(Media release from Atrium Health Floyd):

Kerry Sayre’s last day at Atrium Health Floyd Cherokee Medical Center was Thursday, ending a 50-year career at the hospital.

Those who worked with him agreed that the hospital is losing a treasure of knowledge, patience and dedication with his departure.

Ann Martin, a financial counselor who has also worked at the hospital for 50 years, has been a longtime friend of Sayre’s and was present Thursday for a goodbye celebration at the hospital.

“We are losing someone who really cares about the patients,” Martin said. “I can’t really say enough about him. He has always been willing to go the extra mile.”

Sayre thanked his well-wishers who attended Thursday’s event, many of them co-workers and others who are longtime friends.

He remembers when there were just three employees in his department. For about 28 years, he responded to calls at night when needed, often returning early the next morning, even when he had to work late.

During his 50-year career, technology changed drastically. When Sayre started, they used a manual typewriter, not a computer. He also remembers his college days when the surgery department had to hand-develop film.

“I have to admit I won’t miss getting up early and coming into work, but I will miss the paycheck,” he quipped.

Lettie Harris, another radiologic technologist at the hospital, said she had the pleasure of working with Sayre for the past 11 years. She said she also worked with him when she was a student. Harris said she will remember him for his wealth of knowledge.

“If Kerry said it, I always listened to him,” said Harris. “He taught me a lot of things, and I know everyone will miss him.”

Sayre said he doesn’t have any big plans as he eases into retirement.

“I imagine I will do more fishing and hunting. Those are things I like to do. My wife will probably have some projects for me, too.”