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Retirement... It's in the bag

Anyone who has spent a measurable amount of time living in Carrington, or passing through for a stop for groceries, has met Jim Indergaard at least once.

Since taking his first job at Steve's Jack & Jill in 1979, at the location of the current Calvary Baptist Church, Jim, as most everyone knows him, has been a fixture at the end of the counter making sure the eggs are separate from the heavy items, and the frozen foods and canned goods are contained in their proper spots.

On Thursday, October 19, Jim took his final shift at Leevers Foods, leaving a legacy of kindness, professionalism and punctuality at a level that nowadays seems hard to find.

"It's a little too early to say how I'm feeling," the soft-spoken Indergaard said of his newly-found free time. "It'll probably hit me eventually."

He remembers visiting his grandparents' store in Hamberg, where he got the urge to do it as a career.

"Things are a lot different from when I started. Lots of changes," said Jim. "We used to carry out [loads of groceries] in carts."

In what amounts to a bit of a "humble brag," Indergaard has always had an affinity for remembering people's vehicles, a remnant of his days delivering goods in that manner.

No matter who comes through the checkout counter, Jim has always had a smile on his face, a kind parting word, and a great rapport with children.

Leevers Store Manager Randy Peterson has always been appreciative of the level of devotion Jim has brought to his job.

"He's the model employee," Peterson said. "He shows up every day, on time, and always did what was asked of him."

Peterson also noted the fact that when the store was short-staffed, Indergaard would hold off on taking vacation, or cut them short, to ensure that things ran smoothly.

"Jim's been a great ambassador for Leevers and the Carrington community," he said. "He always has a smile for everyone."

His fellow employees honored Indergaard with a retirement party on October 19, complete with cake and refreshments.

Jim's former boss, Ron Wenaas, son of the late store founder Steve Wenaas, and his manager when the store was under the Jack & Jill and SuperValu brands, was unable to attend, but left this message:

"Bonnie and I congratulate you on your retirement. Your 44 years of service to your customers at Steve's Jack and Jill, Ron's Jack and Jill, SuperValu Foods and Leevers Foods is remarkable.

"Jim, you've been the most dependable employee a manager could ask for – on time, rarely absent, perfect time card, and a true concern in serving the customer. From the old days of carrying out when you knew their cars and had the groceries delivered before the customer reached their cars, to stocking and facing the shelves – you can rely on Jim.

"Enjoy the coming years – you've earned them."

His retirement plans include attending car shows, going to ball games and taking pictures of old schools and churches.

Jim is the oldest of the five children of Mervin and the late Esther Indergaard, and his siblings are Fran Walen, Sharon Laxdal, Tim Indergaard and Ruth Braaten.