By Allen Hamrick
My dad used to tell me, “Son, if you ever have the opportunity in your life to have just one true friend, you are indeed blessed.”
He went on to say, “You will have friends, but make sure that those friends are ones that respect you for yourself rather than what you possess.” Here in this county, there are many folks that do just that every day. There is one in particular that has went above and beyond for many Clay Countians over the last 46 years. As Sam Walter Foss once said, “Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to all.” This is none other than Peggy Sattler Jeffrey, a Vice President of Clay County Bank. I sat down with Peggy just the other day and we talked about her upcoming retirement, the years she has been with the bank, and the many changes she has seen since she started at the bank.
Peggy started full time in 1972, the day after graduating high school. She had worked summers in book keeping and running errands, and then president Murray Smith offered her a full time job. It was clear that Mr. Smith saw in Peggy what he considered a positive addition for the bank to move forward into the future. She knew that college wasn’t a consideration for her at the time and that she just needed to find her place in life that would fit her idea of how she could be the most effective at helping others. She worked hard at her job and slowly rose up the ladder to teller then on the management team as a Vice President. Her persistence at not just doing the job, but with helping others and treating people not as just another customer but as a friend, it gave power to her position. To her, it makes no difference if you have a hundred dollars in the bank or a hundred million, when you sit across from her, the seat is the same height for everybody.
Peggy is distinguished by her actions among her colleagues and has in her own way made the Clay County Bank a home to those needing help and a place where a person can be free from the usual pressures of banking. Her wonderful strength and cheerfulness give the customer a sense that there is a silver lining to their needs. A community bank like Clay County Bank is an institution that focuses on the needs of businesses and families to make a better place for people to live and for the community to thrive. It is now a place we can depend on largely in part because of people like Peggy Jeffrey.
Peggy has seen many changes, from the paper and pen world to fast paced computer technology, but the people, the customers, the friendships she has forged for 46 years will be missed the most. She has stored up much wisdom in the years she has been there and her advice to anyone who would take a job that depends on relationships with people, is to always treat people with respect no matter their stature in life. Peggy is the embodiment of character and it is her character that has been the greatest benefit to Clay County people. A person passes through this life but one time, and the kindness she has shown to the people she has come in contact with has left them not feeling neglected but as though they could come by any time. Everybody in one way or another in the circles we live in tries to make our existence better in some way. In that circle, we try to do the most good we can in service to other people, and the last hope we have is that in some way while doing the best we could, we encouraged at least one person or perhaps positively influenced a community.
Peggy Jeffrey has truly attained that distinction in her time at Clay County Bank. It is her past and her present that has made her who she is. She is the culmination of her own actions and has conducted her life so that it could be an example to all of us. It has been said that the greatest people are those that use their strengths not to carry themselves to be above others but use their strengths in service to others.
Peggy will no doubt be missed at the local bank and by the many friends she has made during her time there. Her shoes will be very difficult to fill because one can’t simply be trained to do what Peggy does; it comes from a deep sense of integrity and is a gift. Peggy says that she will never just sit down and do nothing in retirement but that the world is at her fingertips just waiting to be explored. This is a new chapter in her life, and she is looking forward to every minute of it.
Clay County Bank would like to extend the invitation to come in over the next couple of months and bid Peggy a happy farewell. Her last day is December 27, 2019. We wish her a happy farewell and many thanks for always being there for the people of Clay County.
peggy front page story lead in pic cutline-
peggy pic 2 cutline L-R – Freda Pierson, Mildred Summers, Martha Miller, Peggy Satler Jeffrey, Martha Nottingham, and Deana Morris Carte.