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After 42 and a half years Sandra Kendall is retiring from Community Bank

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After more than four decades, Sandra Kendall is retiring as branch manager of Ogdensburg’s Ford Street Community Bank N.A.

“I am going to miss it,” she said, “especially the people, my coworkers, the customers. It’s been a wonderful organization to work for.”

Mrs. Kendall began her time with the bank almost by chance on July 5, 1971, when she told her mother, Patricia Coleman, that she didn’t want to return to school at Canton ATC.

Then 19, Mrs. Kendall said, “I told my mother I didn’t want to go back to college after a year and she said, ‘that’s fine, as long as you have a full-time job by the time school starts in September.’”

Her mother was working at a store near the bank at the time, and heard about an opening there. She recommended Mrs. Kendall apply.

“That was the start,” she said.

At that time the bank, known as St. Lawrence National Bank, was located in Seaway Plaza. Mrs. Kendall started her career as a teller.

Mrs. Kendall said she remembers telling her mother, “‘oh I’m not going to stay in this job long.’”

But banking, as it turned out, was right up her alley.

“I came up the ranks,” Mrs. Kendall said. “I worked every position in the branch. I started as a teller and just gradually became the branch manager here in 1997.”

St. Lawrence National Bank became Community Bank in 1992. In 1997 Mrs. Kendall became the first branch manager of the bank’s Ford Street location.

“Ogdensburg’s a wonderful place,” she said. “We still do personalized banking. I like helping young people do their first mortgages. Each person is a person coming in here, not just a number, and we hope to help them anyway we can.”

In her retirement Mrs. Kendall said she plans on enjoying more time with her husband Kenneth – who retired three years ago from the maintenance department at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center – and her seven grandchildren who are all under the age of 5.

Mrs. Kendall said she plans on doing some traveling with her family as well.

She and her husband have three children. Kendra Moran, a state police trooper based in Ogdensburg, Karen Mathews, a teacher at Grant C. Madill Elementary School, and Kevin Kendall, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment at the Ogdensburg City School District.

Mrs. Kendall, who was born and raised in the city, said she feels fortunate to have been able to stay with one employer in one city for so long.

“Most people don’t even stay on the job seven years nowadays,” she said. “Community Bank is noted for their employees staying with the bank for a long time.”

On Dec. 17 Mrs. Kendall’s coworkers, friends and family held a retirement party for her at the Grand-View Restaurant.

Head teller Cheryl L. Seymour said Mrs. Kendall’s 42 and a half years with the bank have been inspirational.

“She has been a pillar of Community Bank for that long,” she said.

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