping the woman to avoid losing her money, the bank awarded Varner a “Best of the Best” award. That was in 1987-88.
Varner said she was first employed by the bank when it was the Peoples Bank in 1972. She took other work for a short time at GE and worked again at the bank when it was Bank One and lately since it has been a part of Chase Bank.
“It has been my second home for a lot of years,” said Varner, who graduated from Chesterville High School.
Mount Gilead Chase Bank Manager Jason Brooke said he has known Varner for many years. He first worked with Karen when he was in college. He recalled how she talked with him at that time about how banking had changed over the years.
“We talked about the ‘good old days’ a lot because as a kid I would come in after hours when my dad worked here. We also got to know each other since my daughter and her grandson were in the same class,” Brooke recalled.
“She has kept up with technology and changes over the years. Karen has worked with a lot of people and she will be missed by both customers and staff here,” Brooke said.
Varner has two daughters and a son living in Mount Gilead and Mount Vernon. She plans on vacation time with family after her retirement from Chase. She will continue to work part-time as a waitress at the Edison Depot restaurant.
“I’m sure I’ll still be seeing lots of customers from the bank at the Edison Depot,” Varner said with a smile.