After 45 successful years with Tiptonville’s grocery store, Dewayne Haggard has retired.
Customers and employees gathered at Food Rite to wish Haggard well on his last day, Friday, January 31.
“Don’t leave us hanging without you,” one customer told Haggard as he handed out cake.
Haggard ensured customers that they would be in good hands with the store’s new management. He also plans to continue visiting the store and continue his active role in the community.
Haggard has become an integral part of the community, both as manager of Food Rite and as an active citizen.
In years past, he has brought smiles and delight to children across the county as Santa Claus in city parades. He also made Christmas Eve runs as Santa. Although he will no longer be making the Christmas Eve appearances, Haggard will continue to bring Santa to life at the Tiptonville and Ridgely parades.
Lake County Schools have felt Haggard’s presence as well. He made sure Falcon athletes had the fuel they needed to represent their school, often assisting with providing drinks and food to athletes before and after games.
In addition to providing donations for LCHS athletes, Haggard has helped with all of the county’s schools.
“Dewayne Haggard has supported MENS in many ways. If we need something for our students (drinks, food, or other donations), he has provided it,” said Margaret Newton Elementary School’s principal, Gamble Snyder. “Dewayne Haggard was an asset to the Lake County Schools.”
While Haggard plans to continue participating in the community, retirement will be a new chapter in his life.
Haggard says he most looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Judy, during his retirement.
“I just want to spend a quality life with her,” he said. “I want more time with my family.”
Retirement will also free him up to spend more time with his mother, who is in a South Carolina nursing home.
Although he has a lot to look forward to with retirement, Haggard says he will still miss some things about managing the store.
“All my best memories [at Food Rite] are the customers,” he said. “I love my customers.”
Food Rite’s new manager is Terry Sherrod.