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Indiana's Oldest State Employee Retires At 102: 'You Gotta Learn All You Can'

Bob Vollmer has spent almost the last 60 years working for the state of Indiana's Department of Natural Resources, and now, at the age of 102, he's finally ready to retire.

As Good Morning America reported, the WWII veteran was hired as a land surveyor back in 1963, and just worked his final day on the job last week.

Vollmer has long held the honor of being Indiana's oldest state employee.

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"I hate to retire, but you gotta quit sometime," he told WHAS. "I worked until I thought maybe I couldn’t justify the position. When you get to that point, you say you better quit."

Vollmer, who walks with a cane and requires hearing aids, told WXIN his health also played a factor in his decision to retire.

"The time comes when, heck, you have to give it up," he said. "I guess your body tells you when it's time to go."

After serving in the Navy during WWII, Vollmer graduated from Purdue University with a degree in biological and agricultural engineering in 1952.

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Just a few years later, he began working as a land surveyor for the state. As for why he stuck it out so long, forty years after most people would have retired, Vollmer explained it all has to do with his upbringing.

"I’m not like a lot of people," he said. "You gotta remember, I was raised during the Depression, and you had to work.”

A lot has certainly changed in the nearly 60 years Vollmer spent working for the state of Indiana.

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Most of his job involves collecting field data and confirming boundary lines.

"We used to survey differently — the hard way," he said. "Measuring with tape measures and whatnot. That’s pretty much obsolete now."

Now all his work can be done using electronic GPS equipment.

Although he's now retiring, Vollmer said he has no plans on slowing down just yet.


"I got a lot of things planned," he said. "I don’t know whether I’ll get to them or not; there’s always something to do."

Part of those plans includes traveling and perhaps even dabbling in photography.

"You gotta learn all you can. That brain up there, that’s a very important part of your body, and it’ll hold more than most people realize."

But retirement is bittersweet for this seasoned former employee.

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Although he's looking forward to exploring his interests, Vollmer said he'll always fondly remember his nearly 60 years working for the state.

"I’ll miss this," he admitted. "You bet I’ll miss this."

h/t: Good Morning America, WXIN

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