Of Anniversaries and Annuities

Of Anniversaries and Annuities

Of Anniversaries and Annuities

A OneAmerica® love story connects the present with the past

Even in deteriorating health, retiree Ken McGlothlin smiles.
The Hoosier native, 88, has felt an affinity for OneAmerica throughout his life — from when he started with American United Life Insurance Company® (AUL) following his senior year of high school as a courier "buzz boy" in 1947 …

…to his courtship and marriage to a co-worker with whom he was enamored, Marcella Tipton, in 1957 …

……to a distinguished, ascendant career in tabulation, personnel and policy (plus a special assignment: record destruction) that led to a promotion to vice president … 
…to Ken's retirement in 1989 after 42 years, when his name was spotlighted on our signboard (left in photo), a three-line message normally reserved for light-hearted quips …

…to today, as he and Marcella spend their golden years in grace and comfort at Westminster Village North in Lawrence, Indiana.

The couple, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in October, are dealing with age-related health concerns. But they have peace of mind because they planned for retirement and they invested in OneAmerica company products (mainly annuities) that have made them prepared for retirement. Their example speaks to the very essence of our mission.

 Asked about the intertwining of all those events, a tear rolls down Ken's cheek. It is a tear of gratitude, explains Marcella, 85.

 "We're so lucky, and so thankful," she said.

Memories and milestones 

Ken and Marcella McGlothlinThe McGlothlins, with help from family friend Bill Adams, also a OneAmerica retiree, have gathered a trove of memorabilia about their careers that will be put on display at the Indianapolis Tower's Wednesday, Nov. 8, Best Day for present-day associates to enjoy. 

Those treasures include black-and-white photos and employee newsletters that paint a picture of a jovial company culture in the 1950s and 1960s, as we blossomed from a regional insurer to a national, multifaceted financial services company. 

Sitting in the living area of their stately Westminster apartment, which is decorated with photos of loved ones, Marcella picked up a folder of paperwork for annuities and investments the couple made during their working lives. "This is our 'How come we are here,'" she said, smiling.

Ken was just 8 when he lost his mother, and he was raised solely by his grandmother; they were poor, sometimes not having enough money to pay for the coal to heat their residence. Ken did not lack an inner fire, though; in his Lawrence Central High School Bears yearbook, he wrote that his dream was to be a "personnel manager."

Indeed, Ken was hired at AUL on Dec. 7, 1947. College wasn't to his liking, so he kept pushing around a buzz cart, delivering files to departments that needed them, yelling "Buzz!" as the file couriers did in those days.

Ken earned promotions, including to the pre-personal computer era of tabulation department of PAS, or Personnel and Services, on the second floor of the Administration building, then located at Fall Creek Parkway and Meridian Street. Ken developed the Policy Contract Services department, which was regarded as consistently responsive by agents in the field like Jerry D. Semler. Ken took the people who worked for him under his wing.

"He welcomed you in and taught you things to help you succeed," said Bill Adams, who has been friends with Ken for over 30 years. Ken told him that if he ever left his office, "make sure you had your tie fastened and your sport coat on."

Speaking of neat, in late summer 1980, Ken was appointed by Semler to lead the companywide housekeeping campaign. As chair of the Record Destruction Committee, his job was to get employees to clean out cabinets, desks, and bookcases as the company prepared to move from its headquarters building into a new Downtown Indianapolis tower.

Ken was president of our Twenty Year Club and president of the Indiana Policyholders Services Association. Outside of work, his volunteer duties included being on the Lawrence School Board from 1974-78, during the construction of Lawrence North High School, and serving on the Lawrence town council.

All of this accomplished, mind you, with only a high school diploma and one semester at Butler University.

"My father is somebody, at the start of his life, who was not afforded a lot of opportunities. He was self-made, through a lot of hard work," said Steve McGlothlin, Executive Vice President at Old National Bank.

Love in life insurance

Then there's the love story.

Marcella started in 1951, working on the other end of the AUL building as a cashier, then as a secretary. She'd order furniture for agents and helped coworkers get their typewriters repaired. She'd help pay bills via her role with the purchasing department, a job she loved and found immensely rewarding.

Ken and Marcella McGlothlin married in 1957.Ken and Marcella bowled together, attended company functions as friends, and finally began dating; not one person realized they were dating until she came to work with an engagement ring. For what was a small company then, talk about a buzz!

They cut their wedding cake Oct. 12, 1957, in Fishers, Indiana (the photo, at right, was published in a company publication, Life Lines.) Marcella left the company on May 31, 1961 to raise Steve and his brother Mike, and she transitioned to homemaker.

Because Ken and Marcella invested well (including savings, income from pensions, and annuities to cover down-the-road medical costs) he could retire early. He did so Dec. 8, 1989. They were both in their 50s and could enjoy a retirement filled with travel to Europe, adding to their collection of Christmas ornaments, and enjoying three grandchildren.

"The climb from buzz boy to vice president sounds like storybook material," Ken said at his retirement party. "It would certainly be difficult to follow the same path today. Very few people stick with a company for the long haul anymore. I have stayed with AUL because it has been good to me and my family. I really enjoyed my work - I'll miss it. I've enjoyed 99.9 percent of my days at AUL. I strongly suggest young professionals appreciate and enjoy the opportunities the company has to offer."

Ken's accomplishments led to his name being on our signboard, a rare achievement for an associate. The other signboard listing an employees' name? Dayton Molendorp during his exit as our president and CEO in 2014. 

He received a "Ken's Kart" that harkened to his first days. It was a great way to go out.