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'Grandmother' is her profession now

August 05, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

After 30 years in the banking business, Carol Erck was already planning to retire this year when something happened that speeded up the process a bit.

That "something" was the arrival of her grandson, Alexander Finn, who was born ahead of schedule in January, prompting Erck to retire early in April.

Now she is taking care of Alexander, the son of her daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Kevin Finn.

"Caring for Alexander has been a joy," Erck said as she rocked him one recent summer afternoon in the Hagerstown home she shares with her husband of 40 years, Frank Erck.

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Now thriving after a rocky start in life, Alexander played happily with his toys and his toes while his grandmother talked about her previous career as well as her new calling.

Both Frank and Carol Erck hail from Ohio - Carol from Mansfield and Frank, who called Youngstown home.

"I was volunteering at the YMCA in Mansfield when I met Frank, who was the youth director there," she said. After they married, the Ercks moved to Hagerstown in 1973, when Frank Erck became executive director of the Hagerstown YMCA.

He retired from the YMCA in 1988 and after a stint selling insurance, Frank Erck is now a loan officer with Mercantile Mortgage.

When the couple first came to Hagerstown, Carol Erck learned from Phil Rohrer that Hagerstown Trust Co. was looking for tellers. "I put in my application in 1975," she said.

It turned out to be a good move for her since she freely admits she is a people person. "Banking is very much a people business," Carol Erck said.

After being a teller for some time, Carol Erck was moved into the executive offices as an administrative assistant. Still to her liking, that job also involved working closely with the public and helping them through the changing world of banking.

"I became corporate secretary in 1994," she said. "It was a great honor."

That year, Hagerstown Trust Co. went from being part of Mid Atlantic Bank Corp. to Fulton Financial Corp., she recalled.

"I had to contact a lot of people who had investments that needed to be updated because of the company change," she said. Many times those documents had been in safety deposit boxes and nearly forgotten.

"I helped them search for those," she said.

Throughout her career, Carol Erck said she helped people understand banking. During her 30 years, many changes occurred including the advent of ATMs, electronic banking and bill-paying. "There has been a lot of growth in convenience, thanks to new technology," she said.

Now in addition to caring for little Alexander, she has resumed her love of sewing and is trying new recipes.

In addition to Jennifer, Carol and Frank are also the parents of Franklin Erck IV.

Carol also has a son, Casey Letizia, from a previous marriage, and one grandchild. Frank has two children, David and Andrea, from a previous marriage and four grandchildren.

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