By Leah Weissman

Pilot staff writer

After 23 years as head checker for Ray's Food Place in Brookings, Ann Schreffler's smiling face won't be there anymore to greet her regular line of customers.

andquot;It's time for me to retire,andquot; she said. andquot;I'll be 65 on the 15th of June, and my husband and I wanted some time to do some traveling and be able to do the things we've put off for so many years.andquot;

Schreffler said she'll take with her fond memories of coworkers, and especially her customers.

andquot;All my customers have already told me they'll miss me,andquot; she said. andquot;I've known so many through my years working here.andquot;

Coworkers who have watched Schreffler in action all agree that she will be sorely missed.

andquot;I always though it was amazing how many customers would only go through Ann's line,andquot; Candamp;K Market's Chief Information Officer Alan Nidiffer said. andquot;On many occasions I've witnessed people who would rather wait in Ann's line than go to the next checker with no line - a tribute to her customer service skills, for sure.andquot;

As checker, Schreffler said she's been able to watch community members grow up from children into adults.

andquot;You wait on them as little kids, and next thing you know you're training them to be courtesy clerks and checkers,andquot; she said. andquot;Then they go to college, get married and have kids.andquot;

Schreffler went on to say that it's inevitable before she hears the parents of those kids - all grown up now - talk about their new grandchildren.

Grant Lunde, Candamp;K Market's Marketing manager, said Schreffler provided a andquot;community feelandquot; to the store.

andquot;Being part of this community for such a long time, Ann has touched many lives of its citizens, young and old,andquot; he said. andquot;We are sad to see her go, but happy she has made such a difference at our store and in our community.andquot;

Plans for retirement include a lot of fishing and kayaking, Schreffler said.

andquot;We'll stay in Oregon,andquot; Schreffler said. andquot;There are lots of rivers, reservoirs and lakes here where you can kayak and fish.andquot;

There will be a retirement party for Schreffler at 10 a.m. today (June 14) at Ray's Food Place. The community is invited to attend.