ITD honors 10 retiring employees
It’s one of life’s little ironies – you begin life learning everything there is to learn, then you get a job and put the formal education into practice. And about the time you have the job mastered, you retire.
Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) put it into perspective, writing: “Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.”
ITD employees who are still “practicing,” paused Wednesday to pay tribute to those who crossed the threshold into retirement. The semi-annual employee awards ceremony at Headquarters recognized 10 retirees, who combined for 277 years of service to Idaho – for an average of 27.7 years.
The patriarchs of the 2007 retiring class were Milford Miller, who concluded a 43-year career, and Smokey Beaman, who recorded 42 years. They were on hand, along with Lou Olaso (22 years) to receive the praise of their peers. Others who retired in late 2007 include: Ruben Manubay, 36 years; Harold Baxter, 31 years; Nicholas Meyers, 30 years; Devera Chapman, 24 years; Ray Glidden, 22 years; John Cameron, 18 years; and Ellen Woodard, 9 years.
“Milford’s body of knowledge that he acquired over the years was something that those of us in the Division of Highways all benefited from… This occasion gives us an opportunity to formally thank Milford for his technical insights and assistance.”
Miller began his career at ITD in 1964 as a part-time engineering aide while he completed his degree work at the University of Idaho. He advanced to full-time in 1966 after earning an engineering degree from UI.
His career took him to many parts of Idaho, beginning in Shoshone, with stints in materials, project development, traffic and construction. He also worked at Headquarters in Location and Bridge and then went to District 1 as a project field engineer, according to Hood.
Miller returned to Boise in the 1970s to work in Roadway Design.
“He gained considerable experience in surveying, mapping and safety engineering. Milford was well known as the department’s subject matter expert in guardrail crash test issues.”
ITD benefited from both, said Steve Spoor, who introduced Olaso at the award ceremony.
“Lou was instrumental in developing the Idaho Boy Scout (special) License Plate,” Spoor said. “In fact, Lou received the very first Boy Scout plate, and I think he still has it today on his vehicle.”
Olaso began his ITD career in 1986 as an Automated Records Clerk, working in Bridge Maintenance. He was promoted the following year to a Technical Records Specialist working at the Headquarters Garage as part of the Maintenance Section, Spoor said.
“He outlasted nine mechanics, three mechanic assistants, one shop foreman and one supervisor in his career at the garage.”
The Blackfoot native retired from ITD on Dec. 28. An avid collector, Olaso has a large collection of LDS pins, Boy Scout patches, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and miniature swords. “If you ever visited his office in the HQ garage, you also know that he as a love of plants and fish, Spoor added.