Peggy Thomas on the day of her retirement tea

A life of service

Employee retires after 57 years with Spartanburg Regional

In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state, the epic film Ben-Hur premiered, and a young Peggy Thomas came to work for Spartanburg General Hospital.

After 57 years, Peggy bid a tearful farewell to Spartanburg Regional, as coworkers and community members turned out to wish her a happy retirement. Until Sept. 16, Peggy had the longest tenure of any active Spartanburg Regional employee.

A friend of Peggy’s talked her into applying for the job in 1959. 

“I was only going to work part-time, and then part-time became full time,” Peggy said.

Does she remember that first day? “Lord no,” she said with a tear and a laugh.

She started out filing in the business office. She became a cashier, a coordinator and then a supervisor. During her 57 years, Peggy missed only two days of work.

Peggy has been recognized by the SRHS board of governors and the SC state senate for her long tenure with SRHS. But on the eve of her retirement, it was her colleagues who gathered to hug, cry, laugh and cheer as Peggy accepted the praise of Spartanburg Regional’s leadership.

“Thank you for everything you have done for us,” Brian Earnest, vice president of the revenue cycle department, told Peggy in front of more than 100 people. “Thank you for the impact you have had on our organization. Each person in this room loves you and thinks very highly of you.”

Peggy is proud of what her staff has accomplished in the business office, and said she’s going to miss all the people she worked with. But now, she’s looking forward to taking a cruise in January.

“It has been an honor to have worked here, and with all the people I have served,” Peggy said.

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