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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Thursday, September 5, 2002

Talamantez retires quietly after 38 years on the job

About 20 years ago, Pecos Area Office Manager Lily Talamantez said to herself, "When I retire, I'm just going to go out quietly _ no big party, no big celebration, just come to work and go home."

So, when the work day was done, Lily walked quietly away from a 37-year, 11-month career with TxDOT.

"I have always enjoyed coming to work," said Talamantez. "TxDOT has been like a second home _ and, sometimes, when we had a lot of (construction) work going on, like a first home to me," she said.

She has seen a lot of changes in the way the work was done _ from the old manual typewriter and carbon copies on estimates to the personal computer and SiteManager, the automated computer system for construction management. "When I started, there were no fax machines, no computers," said Talamantez. That was back on April 16, 1963.

But there was work and plenty of it. She leaves TxDOT as one of the last of the Interstate builders. She was in the Pecos area when they built Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 through the area.

"I remember those sets of plans. It would take our design engineers two years to do a set of plans," she said. "Today, they can do that in two months."

Talamantez worked for a long list of area engineers _ Gene Kelly, Marshall Huffman, Bill Burnett, Bob Monteith, Tom Schlegel, Craig Clark, Maribel Chavez, Kendal Osborne, Dan Dalager, Doug Eichorst, Russell Whitworth, Paul Henderson, Kellie Revennaugh, and Mohammad Moaebed. "They were all great to work with," said Talamantez. "The state has been real good to me," she said.

She is looking forward to spending time with her grandchildren and occasional trips to Las Vegas like the one she and her husband, Filimon "Tally", took recently with her 92-year-old mother and her mother-in-law. It was a fun time for the four. "Mom hit the jackpot on the nickel machine and won six thousand nickels ($300)," said Talamantez. "We had a great time," she said.

Talamantez is now headed to McAllen to babysit grandchildren, D.J., Tavian and Tani, while son Dani and his wife, Maria, go to New York City. Her only regret is that they are taking the baby, five-month-old Corissa, with them. Dani, a chiropractor, is the youngest of the couple's four children.

The oldest Terry, 38, works for the Internal Revenue Service in Austin. She and her husband, Arthur Vila, who works for the City of Austin, have three children: Cathleen, 21, and 10-year-old twins, Michael and Timothy. Daughter Lillian Richardson, a school teacher in Fort Worth, and her husband, Roy, have two children: Brittnie, 9, and Aaron, 8. Son Fili, also a chiropractor with a practice in Brownsville, and his school teacher wife, Patti, are expecting a baby in January. Fili also has a 14-year-old daughter, Ashley, from a previous marriage.

"My thing in retirement will be to go and visit the grandbabies and spend some time with them," said Talamantez. Husband Tally, is also retired after a 30-year career as coach and principal in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, so the two of them can come and go as they please these days.

Her final days at work were spent on the job helping her replacement, Melonie Ikeler, get up to speed on the details of office manager for the area office.

"I told her she could call me if she needed help," Lily said. "There are so many little things," she said.

And she promises that she will come by to visit from time to time. After all, it will be like coming back home for her.

At her request there was no going away party, but there wasn't a dry eye in the office when she walked out that door. Everybody at the office will miss her.

Volunteer training sponsored

The Center for Crisis Advocacy and Angel House will be sponsoring a volunteer training in crisis response for domestic violence and sexual assault and/or volunteer work in the shelter, on different Saturdays and Thursdays throughout the month of October.

Training will be held from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, 12 and 26 and on Thursdays, Oct. 10 and 24, from 6-9 p.m., at the Odessa Police Department, 205 N. Grant, Odessa, front training room.

For more information call Becky or Stacey at 915-333-2527.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise