Jim Halpin and Janet (Pierson) Halpin
We have moved again but just closer to town this time. We sold our home of 37 years to our son who grew up there and bought a condo on the edge of Dalton close to all the facilities we formerly drove 15 to 18 miles to get to every day. Now 95% of all that is within two miles. We sure use less gas now.
After we were married in 1962 we stayed in Madison until 1971, except for two years serving Uncle Sam in Tennessee and North Carolina. In 1971 we moved to Rockford, Ill followed by a transfer in 1976 to High Point North Carolina. Someone once told me I was going to be a famous CPA someday, at the time I didn"t know what a CPA was but I became one in 1972, not famous although I became well known within the small national firm I was with. That was how we ended up in the south, I was asked to help with an issue one of our offices had and after working there six weeks they asked if I'd consider a transfer. I did but having specialized in a particular kind of government program audit for three years and seeing the probable end in sight decided to leave public accounting for the private sector.
In 1978 I joined a carpet mill in Dalton Georgia as an Internal Auditor, then as the Department Manager. In 1987 I took an opportunity with a family owned carpet mill, considered locally as the place to work if you can get in, as the Accounting (and a few other tasks) Manager. I stayed with J&J for 23 years until I retired in 2010. One of my functions was some of the systems training for new Sales Reps as we brought them on board. One of the biggest surprises of my life came when one of the new trainees was named "Jim Archer" from central Illinois. I thought, "could it possible be?" Well, it was. We probably spent more time bringing each other up to date than actual "training". He did a fine job rebuilding a territory that had suffered before his arrival. Sad to note however, Jim passed away while employed with us. I did return later for six month to work on some special projects.
We have three children, John who retired after 20 years in the Navy. He has one daughter, she has two sons; Julie who is also a CPA, and who has one daughter who is a senior this year and Jill, our youngest. Jill has three children, daughters who are a junior and senior this year. We have two high school graduations to go to next year, fortunately they are two days apart. Julie lives in LaGrange Georgia, about 160 mile southwest. Jill's youngest is a son, seventh grade this year. Jill also lives locally, the place John lived before purchasing the home from us.
We raised Jill's three from the time they were born (2001, 2003 and 2006) until we moved into the condo three years ago. As you might imagine we are very close to them. Janet volunteered in the schools our three attended and eventually became employed by the school system. She retired in 2009 after 23 years. We opened a bakery in 2010. She was an avid baker selling decorated cakes for birthdays and weddings. Unfortunately the building the bakery was in burned a three years later leaving the historic building and a dozen businesses a total loss.
Janet was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014. It has been a steady progression since then. We have managed to visit Wisconsin each summer including this year. We have had the luxury of having the three grandchildren we raised with us each year. They are a blessing and a tremendous help. I had hoped we'd be able to be there for the 60th reunion, however, after this years trip I realize we are not able to travel without additional assistance. The Alzheimer's has not only taken memory away, it also takes away the ability to do things we all take for granted such as the ability to stand up, how to sit down, talk and a myriad of hygiene tasks we do without having to think about them. It is very quiet here unless the grandchildren are visiting, which fortunately is often.
Jim and Janet '59