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Gary Larson: Serving the State for 42 years!

On Friday, October 23rd, 2015 Gary Larson will be retiring from the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications.
Gary started working for the State of South Dakota on February 9, 1973.  Gary began his career with state government as a Data Clerk II, and through the course of 42 years, 13 promotions, being self-taught, and with no formal education in this field, Gary ultimately serves as a Software Engineer III with BIT.
When asked how technology has changed throughout the past 42 years, Gary explained, “When I started, everything was done on the mainframe. Programs were written in COBOL.  And I can remember sitting at a keypunch machine and keying in code (which had to be read using a card reader and transferred to the mainframe).  Now with the advent of Client Servers and Dot.net and PCs, the mainframe almost appears to be becoming a thing of the past.”
Gary cites his biggest accomplishment at BIT as “keeping the mainframe Department of Public Safety Driver License application functioning at a high level since the early ‘80s.”
Gary will miss the people he has worked with over these many years, but looks forward to spending more time on the golf course, bowling, and maybe even getting back into fishing!
When asked to give a few words of wisdom to his fellow colleagues that he will be leaving behind, Gary playfully responded, “Get your 40 years in and then get outJ”.
Gary, although the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications is proud to call you one of our own, there are a few other people who are also very proud of you as well…
Judy Larson:
“Gary has been my best friend and the love of my life for 42 years.  He has been a wonderful husband, father and provider.  I am so proud of his accomplishments with his job.  Not many people, any more, can say that they have been with the same department/job for their whole career.  The fact that he started pretty much at the bottom and has taken classes (that were offered way back then), self-taught, and has gotten to where he is today (which today would require a 4 year college degree!) is quite an accomplishment.  He never once in those 42 years even thought about changing jobs. He may be set in his ways, but look where it has gotten him!!!
I wish him the very best in his retirement and I hope he will enjoy himself to the fullest.  I know I will enjoy having a House Husband while I continue to work to provide health insurance for him for the next 2-3 years anyway.  Then look out world here we come!!!”
Chad Larson, 39:
“My father possesses many great qualities one of which is dedication.  He is very dedicated to family and work.  He worked for BIT for 42 1/2 years and has always been there for family no matter what.  He is a very kind-hearted and caring man who taught me the importance of loving and caring for others.  I think that is his greatest quality—his ability to love unconditionally.”
Colin Larson, 35:
“There are many reasons to be proud of my dad.  First and most important to me is –  he taught me what unconditional love is.  Don’t know how he did it ‘cause I was not one who made it easy on him!! But him being there for me no matter what the circumstance has meant more than I SHOW.  Another thing I’m proud of my father for is patience. I mean 42 years in a cubicle doing the same thing day in day out says a lot to me.  ONE JOB DAD? Hmm, more patience than I could ever have. My father is a “ONE OF A KIND” and I would never think anyone else could ever walk in his shoes – “They are Big”!!!

I love you father and everything you’ve done for this family. Now it is “Relax Time”!!!  I just hope I can be as good as you are when the time comes, whether it be one of my own, or when it’s my turn to take care of you!!I Love you Dad – HAPPY RETIREMENT!!”

Congratulations on your retirement Gary! We will miss you!