After nearly 42 years in banking, Randy Koontz is hanging up his coveralls for good.
Koontz purchased a pair not long after he was hired at Peoples Bank and Trust Co. in Jennerstown in 1971. He and fellow employee Terry Henry — the only male employees in the office — put them to regular use.
“When trucks came with boxes of checks or supplies, we always had to go unload them, and we were dressed in suits and white shirts back then,” he said. “We were always getting our clothes dirty. So I had permission to go buy two pairs of coveralls.”
The coveralls were presented to Koontz as a retirement gift on Dec. 17. They also serve as a reminder of the way banking was done more than four decades ago.
“Back then they did the maintenance, they changed the light bulbs, they scrubbed the floors,” said teller service supervisor Sharon Sargent, a 32-year veteran of the industry. “Anything that needed to be fixed, they fixed it.”
Koontz said that work ethic permeated the office. In those days employees were responsible for hand-posting the bank’s general ledger, calculating interest, printing checks and typing loan documents. If something was amiss, he said, no one left the office until the problem was solved.
“We spent hours after the bank closed hunting for a penny,” he said. “Our general ledger had to match what we did. It could have been a customer’s account, so you looked for that penny. A (missing) penny could have uncovered other things.”
That culture was cultivated by the bank’s president, Frank Finui, who died in 2011.
“It was easier to take your time and do it right than to do it three times,” Koontz said. “Mr. Finui was particular. You did things right or you didn’t do them. So we all learned that. There was no rushing to get something done just to get it done. It had to be done right.”
Finui also encouraged his employees to continue their education. Koontz, a self-professed “fair student,” graduated from Jenner Boswell School in 1965. He later attended the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Moxham as a pharmacy major.