BONNERS FERRY — Cathy Wells has worked for the Boundary County Prosecutor’s Office for 25 years. During that time she has seen many changes, people coming and going, and the advancement of electronic filing systems. Wells has been loved by her coworkers but on Friday, Dec. 21, she worked her last day, looking forward to her well earned retirement.
“Our whole office will miss Cathy Wells, who has been for many years a dedicated and loyal employee of the prosecutor’s office and the county,” said Boundary County Prosecutor Jack Douglas. “She will always be our friend and we all love and respect her very much.”
The office threw her a day-long retirement party and many people came down to wish her well, and partake in the homemade soup and bread provided by long time coworker Tammie Goggia, the office manager, who has worked with Wells for 15 years. A large decorated cake in the hallway, and a handmade sign hanging over the door, greeted the visitors, which included employees from parole, victims services, both attorneys, and more.
Wells worked as a Legal Assistant for the Prosecuting Attorney, performing jobs such as receptionist, secretarial work, calendar, and filing.
“Whatever needs to be done, you are basically doing it,” Wells said with a smile. “I am happy that I was an employee here for so long. That does make me feel good.”
“I didn’t know that I would make it 25 years when I started,” Well said, explaining how, after the first few weeks, she thought that she might be over her head.
Not only did she make it through the initial learning curve, but she thrived in the environment.
“I always tell her that she inspires me to be better,” said an emotional Goggia. “I could not ask for a better partner to work with, and friend ... we have grown really, really close and she is absolutely wonderful.”
The friendships that formed from working partnerships will last a lifetime. Wells said her retirement is bittersweet and her favorite memories revolve around her work family.
“When you have losses, or struggles, or sorrows, you come in and your people build you up,” said Melissa Krejci, who has worked with Wells for five years. “I have really enjoyed that a lot. She was always ready with a hug.”
“We worked well together,” said Wells, “and we have become very good friends through the years. I’m going to miss the people.”
However, she is ready for the next adventure of her life. She and her husband plan to maybe travel and to spend more time with their grandchildren.
“The county is going to miss her,” said Goggia. “They have lost a very valuable employee.”
There were tears and hugs in the office that Friday, but the future continues to look bright for everyone as Wells goes on the enjoy her retirement and Krejci steps up in her place.
“She will be missed, but we have high hopes for Melissa,” said Douglas. “It will take time, but Melissa is intelligent and works well with other people. If anyone can replace Cathy, Melissa can ... but it will take time.”