Stith marks 45 years

Kim Dean

First State Bank President Darwin Rabenberg honors Louise Stith, vice president and cashier for 45 years of service with the bank on Thursday, March 25. Stith began her banking career on March 29, 1976, and she plans to add more years of service at FSB.


This photo of the First State Bank staff was taken in 1993. Louise Stith is seated, second from the right. This year she celebrates 45 years with the bank.


Kim Dean

NLJ Managing Editor


The First State Bank crew honored long-time employee Louise Stith, whose 45th anniversary with the bank was March 29. The celebration was held last Thursday, and she received gifts and accolades from her co-workers, including First State Bank President Darwin Rabenberg. It is apparent that the crew enjoys having fun because Rabenberg jokingly said he thought Stith began working at the bank when she was 5 years old, adding that he hopes she continues to add more years of service to the bank. Perhaps the fun atmosphere has been part of the reason Stith says it hasn’t seemed like four and a half decades have gone by.

Stith, who was born and raised in Newcastle, began her career with the bank shortly after high school graduation. She currently serves as vice president and cashier. She has been around to see many changes in the banking industry — from system changes to government regulations and the addition of online and mobile banking.  Reflecting on her tenure, she recalled that for the longest time, she was the youngest employee at the bank.

While glancing over a prior News Letter Journal article about her employment anniversary 10 years ago, Stith noted that she had likely been around longer than a lot of the furniture.

Stith chuckled.

“Well, with the remodel a couple of years ago, I guess I have been around longer than the furniture,” she said. 

During her tenure, she admitted, she has done “pretty much” everything at the bank.

“I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done here. There’s always challenges, but you work through them,” she said.

First State Bank’s head teller, Deb Sewell, said that Stith is quiet, diligent and has been her boss for a long time and that the two were also classmates.

“We went to school together and work together, and here we are still together. We’ve been together through thick and thin,” Sewell said.

Stith said that her banking career blended well with her home life, allowing her and her husband, Kelly, to raise four children. Of her children, she said that Megan and Jim are both teachers, Trevor is in corrections, and their youngest, Sarah, is in banking. The couple has downsized their business operation by selling their motel and towing businesses, but Kelly still owns and operates Black Hills Auto Salvage.

At this time, Stith said, she has no plans to conclude her career at the bank. For those who are just beginning their career search, she advises that anyone who has good customer service skills and enjoys working with people should consider banking.

“There’s always opportunity for advancement,” she added.


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