Lofton Retires from 28-Year Pharmacy Career
The NMMC Pharmacy Department in Tupelo honored Margaret Lofton (third from left) with a retirement reception Nov. 5. Helping her celebrate were pharmacists (from left) Kristie Gholson, director; Harold Kornfuhrer, former director; and Ronnie Crosswhite, longtime coworker.
Margaret Lofton isn’t one to bounce from place to place—she finds her niche and settles in. In fact, she has lived in only two homes throughout her lifetime, and she retired Nov. 8 from one of only two jobs that comprised her entire career.
Reared in the Eggville community of Lee County, Lofton’s family moved from their original homeplace in 1967 to a new house across the road—and she still lives there. A 1969 graduate of Mooreville High School, Lofton worked for 20 years as a secretary at Savings Oil Company. Her father died in 1989, and the following year she left Savings Oil. Shortly thereafter, her mother had foot surgery, and Lofton decided to take off until she recovered. “We had a wonderful year together,” she said.
In 1991, Lofton joined the NMMC Pharmacy Department in Tupelo as secretary. At that time, all the pharmacists were stationed in the main pharmacy, unlike today, when many are unit-based. She also was responsible for calculating employee timecards, which were done manually. The staff has grown to around 90 employees, and all processes are automated.
“The big thing I’ve always wanted to be was support for the staff—whether that was making signs, labels or forms, helping them prepare presentations or just whatever they needed,” she said. “My goal is to make my bosses look good.”
For many years, Lofton was responsible for helping with Employee Pharmacy’s daily deposit and sending out mail order medications. While she no longer does those two tasks, she said, “I still pick up the medications every day from the Employee Pharmacy and deliver them to the Central Pharmacy front window for employees who prefer to pick it up from there.”
During her tenure, Lofton has also volunteered for several tasks, like starting and administering the department’s “staff fund.” Anyone who wants to contribute gives $10 a year; as needed, the fund allows the department to send flowers or gifts during hospital stays and memorials at a family member’s death.
“The best part of working here is really feeling like I’m a part of a team…no, really, it’s more like a family,” Lofton said.
In retirement, she will continue teaching children’s Sunday School at Eggville Free Will Baptist Church, a role she has filled since she was 18 years old—though she did move up from preschool children to 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds in recent years. She also serves as secretary and treasurer and plays the piano or organ for her church.
Retirement will bring more family time with her brother, Doyle Lofton of the Richmond community near Mooreville; his two children; her four great-nieces, and six great-great nieces and nephews. “Now I’ll be able to go to their school activities during the day and also to their ballgames,” she said.
She looks forward to becoming more involved with her church’s senior group and to going on their monthly day trips. She also plans to gallivant with Jan Dillard, her best friend since first grade, who retired from NMMC’s Pathology Department in November 2018. “I’m planning a trip to the New England states next fall,” she said.
With her days more open now, Lofton hopes to spend more time working in her yard, enjoying the outdoors and participating in aquatic exercise classes at the Wellness Center.
And while Lofton has been looking forward to retirement, leaving NMMC has been a difficult decision. “After 28 years I feel even more blessed than I did the first day that I was offered the job. The contentment that I have had is because I feel like this job was where God wanted me to be,” she wrote in her resignation letter. “As I have told many people, the person that takes my place will more than likely do a much better job and come up with new ideas, BUT they will never love the job more than I have.”