GREENFIELD — Hailing from the small western Pennsylvania mining town of Indiana, it might have been preordained that Jody Thomson wound up a Hoosier in Greenfield, but she wasn’t sure precisely why when she hit town in 1978.
Last week, Thomson wrapped up a career that spanned more than 29 years as a Hancock County probation officer, and though she says she’ll miss co-workers and her cases, there’s a lot of ground she wants to cover before she slows down.
“I’m enjoying my retirement,” Thomson said Thursday, sitting by a popping fireplace in her rural hand-built country home. “I figure I only have a certain window of mobility (before she slows down), and I’ve been making my list for quite a while.”
Following her ex-husband’s veterinary practice to land on a small farm behind Eli Lilly all those years ago, Thomson confesses she wasn’t really sure what she’d do in Greenfield.
Then she met Jim Andrews, director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hancock County at the time, who also happened to be a county probation officer, while getting her sons signed up at the club.
With that meeting, the Purdue University graduate, former fashion industry buyer and model and mother of two boys embarked on a career supervising and shepherding the county’s offenders with a firm but nurturing hand.
“Jody was a very good probation officer,” said Hancock County Chief Probation Officer Wayne Addison, who worked with Thomson throughout her entire career. “She was very fair, but she did it in a way that people thanked her for it afterward. It’s what we try to do here.”
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