Tears filled the eyes of Barb Marlatt last Thursday as she talked about her family -- Eureka-Orme Hardware in Newcomerstown.

That's because last Thursday (Dec. 18) marked Marlatt's 25 years and 31 days of employment at the historic hardware store in the village.

"We'll miss her wit and we'll miss her dearly," said assistant manager Susie Parsons.

Marlatt started working at the hardware on Nov. 7, 1983, when it was known as just Eureka under the ownership of Bob Cathan. She started working part-time and then was asked to unload the truck every week and then moved to bookkeeper back in 1990.

But, overall, she said, "you do everything" when you work in a small business. Most importantly, she said, you wait on customers and that's the one thing she will miss most, besides her "store family." The customers are the ones that she has become accustomed to seeing everyday and the ones she will miss most.

"I met a lot of nice people ... it's a sad and a happy time," Marlatt said.

The store employees gave her a retirement party, as well as Eureka-Orme owner Dick McCoy sent her a dozen red roses.

"She's seen it all and she will be missed," manager Randy Worthington said.

As for her plans, she said she's "going home and farm ... and do what I want to do." That meaning "take care of my girls" which are her beloved cows.