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Len Bratton retires

FEATURE ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 3-24-02, By ANDREA MIGHT, Morning Journal Writer

``Little bit of everything for everyone

AVON -- If something needed doing at Avon City Hall, 71-year-old Len Bratton was the man everyone looked to ...

For 10 years, Bratton did a little bit of everything for everyone at Avon City Hall, that is until he retired Feb. 28 [2002].

Bratton, an Avon resident since 1959, said he worked as a maintenance person. Avon Mayor Jim Smith said Bratton was more that that. Bratton was a great employee. ''He came in here and did something for everyone,'' Smith said.

Bratton considered his job description included helping the mayor and other City Hall employees, delivering City Council information packets to council members, shopping for office supplies at Sam's Club, cleaning bathrooms and mowing the lawn at the police station, which until not to long ago was also City Hall.

''I took care of City Hall and the police station,'' Bratton said.

And while that was true, Bratton said he even made sure council members' dogs got attention.

When delivering information packets to council members, Bratton would carry a bag of dog bones to give their dogs a bone.

Taking bones to the dogs was part of his job enjoyment. ''I carry bones in my car all the time,'' he said ...

''You have to know how to do your job,'' he said. ''The council people are very nice people. Everybody tries to help people out. They're kind to everybody.''

This is not the first time Bratton has retired from a job.

He retired from Sherwin Williams after 37 years as a paint shader. Part of his job was to mix different shades of paint colors for color cards. After he retired from there in the late 1980s, he worked for five years at Kohl Madden Inc., a company that sells ink for department store gift boxes. In 1992, he started working for Avon.

Bratton
Avon resident Len Bratton relaxes in Mayor Jim Smith's chair at Avon City Hall. (PAUL WALSH)

Now that he is retired again, Bratton said he plans to spend time with his wife, Margie, and volunteer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He and Margie are members of the auxiliary and have volunteered their time for children's water activities, including teaching children the importance of getting permission from Mom or Dad to go swimming and wearing a life jacket.

As part of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Bratton also helps do vessel checks, which includes making sure boats have enough working flares and life jackets ...

He and his wife have been married 47 years, and ''We enjoy each other,'' he said. ''We work together, we clean together, we even go shopping together.''

Bratton said he is also happy not to have to plan each day ahead of time. Retired people, he said, can just plan each day as it comes.'' ''

amight@morningjournal.com

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