After 49 years working for Zions Bank – most of that time at the downtown Spanish Fork location – Cheris Losee is retiring.
“I love helping people. I have loved helping them get home loans. I like it when I can help them know how to manage their money,” Losee said.
An open house planned to honor Losee for her service to the bank and its customers has been postponed until further notice.
Losee began her career in 1968 as a high school intern at the Bank of Spanish Fork in the city’s downtown area. As an intern, she used a machine that printed customers’ addresses on checks, readying the checks for use. She also filed canceled checks in the vault.
Losee worked as an intern for a year, then left to attend Brigham Young University. After a year at BYU, she got married and went back to the bank, which hired her as a full-time employee.
By then, the bank had been acquired by Zions Bank and moved to its current location at 190 N. Main – just across the street from where she had worked as an intern.
She was hired to work in “bookkeeping” and spent time filing canceled checks and mailing out statements. She also assisted customers with their accounts when they came in looking for help.
After working for a few years, Losee became administrative assistant to Wallace H. Gardner, the branch manager. However, her role had her assisting with work throughout the branch.
“I did a lot of diverse things, mostly in a support role to Mr. Gardner,” she said.
Office work was different in those days before computers and other modern tools.
“I took notebooks and notebooks of shorthand dictation,” Losee said. She would then transcribe them using a typewriter, estimating she could type accurately at around 90 words per minute.
She remained Gardner’s assistant when he was promoted to division manager and continued working in the Spanish Fork location. Gardner passed away in January of 1977 and was replaced by Angus Belliston. Losee continue to work as his assistant, but Belliston moved his office a Provo Zions Bank location. She spent five years working in Provo.
“That was a fun job because I got to make new friends all over the state of Utah,” Losee said. She worked with bank branch managers throughout Utah – doing everything by phone and “snail mail.”
“It was over there that I got acquainted with a fax machine. I had never seen one before,” she said.
With the birth of her third son, Losee decided to begin working part-time and returned to the Spanish Fork Zions Bank to work in consumer loans. She would work at the Spanish Fork location for the rest of her career.
After about a year, she became administrative assistant to Richard Roach, the branch manager, and returned to full-time work. She spent years as Roach’s assistant and again provided support for work happening throughout the branch.
“Whatever they asked me to do, I tried to help,” she said.
Eventually, an organizational change at Zions eliminated the administrative assistant position, and Losee went to work in the area that provided loans to farmers and ranchers and was known as the Zion Ag Group.
“While I’ve liked every job I’ve done, that was probably my favorite because I love horses,” she said. Losee grew up in Spanish Fork and lived in Lake Shore for 38 years where she raised her three sons and kept some horses.
She eventually spent time as a mortgage loan officer, and when that position was taken out of the branch level, she moved into her current position as a personal banker. Losee has now spent 20 years in that job, helping customers with consumer loans or whatever they needed when they came into the bank.
“And through it all, I’ve been able to stay close to home, my kids and now my grandkids,” Losee said, who now lives in Spanish Fork.
Over the years, she has gotten to know many people in the community. “I am so appreciative of the friendships I’ve made at Zions,” Losee said. “So many of (my clients) have become friends.”
She also expressed appreciation to Zions Bank for being a wonderful place to work and being extraordinarily accommodating through life events such as when her children were born.
“I am so grateful to have worked for a company that valued their employees that much,” she said.
Since Richard Roach, Losee said she has had other branch managers that have been very good to her, and she also praised her coworkers.
“I cannot say enough about my work family. They are great people,” she said. “We just get along and we all love Spanish Fork.”
As for the future, Losee said she hopes to spend more time with her children and grandchildren.