WILMINGTON — Wednesday marked the final day for the manager of the Wilmington Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant. Vickie Southward, still working hard, decided to retire after 25 years of service at the restaurant.
Southward first got started in 1992 working at the Washington Court House location but was soon moved over to Wilmington as an assistant manager. She described coming here as her second life.
“My first life was terrible,” Southward said. “Moving up in ‘92 is not only when I started working here, but it was also when I met my second husband.”
Looking back, one of the things that really stand out to her is all the people she has worked with.
“There was one young man who called me while he was at army boot camp and said that he would have never made it,” Southward recalls. She said that to have an impact like that on people has been a real privilege.
Another employee that stands out for her is server Ingrid Batiste, who moved up to Wilmington after Hurricane Katrina.
“I wanted a fresh start because everything was still getting rebuilt,” said Batiste. “We lost everything down there including the family home where I grew up in.”
Batiste has said living in Wilmington has been great, and that Southward is very important to her.
“She’s done a lot for me. I don’t think I’d be where I am without her,” said Batiste.
Now that Southward is retired, she said she’s going to spend time with her 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, spend some time with her truck driving husband Bob, and she’s going to Puerto Rico in April.
She said Steven Reeves is to be the next general manager at Frisch’s.
Southward wanted to thank all the people of Wilmington and her co-workers for everything, and even though she won’t be clocking into work, she plans on stopping by from time to time.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574