PLANKINTON - John Neuheisel retired Monday from the only job he has ever known.
While the typical person nationally changes jobs 10 to 15 times, Neuheisel has worked for the last 50 years at Roadside Station in Plankinton.
Neuheisel said he has always enjoyed the job and his small town customers have been good to him. His friends and family threw him a retirement party at the station Monday, which is located off Exit 308 from Interstate 90 in Plankinton. The Roadside Station business moved there in 1969, just as the new four-lane interstate highway was being built.
"You meet a lot of good people, what more could you ask for," he said of his career.
Pia Pryor, who has been a co-worker of Neuheisel for 26 years, said he was a great joy to work with.
"He always had such a relaxed feeling about him and good sense of humor that made the job that much easier," Pryor said.
Roadside Station was formerly known as Sauvage Motors, where Neuheisel was originally hired as a service man. The owners of Sauvage Motors, Jack and Annie Sauvage, hired John at age 13 just after his father died.
From that day in 1969, Neuheisel worked his way up the ladder at Roadside Service Station, climbing from employee to owner. It was that work ethic, Pryor said, that his co-workers appreciated about him.
"I really admire how hard he worked, how he accommodated all our customers, and his willingness to help out in any given situation," Pryor said.
Neuheisel's wife, Becky, said her husband has always been a hard worker, as he exhibited in his early years of running the business, which included automotive service work and operating a gas station.
"When John first became manager, he would sometimes work 60 to 70 hours a week," said Becky.
She said she is glad that her husband has finally made it to retirement, so that they can relax and enjoy their life together.
"I do not think many people know just how much work it really is to own a business until they actually get into the position themselves," Becky said.
Neuheisel said that what he will miss most about his job is meeting new people, working with automobiles, and visiting with old friends he has met throughout the years.
"The people I have worked with and served have always been great," said John.
As far as Neuheisel's plans for retirement, he said he would love to see a lot more of his family.
"I have a daughter in Arizona that I will probably visit in the winter, and a son in Nebraska with two children that I would love to watch grow up," he said.
Neuheisel regards the Plankinton community, friends, customers, and family as his greatest treasure throughout the years.
Even the new owners of Roadside Station Cory and Shanna Tobin said that the Plankinton community has tremendous respect for Neuheisel and how he operated his business.
"You can't be in business that long and not be well liked," Cory Tobin said.
As for the future of the business, Tobin said he has plans for trying to grow and expand the station this fall.
Pryor said Neuheisel is a great example of someone doing what they have always loved. Neuheisel never questioned his commitment to his business and his career.
"I have absolutely no regrets," he said.