‘Work family’ celebrates Simpson’s 45 years of service

Published 7:01 am Saturday, August 20, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Kitty Simpson retired Friday after 45 years of working at Byrne Insurance Inc., located at Homochitto Street in Natchez.

Almost weekday for 45 years, Simpson has come to work as a commercial service representative at the insurance agency from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. with an hour break for lunch.

What Simpson is most looking forward to doing now, she said, “whatever I want, when I want.”

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“You told me you were going to clean and sew,” said Johnny Byrne, Simpson’s former boss, with a chuckle.

“Well, that too,” she said.

Simpson has worked longer than Johnny Byrne at the insurance company by two years, her coworkers noted. In fact, she has worked longer than anyone else at the office, she said.

“I’ve seen some people come and go. Some needed to go,” she said facetiously.

The jesting was an everyday occurrence with Simpson and her former coworkers.

“I have too many memories to count of all the fun we’ve had at work. The insurance business is crazy right now, but having this group to sound off with gets me through it.”

Simpson said she enjoyed most about working for Byrne Insurance isn’t the work part, but the people she worked with.

Having started working there as a newly married to her husband Ray, Simpson said the Byrne Insurance family has watched her family grow and her babies grow up and move off.

“This is my work family,” she said. “It truly is.”

They have celebrated milestones with her and supported her when loved ones passed away, she said. For her final celebration as a Byrne Insurance employee, Simpson’s work family surprised her with a gift that brought her nearly to tears. It was a sewing machine for her to use during her retirement, one that she had wished for, she said.