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NIH Record vertical blue bar column separator Retirees graphic

Willett Retires from NIH After 38 Years

Marie Willett retired on Apr. 2 after 38 years at NIH. Hired in 1966 directly from high school, she has proven to be a shining example of the local workforce, colleagues said.

She typifies the young, promising individual who comes to the government early, and many years thereafter leaves an indelible mark on those who are fortunate enough to meet her or work with her, they added. "Whoever did the hiring in 1966 certainly had an eye for talent; they would be pleased to know that Marie is as young and promising in her outlook and demeanor now as she was then," said Linda Stecklein. "She has lost neither her enthusiasm nor her willingness to help everyone, has worked her way up through the ranks, and (give or take an hour or two) says she has loved every minute at the NIH."

Marie Willett
Beginning with what was then the Division of Research Resources (and eventually became NCRR), Willett migrated to NHLBI, and ended her career with the Office of Extramural Programs in the Office of Extramural Research, OD.

A plan to "roast" Willett at her recent retirement party proved to be short-lived, as no one could really say anything insulting about her, even in jest. Lauded for her candor, her honesty, her ability to meet deadlines and her ability to work as a team member and leader, she will be missed perhaps most by her current supervisor, Dr. Walter Schaffer, acting head of OEP.

Offering attendees even richer detail about Willett's contributions to NIH was Dr. Ron Geller. He met Willett in 1974, hired her in 1989 and then worked with her for years until his recent retirement. Also attending was Willett's husband, Jim, whom she met while both were working at NIH.

Willett's talents go beyond NIH. Working tirelessly with the Girl Scouts, she is a dedicated Scout Mom to her daughter Stephanie. Between the two of them, they keep half of Rockledge in Girl Scout cookies, and take part in a variety of musical events, too.

Willett will be relaxing, doing some contracting work at NIH and spending time at the family beach house in Ocean City. She will also doubtless be found at Blockbuster and other high-traffic areas selling Girl Scout cookies.

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