After 65 years, Meritor’s first female manager retires

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After 65 years in the employ of Meritor, Loraine Simler is calling it quits. The long-time employee, who achieved a number of firsts in the company history, has decided that at age 83, it’s time retire.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here,” she said. “I consider everyone here part of my family.”

Spending 65 years working is not often seen these days, let alone spending those years with a single company. She joined the company, which was called Timken Axle at the time, in 1946 as a file clerk/typist. It didn’t take her long to make her mark on the company.

(If you’d like to see a video from the company celebration, visit Troy Patch here.)

In 1953, Simler became a secretary in the purchasing department and made a little company history in doing so.

“I was the first person to use an electric typewriter at this company,” Simler said. “It made me a lot faster when it came to typing invoices. I also used the first computer here.”

Simler is retiring as a sales representative in Meritor’s Aftermarket & Trailer division, but that is only the final stop in her distinguished career.

In 1965, Simler became the first female manager in the company when she was named a buying manager. She then moved into the aftermarket parts division in 1973, progressing up the ranks to her current position.

In 2006, she was honored for her many years of experience with her own parking spot at the company’s Troy, MI, campus.

“Spending 65 years at the same company is something so rarely achieved these days,” said Joe Mejaly, president, Aftermarket & Trailer, Meritor. “It’s important to acknowledge events like this and we’re excited to recognize Loraine’s time at Meritor.”

Simler was honored last week with “Loraine Simler Day.” She was given a ride to work in a limousine and met by Chip McClure, chairman, CEO & president, along with other members of senior management. A red carpet was rolled out along with a banner expressing the company’s thanks for her contributions. A video with more than a dozen current and former colleagues was played as well.

Her accomplishments and dedication should be commended, but her 65 years of service mark is already in jeopardy. Gilbert Wilson, who just celebrated his 80th birthday, is a hi-lift driver at Meritor’s Newark, OH, facility. He has 59 years of service in and is on record as keeping “an eye on Loraine’s record.”

So congratulations to Loraine Simler and I hope she enjoys her retirement.

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