WAYNE – Rusty Parker recently retired. He served the Wayne community as a State Farm Insurance agent for 35 and a half years. Parker retired on December 31, 2020.
Starting as a teacher and coach at Wayne State College and Mid-Plains Community College, Parker began his journey as an insurance agent thanks to his brother, Harlan, an insurance agent in Kansas City.
After north of 35 years of helping people through their worst, Parker talked about what he learned along the way.
“That’s why they call them accidents. I’ve learned that you just can’t even dream of the stuff that can happen in life,” Parker dissertated.
According to Parker, his job largely involved making sure people could return to a normal routine following these accidents.
Tonya Hackworth is a licensed agent and office manager at Wayne’s State Farm. A “high-quality individual” as described by Parker, Hackworth has been at State Farm for about four years. Hackwork elaborated on what made Parker a great insurance agent.
“He definitely made people feel like a State Farm family member. I think everybody felt very comfortable with him and safe and he was definitely a trusted member of the State Farm family as well as Wayne family,” Hackworth stated.
Jeff Markworth has been given the reigns to run the Wayne State Farm office. He talked about what he enjoys about being an insurance agent.
“Everybody’s got a unique story, the ability to connect with them and really help them where they need help the most,” Markworth said, “whether it’s something that goes wrong, whether it involves some sort of planning, just making sure that people are taken care of.”
Markworth hopes to continue what was started by Willis Johnson and carried on by Parker. Each worked for over 30 years at Wayne’s State Farm. Markworth, a Jackson, Nebraska native, joked that he might have to stay for at least 35 years.
Continuing discussion about the future, Parker mentioned how he is approaching retirement.
“My plan for the future, just be able to have free time for my family, we’ll figure it out, it’s just another adventure, going forward,” he said.
That family includes his wife of 45 years, Deneil, two kids, and five grandchildren. Parker also enjoys golfing and will be the president of the Wayne Country Club for another year.
For more information about Wayne’s State Farm, call 402-375-3470.