Longtime Marshfield Clinic fixture retires
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — In 1976 Opportunity Development Centers coordinator Carol Ulrich approached Tom Hilber about a job opening in the Marshfield Clinic. Little did the young man in his 20s know that the job offer would lead him on a 40-year career path that would establish him as a fixture at the institution.
“She told me about the job, and I said, ‘Sure, I’d love it,’” said Hilber. “So she got me the interview. I was very excited. I love to meet people, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted the job.”
Hilber was hired for a position to run the clinic elevator and greet people.
“The first week I worked part-time,” explained Hilber. “My boss was Arlene Kraemer at the time. She asked me to work full-time, and the following week I worked full-time.
“I enjoyed all of the people. I loved seeing the kids.”
One visitor in particular left a lasting impression on Hilber.
“I went for a physical,” said Tom’s wife Jenny. “I got in (the elevator), and he thought I was going to faint, so he grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let me go until he got my number.”
Over the years, Tom’s duties fluctuated through many changes as the clinic expanded and departments were adjusted. In 1993 Hilber was moved from elevator Bank A to Bank B, where he remained until November of this year.
While serving his 40th year in the position, Hilber gave notice of his plans to retire by marking Nov. 30 as his last day.
“I wanted to retire before the snow got here,” said Hilber. “Because I don’t drive a car, I usually walk to work, I quit at the right time I guess.”
“I didn’t think that I would be there that long,” said Hilber.
Hilber will return to the clinic this spring in an occasional volunteer position to resume his duties at the helm of the elevator.