After working at Spruce View Manor in Gibbons for 40 years, head housekeeper Gayle Allarie has announced her retirement.

Allarie started working at Spruce View Manor in 1983 at the age of 29. 

"I was in Manitoba. I moved to Edmonton in 1977. From there we decided to raise our family in Gibbons," Allarie said. "We moved out here in 1980."

A few years later, she started working at Spruce View Manor as a housekeeper. She said she never expected to stay there that long.

"I never thought of it, just one day after another, and next thing you know 40 years have gone by. It's been amazing."

Allarie had a retirement party at Spruce View Manor on Friday (Jan. 20), where family, friends, co-workers, and residents of the lodge took turns talking about her.

"Gayle is one of the kindest, most caring, compassionate people I've ever met. She's been an absolute joy to work with," said Barb Leroy, Gayle's boss.

There were many laughs and tears from those attending, and that's what Allarie says she'll miss the most: the comradery. 

"If you can make one person laugh in a day, or somebodies feeling kind of down and you can talk to them, listen to what they have to say, you've kind of made their day," Allarie said. "It's worth it. You go home feeling good when you know you've done good for somebody."

Allarie's positive attitude doesn't just apply to her work life, but her home life as well. 

"I haven't made any plans to start with," Allarie said on her retirement. "I'm just going to do whatever I feel like doing. If I don't feel like doing anything, I'm not doing anything." 

However, Allarie did say that she'll make time to come back and visit.

"Some of the residents I wasn't able to spend time with, and now I can. It's my time. I can do what I want."