Michelle Gleason retires after four decades at Fermilab

Michelle Gleason

Michelle Gleason has served Fermilab for the last 40 years. Now she is retiring. Her last day is June 6.

Before coming to Fermilab, Gleason worked in commercial art in the Chicagoland area. That was right after college. She then moved to Aspen, Colorado, to work and to be a “part-time ski bum.” After a couple of years, she decided she needed a “real job with a pension plan,” so she returned to the Chicago suburbs to look for work.

“I was fortunate to get hired at Fermilab,” she said. “Mom always said to learn how to type — it will come in handy.”

Gleason began at Fermilab as a clerk in the payroll office and later worked as a secretary in the Neutron Therapy Facility. She then moved over to DZero, in the experiment’s very early years.

Her final Fermilab destination was the Director’s Office, where she worked for the last three directors and members of the directorate.

“If you work here, you already know that this is a unique place to be,” Gleason said. “It has been exhilarating to play even a small part in what goes on here. The world-class science, engineering and computing are amazing. My friends from all over the country will often send a note and say they heard about some exciting thing happening at Fermilab.”

Gleason will continue to be a part of the Fermilab Golf League and hopes to improve her game during retirement. She plans to do some fly fishing at the ponds on site and to enjoy the natural beauty of the grounds. She’ll also return to painting and creating things with her hands.

“Learning to tie flies will be one thing on the agenda,” she said. “I’m very much looking forward to retirement.”

Still, she will miss the people she’s met and the good times she’s had at the lab.

“I have met so many wonderful people and characters through this job,” Gleason said. “There have been some pretty memorable parties, too.”