Saying Goode bye |

Saying Goode bye

by Shane Murphy
Retiring Social Services Manager Karen Goode and Pastor Pete Nelson share a laugh regarding an old Food Closet photo the pastor presented her with at her retirement party Friday.
Brad Coman |

On her Caribbean retirement cruise, Karen Goode will undoubtedly have a lot to think about.

Goode retired Feb. 20 after 33 years with Douglas County Social Services.

“When I first started with social services, it was a tiny office in the basement of the old courthouse in Minden,” Goode said. “Now it’s huge compared to what it was.”

The years have been challenging at times for Goode, but in the end they have all been more than worth it.

“Seeing people who were clients do well and come back to say that we made a difference is what really fulfilled me,” said Goode.

During the economic collapse in 2008, social services received plenty of new clients in need of help. Goode’s service and commitment were apparent at her retirement party when she focused on the social services staff and the work they have done over the past few decades.

“You have to believe in people,” said Goode. “And their ability to succeed, because people aren’t born bad.”

After years of spending her days helping the community the best she could, Goode will now have to fill her time doing other things, and it will be a new experience for her.

“My husband says that it won’t be long until I get bored and am back out volunteering,” said Goode.

Before that, Goode and her husband, Gil, will be taking a trip to see their granddaughter, Catalina, in Virginia. Goode’s daughter Holly and husband Mike moved to Virginia a few years ago. They will be Goode’s first stop after retirement. It would be tempting for Goode to move to the East Coast to be closer to them but said she isn’t sure that it’s in the cards for her.

“I would consider going east,” said Goode. “But it would be tough to leave a community that we have been a part of for 35 years.”

When asked what she would miss the most about her career, Goode said she would miss her staff.

“My whole team just works so hard,” said Goode. “They are all so dedicated and it has just been a privilege to work with them. I know I will be leaving this place in good hands.”

Teresa Lundberg and Lisa Torres who worked alongside Goode for the last three years had kind words for their exiting leader.

“Karen’s best quality is that she is just a great leader as a woman in the workplace,” said Lundberg. “A great example as a woman and a leader, especially having a successful career as a woman for 33 years. We will definitely miss her.”

Torres always took note of how Goode treated the clients.

“For me, her biggest attribute is her compassion for clients, co-workers and the community,” said Torres. “She is always available for everyone in her life.”

While Goode will miss her career, she also has plans besides the Caribbean cruise and visiting her family.

“I would like to skydive,” said Goode. “I don’t know if I ever will, but that’s something I would like to do if I can find the courage.”