She has been married to the same man for 52 years.
She has worked at the same bank for the past 48 years.
“It’s been a good life,” she said only a few days before her scheduled retirement from Prosperity Bank. “I don’t want it to change.
“Someone told me, ‘You don’t ever change.’
“I said, ‘Nope, and that is fine.’”
Mildred is among the probably handful of people who can say they have only had two jobs in their working career.
Her first job
As a teen, she worked at H-E-B in Beeville and was a frequent customer at Commercial Bank (which would later be bought by Prosperity).
“When I worked at H-E-B, I would come over and collect the insufficient checks,” she said.
“Mr. (Burke) Ellwood was the president, and every time I would come over, I would ask, ‘Do you have an openings?’
“He would say, ‘Not right now.’
“Then, one of the tellers came into H-E-B and said, ‘I am quitting.’”
It didn’t take Mildred long to apply for the position and get the job either.
“The next day, I came over here and went to work.”
Now Mildred, who was then still Mildred Dial, only worked about a year before getting married to Tom Yeoman.
“His grandparents were from here, but he was raised in El Campo,” Mildred said. “I was a good friend to one of his cousin’s wives.
“He had just got home from the service, and they introduced us.”
They married and had two sons. However, Mildred isn’t one to sit still very long either and after about three years, she went back to work.
“When I came back in ’64, I thought I would only stay a few years,” she said. “I don’t know — I just enjoyed working, and I just continued to work.
“I didn’t intend to work that long. But I did, and it has been good.”
She will miss the routine of seeing her coworkers and customers.
“It is time for me to retire,” she said.
Tom has been retired now since 1995.
“He worked for that good company called Enron,” she said, recalling the scandal surrounding the company.
“They closed his district office here, and that is when he retired. He didn’t want to move to Houston.
“He started out at Houston Pipeline, and they sold out to Enron.
“He was district manager here in Beeville. They retired him early. We didn’t lose a lot of money. So many people lost a lot. It is really sad. It was a really good company to work with.”
Now that both are no longer working, she hopes to be able to travel.
“My favorite place is Fredericksburg. I love to go there — even if it is just for a couple of days for a quick trip,” she said, adding that there are bigger trips on the horizon. “That is my dream, to go to New York.”
But don’t expect to see her whizzing down the highway.
“I don’t like those freeways,” she said. “We like the back roads. You don’t have to get in a hurry. If you want to stop, you can just stop.”
Mildred admits she misses the way things were back in younger years — when things were slower and the town was smaller.
“I used to know almost everyone,” she said. “I used to more than I do now, because we have had so many people moving in with the prison system, and I don’t know those people.”
She remembers when Beeville only had a handful of banks.
“We had three banks, and now we have a credit union and a lot more banks,” she said. “We have all kinds of cash advance and money places.
“I liked it better when we had the military base.
“It is just a different atmosphere. I met a lot of friends in the military that came and went.
“We still keep in contact, even though the base has been closed quite a while.”
She has even seen this change in the banking industry.
“When I started out, we had a bookkeeping department, and we handled everybody’s checks,” she said. “Now, everything is computerized, and we don’t have anything like that.”
Back then, it was more hands-on.
“With so many people now with accounts, you could never do that again,” she admits.
No small-town life
About the only thing she won’t miss about working will be the 12-mile drive to work.
“We live out in the country close to Pettus, and the traffic is terrible,” she said. “We are about five miles out of Tuleta, and it is unreal how much traffic there is with all this (Eagle Ford) oil field going on.
“You have to figure out how to stay off the highways.”
By any other name
When she started, Prosperity Bank was known as Commercial.
“When I worked for Commercial Bank, I was assistant vice president over bookkeeping, but mostly over the teller department.”
She actually did retire but went back to work part-time — this time as a Prosperity employee.
“I told someone this morning, this is my second time to retire; I am not coming back.’”
Her husband, knowing her enthusiastic and outgoing personality, did have one request.
“You better find something to do,” he told her.
She will. With five grandchildren, two of whom are still in school and one of those still in sports, she has plenty to keep her busy.