Man recognized for 50 years of service with local company

A rural Seymour man recently was recognized for completing 50 years of pushing dirt and rocks around for a local construction company.

Larry Guinn’s wife, Linda, also has worked for C.J. Rust Construction for 46 years, and it was that Cortland-based firm that brought the two together.

The Guinns live about a mile and a half from where Larry grew up in the community of Surprise. Linda grew up in Bartholomew County, near Borchers in northern Jackson County. They also live about a mile and a half from Rust Construction Inc. and the offices of Rust Companies, the parent company of Rust Construction.

“I graduated from Columbus North High School in 1966,” Linda said. “Larry went to Cortland schools up until his senior year, and then graduated from Seymour High School in 1966.”

Both grew up on family farms, and neither went to college, but rather, they both started working full time at Rust Companies after high school.

“That summer, they had just hired a bunch of young guys, five seniors,” Linda said. “I had seen Larry before, but we hadn’t met. It was an interesting summer.”

Larry, 68, and Linda, 69, went out for the first time in August 1966 when he took her to the Indiana State Fair. The two were married in November a year later.

The couple have three daughters, Charlotte Guinn, Gretchen Lawles and Nina Franke, and four grandchildren.

Prior to working at Rust Construction, Larry had a summer job at Morgan’s canning factory in Brownstown. When Linda first found out about a job in the office was available, she was babysitting for the Rust family.

“I babysat the Rust’s kids, Matt, Mark and Leah,” Linda said. “I did that for several years during summers and weekends, and then started working in the office in 1966, and that was full time.”

Larry started working at Rust Construction part time on weekends during the latter half of his senior year and was hired full time after graduation. His first duties at the company were truck driving, grass mowing and maintenance.

Employees were moved around from job to job to learn new skills, and Larry worked in all areas during this time on the job. He learned to weld equipment in the shop, operate equipment, including bulldozers, excavators and earth movers, and how to be a supervisor.

Lake construction was the primary activity when Larry was first employed. He gained experience working on many watershed projects for conservancy districts, including Quick Creek in Austin and Stanfield and Richart lakes at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge east of Seymour.

He also helped construct Hardy Lake in Scott County and Lake John Hay in Salem and played a role in the completion of many abandoned mine land reclamation projects in Kentucky and Indiana.

In recent years, his primary focus has been the construction of soil liner systems and landfill cells.

Read the full story in Thursday’s Tribune or online at tribtown.com.