Church secretary retires after three decades
After 33 years, Peggy Lallement has retired as secretary at Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church and is moving on to a new job. She has provided the continuity needed in the office as the church has gone through many changes throughout the years, and she will be greatly missed.
“When I came to Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church 12 years ago, Peggy had already been the church secretary for a long time. Over the years, she has seen many people, including pastors, come and go, and has been the one person able to provide the necessary continuity in the office through all the transitions,” said Steven Blocher, pastor at the church.
“Her presence in the office – her vast knowledge and willingness to help – will be missed. While she is working elsewhere, I’m thankful that she will continue to participate in the worship and life of our church.”
A 45-year resident of South Lake Tahoe, Lallement came to Lake Tahoe from Riverside, Calif., in 1962 with her parents, Bob and Lillian, and her brothers, Rick and Thom. She is a 1967 graduate of South Tahoe High School, which was the first class to graduate from the high school building on Gardner Mountain. She still lives in the house her parents built and where she was raised. After graduating, she worked as a baby sitter and at odd jobs, and in 1974 was hired as secretary at the church.
In her 33 years there, Lallement has served three full-time and two interim pastors: Ron Soucy, 1974-77; Ron Fridlalnd, 1977-79; Bob Sanders, 1979-95; Asa Collins, 1995; and Steven Blocher, 1995-present.
“Peggy served the Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church as its secretary very faithfully for more than 30 years. You always saw her smiling face greeting you when you went into the office,” said Roberta Mason, a longtime church member and friend. “She was always ready to help you with whatever you needed, whether it was to order some curriculum for a class or to contact another church for information. Her gracious presence will be missed.”
Lallement started her duties as secretary with a card table, a manual typewriter and a hand-cranked mimeograph machine.
“It’s fun to look back and see the changes,” Lallement said. “The church now has a well-equiped office with computer, copier and offset printer.”
Her duties included keeping the church registry of members, writing the bulletin and getting out the newsletter, keeping the church calendar, answering phones, and serving as recording secretary for Session. She also was financial secretary and ordered supplies.
“In a business office, you are usually accountable to one boss. In a church, you work for more than one person, making sure things run smoothly,” she said.
What Lallement most enjoyed about her job as secretary was meeting the people and variety of work that needed to be done. She liked working with members and the people who walked in. What she will miss most is the interaction with the pastor and members.
“Peggy has been like the Energizer Bunny – she just kept going,” said Bea Cook, who has known Lallement since she was a girl. “She was the continuity for the church as ministers came and left. If you ever needed to know where something was, about an event coming up, or the right procedure, Peggy was the main source. She was just always there quietly doing what was needed.
“The church owes Peggy a great deal of respect and appreciation for her work, caring and kindness,” Cook said.
Lallement has taken a position as human resources generalist at Marriott’s Vacation Club International and will be doing many of the same things she did at the church.
“I’m grateful to the church for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow over the years, so I could be ready for this move,” she said.
In her free time, Lallement enjoys riding her horse, Splash, spending time with a quilting group, square dancing and being involved with the Tahoe Mountain Milers, a running club. She also likes to bake and decorate cakes, especially for weddings and birthdays. She has been a 4-H leader for 19 years.
“Peggy is the one person who has been a stablizing factor at the church through the years, and we will all miss her,” said Jim Duke, a church member and personal friend. “I have known her through the church as well as the Cowboys and Petticoats square dance club for many years.”
“I’ll miss my job as church secretary, but it will be nice not to have to worry anymore if there are enough bulletins, if the candles are burned down, and if there are clean altar cloths,” Lallement said.