After 40 dedicated years at the city of Federal Heights, Virginia Mullins is leaving her post in the utilities department and starting her next life chapter in retirement.
She spent many years watching the city grow and expand while meeting people she now considers family.
“I’ll really miss the people I worked with,” she said. “They are like family. You spend most of your day with them and you grow a strong bond.”
Mullins began her career in the Federal Heights Sanitation District in 1974 before moving over to the city a year later after the sanitation district was absorbed by the city. Since then, she’s been responsible for sending out utility bills to all Federal Heights residents. She rarely missed a day of work, except in 2010 when she was out for five months due to open-heart surgery.
“During that time I would walk to city hall from my house and pick up my check,” she said. “I had accumulated that much sick time because I never missed work. Unless I was contagious, I was working. Things had to get done. I was dedicated and cared about my job and the city.”
Mullins’ commitment to her job was even more important after she lost her husband 18 years ago. Although it was a tough time, Mullins said going to work is what got her out of bed each day.
“When my husband passed away, my job gave me something to do,” she said. “I had a goal every day to get up and get out of the house.”
Over the years, Mullins also made traveling a priority. She’s been to every state in the United States except for North Dakota, and has traveled overseas to France, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. She’s been to Italy twice and one trip in particular stands out over all the others.
“When I went to Italy I had the dream of a lifetime and got to see the Pope attend Mass,” she said. “There were thousands of people there. I was with a tour group and the Vatican was one of the places we went.”
Mullins plans to take more trips locally during her retirement with friends. She’s looking forward to sleeping in when she wants and exercising to stay healthy.
Mullins’ official last was July 2 and was celebrated with a retirement party at the fire station.