Joan Rainis retired as Perinton town payroll clerk April 29 after 20 years on the job at town hall.
“The first person I see is Joan Rainis,” said Perinton Finance Director Brian Dick. “How can you not feel good about things when you see Joan? She makes you feel so welcome. You know she will bend over backwards to do things for people all day.”
“Joan is the heart and soul of the finance department,’’ said Dick. “People from the highway department or the parks department will come in the office and if Joan isn’t here, they will say ‘I’ll come back.’ We can’t replace Joan, not the way she does her work.”
Rainis, whose husband, Ken, has been on the Perinton Conservation Board for more than 30 years, plans to spend the first month of retirement visiting her son, Michael, and his five sons in Spokane, Washington. Rainis’ daughter, Caroline, lives in Penfield with her other two grandchildren, a boy and a girl.
“It will be bittersweet to leave,” said Rainis. “I’m so used to coming in and trying to do a good job, that it will be really different not to think about it. But it is time for Joan to be a grandmother.”
Rainis grew up on the south side of Chicago where she met Ken. They moved to Iowa while Ken worked on his master’s degree. She also had her first son, Billy, while in Iowa.
In August 1976, they moved to Rochester. Joan worked various jobs, including nine months in the town clerk’s office in Brighton and five years as the financial person for North Baptist Christian School in Irondequoit before coming to Perinton. The couple had moved to Perinton in 1986.
“The best part is the people,’’ said Rainis. “I love working with numbers, but taking care of people and making sure they have no concerns about their pay. I took pride in making sure payroll was correct and retirements and health care were all set. I liked keeping a close eye on things for people.”
Besides being a grandmother, Rainis plans to spend more time as a minister. She has taught Sunday school for many years at Grace Baptist Church in Marion.
“We will certainly miss Joan around here,” said Perinton Town Supervisor Ciaran Hanna. “She is a terrific work and is a pleasure to be around. I wish her the best and I know she will enjoy spending more time with her grandchildren.”