Mike Hawkins will be retiring from Oswald Crow Insurance Agency Thursday, December 30, 2021. Mike has been selling insurance from the same office in Tarkio for 26 years.

After selling insurance to Atchison County residents for 26 years from the same location, Mike Hawkins is finally hanging up his hat. Hired by Bob Batchelet, Mike can remember that his first day was Monday, January 29, 1996. Bob owned 3 B’s Insurance and Real Estate at the time and had just purchased Tarkio Valley Agency from Craig and Betty Martin. Mike moved into the Tarkio office at 420 Main Street on a Thursday that first part of February and has been there ever since. Besides Vicki White and Judy Webster who worked in the office around four years apiece, he’s manned “the Tarkio office” himself. However, he wanted to point out that Dannye Bradfield was with 3 B’s before he was hired on and she’s still there in Rock Port!

Selling insurance was not something Mike imagined himself doing. He had worked at Fairfax Implement for 17-1/2 years and had been at Oregon Truck and Trailer for six months when he got a phone call from Bob. Bob told him that even though they didn’t know each other, he was giving him a call because he was looking for someone to sell insurance for him and was told by Rick Meyerkorth that Mike Hawkins was the one for the job. Mike decided to step over into insurance and the rest is history. He said, “If it wasn’t for Rick, I wouldn’t be here today.”

In the beginning (1996), the insurance agents were still doing everything by hand – paperwork and filing and mailing. They had a fax machine and even a computer, but there was no internet in the office so the computer was basically used for a particular program. Eventually, computers became the way to do things and “by hand” became a thing of the past. Mike said he couldn’t imagine having to do that again. However, Mike has always been one to visit with his customers, most face to face. Over the years he has served hundreds of customers, helping them with their property and casualty insurance, as well as life and health insurance.

Mike has reached retirement age and is now taking another leap of faith and is ready to embark on the next part of his journey. Mike and his wife, Katia, are planning an extended vacation in Brazil to visit Katia’s family. After that, his options are endless. He said he will definitely miss the routine of work. He’s always had something to do and somewhere to be. But he will miss the associations and the friends he’s made the most. He said when you work with your customers for so many years, they become not only your customers, but also your friends. “I’ve really enjoyed working in Tarkio,” he remarked. Mike serves on the Atchison County Health Board and also delivers meals at the Nutrition Center every other Monday, so when he returns from vacation, he will still have a job to do.

And that’s usually how it goes. The hardest workers in life continue to work and give to others in some capacity well after the expected time has passed. Congratulations, Mike! Don’t work too hard in retirement.