In May 1988, Jo Ann Larson, who would have an impact on the Fermilab community for the next 30 years, started her first day of work in the Technical Division. She began her Fermilab career as a contractor writing procedures, which were known as TRAVELERS, for the magnets being built for the Tevatron and performing other technical writing work for the Superconducting Super Collider. After about a year, she found out she was going to be laid off. She didn’t want to leave Fermilab, and, luckily, that same day a position opened in PREP in what is now known as Computing. She stayed in Computing for the next 29 years. After working in a variety of capacities, she became a gatekeeper in the Finance Group in 2005 and has been in that role since. Among other responsibilities, she ensures requisitions are submitted and approved correctly and on time.
Larson has exciting plans for her retirement. To start, she will travel to Nashville with her son, Jason (who travels there on business weekly), to see her daughter, Stephanie, and three grandchildren. Then she’ll head to Greece for a wedding. She is looking forward to starting on her big retirement project — writing a book about her journey with acute myeloid leukemia. Larson has been in remission for a few years, and she continues to be very involved with helping people who have been diagnosed with AML through Rush Hospital. She is an inspiration for many people and helps guide them in their times of need. She hopes the book will help more people and give her space to reflect on her personal journey.
While looking forward to her retirement plans, Larson is going to miss and be missed by the Fermilab community.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working at Fermilab,” Larson said. “It has been a pleasure working with management, procurement, shipping, receiving — really everybody. I have made so many good friends that I will truly miss. Fermilab and my coworkers have been a huge part of my life for many years.”
Larson’s thoughtfulness, great sense of humor, friendly smile, impressive work ethic and delicious baked goods will be greatly missed.
“Jo Ann was here the day I started working in Computing,” said Senior Financial Manager Valena Sibley, who is now Larson’s manager. “And through it all, times of joy and hardship, she has always been someone we could rely on. Jo Ann has been an inspiration and a role model to the entire team. If all employees were as hard working and focused, then the world would be a better place.”