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Town employee retires after 23 years of service

After 23 years, Lawrence Shaw, a custodian for the Town of Jonesborough, has decided to retire and focus on his health.
“I’m going to lay around and rest and try to keep moving,” Shaw said.
A retirement lunch party was thrown for Shaw at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center on Nov. 14. Before lunch was served, Mayor Kelly Wolfe told Shaw how much the town appreciated everything he has done over the years.
“Lawrence is such a super guy and has been a very good employee for the town,” Wolfe said. “He has been a blessing and will be sorely missed.”
Shaw, who was raised in Jonesborough, lives on the same street where he was born 82 years ago, North Lincoln Avenue. It was the first house to be built on the corner of that street, he said.
Shaw later moved up the hill with his family before moving next to the highway on a corner of that same street.
Altogether, there are seven generations of the Shaw family who have planted their roots in Jonesborough. The youngest is his great-grandson who is currently attending David Crockett High School. His dad was a police officer in Jonesborough for 25 years.
Before Shaw began working for the Town of Jonesborough, he drove a cab around town – and occasionally to Johnson City – for two and a half years. He then enlisted in the United States Army, serving from February 1954 to January 1956.
The only true traveling he has done throughout his life was during his service.
“That’s the only time I have been away from Jonesborough,” Shaw said.
He was stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C., Camp Jordan, Ga., Fort Lee, Va. and Fort Lewis, Wash. before he was shipped to Korea.
Once he returned to Jonesborough, Shaw chose to never leave again. He began working at a service station where Weems Florist is now located. He worked on cars, washing them and pumping gas during his time at the station. He was there 35 years.
“I miss the people more than anything,” he said.
After leaving the service station, Shaw began working for the Town of Jonesborough. That was on Aug. 1, 2000. Shaw said he first started working at the town’s street department in public works. From there he was transferred to parks and recreation before finishing his career at the visitors center.
“It hasn’t been that bad,” Shaw said of the 23 years. “I’ve worked for some pretty good people.”
Facility Maintenance Supervisor Raymond Yoakley was Shaw’s supervisor for three years at the Visitors Center and described his work ethic as very dependable.
“You could set your clock with him,” Yoakley said.
Shaw worked at the Visitors Center for many years. He set up chairs and tables for various functions, kept the facility clean and did occasional weeding outside.
“He loved this. He was really into the setups,” Yoakley said. “He was very conscientious.”
Out of his three careers, Shaw cited his time at parks and recreation as the job he enjoyed the most. He was always on the run, going from one park to the next, he said.
“I was outside moving around at different parks,” he said, adding that it was always the same type of job every day, but at different places.
Change has been the one thing that has stuck out over the years for Shaw as he lived and worked in Jonesborough, as well as the town’s growth in population.
“There just been a lot of changes over the years,” he said, adding that a lot of older places have been torn down.
Even with the changes, Shaw said he has enjoyed living in Jonesborough.
“It’s small and not a lot of meanness going on around here,” he said. “It’s a little old quiet town. That is what makes it so good.”
Shaw’s retirement began on Nov. 5.