LOOGOOTEE — Ann Wagler, a giant of a stable and calming presence despite her petite physical stature, stood in the shadow of the German American Bank in Loogootee.
“I remember the first day I walked into this building," said Wagler who will retire from German American Friday after nearly five decades of service.
Wagler grew up on a dairy farm as the youngest of seven children. She attended Cannelburg Grade School and then graduated from Barr-Reeve High School with the class of 1968. Before beginning her career in the banking industry, she spent 2 years further developing the dependable, over-and-above work ethic of which her coworkers speak working on the family farm.
It was on Feb. 2, 1970, Wagler chose to begin her career in banking in the bookkeeping department at Loogootee’s Union Bank, which has since become a branch of German American Bank. Wagler spent nine years in bookkeeping before being promoted to general ledger bookkeeper in 1979. That's a position she continued with until 1990 when she became an assistant cashier for three years. In 1993, she became a part of the audit department in Jasper only to return to the Loogootee branch as head teller in 1999. Wagler became financial center supervisor in 2006.
Wagler and her husband, Loren, share two children, a daughter, Nicole (Alex) Schank, a physical therapist with First Steps, and a son, Tony (Laura Lipkaman) Wagler, an optomatrist and partner of Fall Creek Vision Center.
In her retirement she looks forward to spending time with her family including her four grandchildren, Hannah and Abby Schank and Jack and Ben Wagler.
While Wagler's coworkers wish her the best in her retirement, they will miss her dessert and meals she often provided. One long-time coworker even joked that, "We might just lose some weight along with Ann in her retirement.”
German American Bank Regional Executive Vice President Kenny Frye has declared Friday Ann Wagler Day in celebration of Wagler and everything she’s brought to the bank, its employees and customers over the years. The public is invited to stop by the bank Friday to visit with Wagler.