I came to DLRC in July 2006 from a large, wholesale-based coin company in an attempt to move closer to family. While I had been in the coin business for several years full-time, I had worked as a dealer on the side for over a decade beforehand. Upon my arrival, I was introduced to much different company culture. While I thought that I had an idea as to how I would fit into the company, I learned quickly that I needed to adjust to my new surroundings and not vice versa.

One of the first people that I met at the office on my first day was Mary Lee. I had previously spoken with her during the Richmond Auction lot viewing, but I didn’t have a relationship with her. It became very clear on my first day that she was someone who knew her role and she was going to do it her way (which I learned was the “right” way). Well, I can’t say that things were all rosey at first. I admittedly made some mis-steps and definitely didn’t quite show the complete respect that she had earned after working at DLRC for 12 years at the time. In fact, I still state today that she didn’t like me. I probably deserved it, but I prefer to think that it was because we hadn’t taken the time to get to know each other. Eventually after a few years she grew to tolerate me…or at least deal with me. And, then after a decade, I think she actually started to like me (I’m curious if she’ll admit it after reading this).

Anyhow, I can sincerely state that I truly grew to respect her as a person and a co-worker…and when I was given the opportunity to lead the company, I began to rely further on her and her judgment when it came to shipping and billing. And, even though I don’t mind giving a 5th or 6th layaway to a customer, or I might forget to leave a note on an invoice that her department needs to see, she makes sure that I follow her rules and she puts me back into my place. Mary is unlike anyone that I’ve ever worked with. I think that the mold was broken after she was created and for that our world is missing out. After working with Mary for nearly 15 years, she has not only become a person I can rely on at DLRC, she has become my friend.

After serving DLRC for 26 years in our shipping and billing department, Mary has given me her notice that she’s looking to retire in early 2021. While 2020 hasn’t been kind to any of us, she’s not been able to return to her homeland of Scotland to see her family as was planned and it’s her desire to be able to do that for as long as she’d like. She also desires to be able to do some volunteer work, and other things that she’s missed out on due to her long-time commitment to us at DLRC. And for that we can understand. It doesn’t mean we want to accept it or we think that we’ll be any better for the situation, but it’s part of the cycle of life and we respect that. Of course, we’ll miss the Scottish brogue on the other end of the phone calls and we’ll miss the lectures about how we keep “forgetting” the rules we’ve set, but most importantly, we’ll miss our always reliable, trustworthy, and noble friend.

For those of you who have had the opportunity to work with her or simply chat with her over the years, you may know what I mean. While her formality has always been her trademark in her position, we also realize that we’ve never been allowed to post a photo of her on our website. I thought about sneaking a picture with my phone this week, but I think I’d rather keep her friendship than make another questionable judgment call that she’d remember. All in all, I wanted to write this as a thank you tribute to my friend. Mary, we love you. We thank you. And we will miss you when you depart our office in mid-January, but we know you’re only an email or phone call away. While we don’t expect you to come check out our next company softball game, we know that you’ll always remain a friend of DLRC and we hope that you know how much you’ll be missed.

Now, for those of you who got this far in the email, you might be wondering “who is going to track me down for payment now”…well, we still have the folks that Mary has trained over the years. Michael Coari will be taking over Mary’s desk and will be cracking the whip on the folks selling coins. Kathy and Katie will remain and our billing, shipping, service department will remain a strength at DLRC. We’ll all miss Mary, but this group will look forward to the opportunities created as well. Most of you may not even notice a difference here, but our experience in the office will be a slightly different one as 2021 begins. While most of the start of a new year will be a welcome respite, we’ll also be missing our friend.

Thanks for everything, Mary!

John Brush

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