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Longtime resident looks ahead to the next chapter

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Submitted Photo Janette Lucero looks forward to her move to Moriarty since retiring from JP Stone Community Bank. She will enjoy her “dream job as grammy,” but will miss all her friends and family here.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

When a longtime Roswell resident leaves, it’s a time to look back over the years and share the memories they’ve accumulated.

Born in St. Mary’s Hospital (which is now the county offices), and raised in Roswell, Janette Lucero is now getting ready to bid Roswell goodbye as she retires from a 46-year career in the financial industry, serving the community and its citizens most recently as vice president of Mortgage Loan Originators at JP Stone Community Bank.

“When I was in grade school, we didn’t lock our doors to our houses or our vehicles,” Janette said as she remembers the “best” of times. “I raised both of my sons here and, I have to say, Roswell has been a great town to grow up in and live in.”

The emotion is definitely in the sound of her voice when she speaks about the past. Especially when she calls up the memories of how much the town has changed over time, from economic struggles to events that began small and grew to gain national and international attention.

“Walker Air Force Base was in Roswell when I was a little girl, and it was hard for the economy to recover after they left,” Janette said. “But there have been so many things that helped in our recovery, including the UFO Festival and events such as Hike It & Spike It, which both of my sons have competed in.”

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Her background in Roswell’s financial industry began at an early age.

“I was actually in high school when I began my career,” she said. “Through the Office Education Program, I began working at SIC Finance Company, which was located on North Main Street. A couple of years after graduating I went to work for what was then Security National Bank. I was employed by two other banks since that time, and have been with JP Stone Community Bank for the past 15 years.”

When asked what it was about the world of finance that captured her attention to the point that she wished to stay for such a long time, Janette focused on the people she’s worked with — from peers to mentors.

“It’s people like Jesse Eckel and Kenneth Berry, who I have worked with for more than 30 years now, that kept me in this industry,” Janette said. “That, and the absolute love and enjoyment I receive from working with people — both customers and employees. I enjoy getting to know them and I hope I have helped many of them grow not only financially, but personally and spiritually, as well.”

Janette has seen not only her hometown change and grow, but also the improvements and hardships that the economy has faced.

“When I first started in banking, everything was done manually,” she said. “Promissory notes were one quarter of a page, and credit reports were obtained by calling the credit bureau and writing everything down. Over the years, regulations have changed dramatically, which actually has made things more difficult. However, automation has made things much easier.”

Though she’ll be taking a great many memories with her, Janette is excited for the path ahead, and being with family.

“I will be moving to Moriarty where one of my sisters and brother-in-laws live,” she said, “and will be commuting to Albuquerque to be a full-time ‘grammy’ and childcare provider for my 1-year-old grandson — which is definitely my dream job.”

When asked what she wished she could take with her on her move, the answer was once again focused on people who most touched her life while growing up here.

“I would like to take my family, great friends, co-workers, Teen CBS and Grace Community Church with me,” Janette said, “just to name a few.”

The “to do” list that everyone keeps track of for their retirement is one Janette definitely has in place. She’s worked hard for many years and now can begin her full-time “dream” career that will also take her overseas.

“As well as grammy to my 1-year-old grandson, and my grandson of 8 years in Albuquerque, I will also be visiting England to see my 21-month-old grandson,” she said, “as well as my son and daughter-in-law, of course.”

The Roswell stories will always bring a smile to her face no matter what particular country she’s in at the time.

“There are so many clients I’ll remember,” Janette said. “I have a family with five boys who started doing business with me back in the late ‘70s. The boys had a mowing business when they were very young and we did a mock loan to them so that they could understand how the process worked.

“I now also do business with some of their children. I actually have several customers where I am now working with the second and third generations of their family trees,” she said. “I even have a couple who reminded me that I gave them their very first loan for her to purchase her wedding dress back in the early ‘80s.”

There are more than memories here — there are her sister and brother-in-law’s family, many friends, co-workers, customers and fellow parishioners at Grace Community Church.

No wonder she says, “I will truly miss Roswell,” even as she explores the world and begins her dream job as “grammy.”