School employee retires after 40-year career

by Patty Norton
Ramstein Middle School Public Affairs

Angelika Lessmeister
Angelika Lessmeister

Ramstein Middle School bid farewell to longtime employee Angelika Lessmeister who retired Jan. 31.

Lessmeister began her 40-year career with the school in 1972.

“My English was lousy and I was panic-stricken when I answered the phone,” she said.

Working at the middle school is the only job Lessmeister has ever
held; funny, since she didn’t like school as a child, faking illness at times to get out of attending, she said.

Lessmeister started her employment in the front office, and after several years moved to the school library. Twenty-five years ago, she became the supply technician, where she spent the bulk of her career.

“There were no computers; everything was done by hand,” she said.

Lessmeister has worked at the school longer than any other employee. She estimates she has seen 28,000 children pass through the halls over the years.

She became much more than a supply tech to those she worked with, providing gardening advice, translating services and organizing trips to see local sites.
Her beach-themed office always had an open door for co-workers to stop by or vent their frustrations.

As for what the future holds, Lessmeister plans to work in her more than 40-square-foot garden. Her garden has been featured on a television show and named one of the top 10 in southwest Germany. She also plans to travel, take care of her health and spend time with her husband.

“You are in charge of your life, nobody else is,” Lessmeister said. “I want to leave while I can still walk and not be carried out. I want to enjoy some of the things life has to offer.”