Chander Sood retired Oct. 7

Chander Sood

Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Chander Sood started working for Fermilab in 1978. He refined his welding skills in the village machine shop, and, 33 years later, Sood will use those skills repairing automobiles at his own business. He retired on Oct. 7.

Sood left Kenya in the 1960s and worked in London and Scotland.

“I worked in factories here and there to survive,” Sood said.

Eventually, he moved to Naperville with his brother. Sood heard about a job at Fermilab, and he applied. The rest is history.

His colleagues described him as quietly competent and always learning.

“He’s continually trying to improve what he does, ever since I’ve known him when he started,” said Roger Hiller, Sood’s supervisor. “He’s learned a lot and each time he does something he keeps getting better.”

Ed Hagler, who supervises the Village Machine Shop, agreed.

“He’s always putting himself out there to try and improve,” Hagler said, noting that many people requested Sood do their welding work at the laboratory. “He’ll be missed.”

But Hagler and Sood are friends and will likely see each other socially.

Sood thought his work was interesting and everyone at the laboratory was nice. He plans to enjoy retirement by staying busy with his auto repair business, but he won’t work full-time. He plans to take the winters off and spend time with his grandson and daughter.

—Victoria Pierce