KNOXVILLE – Donnie Rodgers has spent 70 years of his life walking through the same doors to go to work at what is now Wells Fargo Bank.

Wells Fargo celebrated by having an open house last Friday, to honor the many years he has dedicated to the banking business.

“Good jobs are hard to come by,” Rodgers said in a previous interview. “I got me a good one, so I just kept it.”

Dameon Larson, Assistant Vice President of Wells Fargo, has worked with Rodger for more than 20 years.

“I consider Donnie not only a co-worker and a friend, but he has been a mentor to me over the years,” Larson said. “I've personally worked for him for 24 years going on 25.”

Rodgers has been banking as long as he has been married.

“I got married and came to the bank all [within] a year,” Rodgers said.

The year was 1947 when he started working at was then known as Community National Bank.

In a previous interview with the Journal-Express, Rodgers joked that “to this day, he's got the same job, the same woman and the same house that he had then.”

Rodgers gets around the bank with ease helping customers with what they need.

“When somebody comes in and look like they're scared and look like they don't know where they're going, I head them in the right direction,” Rodgers said.

“What he does in the community and the people, the relationships he builds are outstanding,” Larson said. “He is a legend.”

Rodgers has remained active throughout his life.

Rodgers and his wife, Marie, raised four children, Donna, Dixie, Kevin and Randy. A good work ethic was instilled into their children early on. They always had chores to do outside of their regular activities.

“I think that's why they have good jobs now,” Rodgers said in a previous interview with the Journal Express. “They know how to work.”

One of Rodgers' main talents is customer service. It's evident watching him talk to people who come through the bank doors. Although banking has gone through numerous changes in the last 70 years, his customer service has remained the same.

“Start with people first and the rest will take care of itself,” Rodgers said.

Sandwiches, snacks and a cake was catered in by Hy-Vee to celebrate Rodgers 70 years of banking.

“We had just over 400 people come in to visit him he had a lot of visitors,” Larson said. “He served the community in banking. He is a relationship builder. People look for a reason to come into this bank, and a lot of it is Donnie Rodgers."

Ethan Goetz is a general assignment reporter for the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached in the newsroom at 641-842-2155, ext. 19, or via email at reporter@pellachronicle.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.

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