There is now a big void to fill in the front office of the Pahrump Valley Times.
After more than 16 years, front office employee Mary Ann Yorke is retiring.
Just about anyone who has conducted business at the PVT is certain to have had the pleasure of meeting the always cordial, humorous Yorke.
She began her career at the Las Vegas Review-Journal the same year President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.
All told, she has dedicated 36 years of her life to the newspaper business, starting in the circulation department of the Review-Journal.
As she moved through the ranks, Yorke ascended to circulation manager and on to the classified department where she remained for roughly 15 years.
“I started in 1981 when I was a young single mother,” she recalled. “I was working as a maid at first, when my sister told me there was an opening at the Review-Journal. I told her I could never work at a newspaper and she told me, if it doesn’t work out, you can always come back and be a maid again. Obviously, it worked out.”
Yorke arrived at the Times 16 years ago and has been an office favorite ever since.
Her duties included taking the obituaries and classified ads.
“I also field calls from customers who have problems with deliveries and such,” she said. “What I love most about working here is the people, because they are just wonderful. The customers are awesome and so much fun to talk with. Everyone always seems to have a good attitude so it’s been a lot of fun out here.”
On Thursday, the kitchen at the PVT was teeming with food, laughter and shared memories from current and past employees, as we all wished Yorke “Fare Thee Well,” on the next chapter of her life.
Regarding her newly-found leisure time, Yorke suggested she will somehow find something fun to do with her dog “Lil Bit,” “Alice” the cat and her bearded dragon, “Rusty.”
“I know I will be riding my 1986 Honda Rebel around,” she said. “I’m also going to work on my home and get my pool up and running and just lounge around for a while. As always, I will enjoy my margaritas. It might be a tough life, but I think I can learn to love it. It was a fun job and I really enjoyed it, but I’m getting older and I want to have time to enjoy myself. I do plan on staying in Pahrump forever.”
Pahrump Valley Times Publisher Noah Cusick said Yorke’s constant presence in the front office will be sorely missed.
“Her infectious laugh and no-nonsense work ethic were always a pleasure to be around,” he noted. “We know there are a lot of folks that will miss getting to talk to Mary Ann when they call the office. From myself and her family at the Pahrump Valley Times, we wish her a happy retirement. She’s certainly earned it.”
As Yorke’s retirement coincides with Groundhog Day, it’s tempting to imagine whether she will be in the office again Monday ala Bill Murray.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes