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Longtime bankers end 2010 with retirement

Just hours before retiring from First Bank in Thomson on Friday, Juanita Scott and George A. Lokey reflected on their decades of work in the community.

Ms. Scott, who has been with the bank and its predecessor for 18 years, said she started her career with the First National Bank of Thomson in 1971.

"I was the first African-American in banking in McDuffie County," she said. "I thought I would experience a lot of things that I didn't."

She said she first worked at R.L. Norris School. "I've only had two jobs in my life," she said.

Mr. Lokey said he worked in banking before turning to the family construction business, Lokey Home Builders. He returned to banking with the help of Riley Stamey.

He said increasing federal regulations are adding more safeguards and paperwork to the banking industry, but he said responsible banks have been following those practices anyway.

Mr. Lokey handed out perhaps his last business card identifying him as vice president and city executive and noted that he has been senior vice president for three years.

"I just never did see the need to waste money having new cards printed," he said.

Mr. Lokey and wife, Kaye, have a daughter, Carrie, and a son, Cameron. He said Cameron and his wife, Sara, of Augusta, are expecting the couple's first grandchild.

His other civic responsibilities will continue. He is involved in the Family Y and is chairman of the Thomson-McDuffie Water-Sewer Commission. He is active with the First United Methodist Church, where he is finance chairman and serves on the church council. Kaye Lokey's church responsibilities include working with the soup kitchen and medical mission. She is a church trustee, serves on the preschool and worship committees and is the wedding director. Mrs. Lokey is retired after 42 years as an educator.

Mr. Lokey said he looks forward to working in the yard and fishing, whether the fish bite or not. "If not, I'll just watch the cork and enjoy what's going on around me."

Ms. Scott has served as a teller and a head teller. She said she has come to know the names of about eight of 10 customers who approach her. She added that customers appreciate good service and tend to become comfortable approaching the same teller regularly.

She plans to spend more time with her daughter, Rhonda Thomas, of Macon, Ga., and granddaughter, Kelsey Sams, who attends Virginia Tech. "Maybe I can go and spend some weekends with her," she said.

Her activities with Springfield Baptist Church will get more attention now, she said.

"I'm just really looking forward to this part of my life with great anticipation," she said.

She plans to offer a bookkeeping service, "And I plan to get back into my sewing."

Renee Wright, the First Bank vice president in Thomson, continues in that capacity. She said Ms. Scott and Mr. Lokey left their mark on the bank.

"They've been a tremendous asset, and they will be missed by the First Bank family and all of our customers," she said.

Web posted on Thursday, January 06, 2011

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