"Housingette" Linda Olson-Roach retires
If you find yourself in a foreign country where no one speaks your language and you don't know a soul, you probably want someone around like Linda Olson-Roach. Since 1977, she worked to make Fermilab physicists and their families from across the globe feel at home.
"A lot of times, the spouses of physicists who accompany them are left without much to do during the day. We try to draw them out, even if there's a language barrier. Linda was extremely good at that," said Housing Office's Jacqueline Cyko.
Olson-Roach retired on July 3 after 31 years. She went from taking reservations at the Housing Office's front desk to administrative support and is known and respected throughout the laboratory.
She took care of everything from billing in daycare to handling facility requests to decorating the interiors of Aspen East and the village dorms.
"We owe all of the village décor to Linda. She chose everything you see - the color of paint, the blinds, the carpets and even the pots and pans," said Jack Hawkins, accommodation manager. "We like to tease her about her giant shoe collection, but we really depended on that eye of hers."
Housing Office employees see Olson-Roach as a part of their family.
"We are a small group in the Housing Office and have been through the good, the bad and the ugly, boyfriends, marriages, divorces, kids, grandkids, births and deaths. We "Housingettes" have been there for each other 24/7," Cyko said.
Although Olson-Roach is retiring, she will continue to work on Fermilab's History Committee.
"Whenever there was a big discovery there was a huge influx of people to the laboratory and it was always very exciting," Olson-Roach said. "The hardest part for me was seeing people go."
You can say goodbye on Friday, July 25 at 11:30 a.m. at The Venice Tavern at 31 N. River St. in Batavia. Reservations must be made by the end of day on July 21 to x3082.
-- Jennifer L. Johnson