Employee Life

Retiree Spotlight – May 2024

Name: Randy Tarter

Former role: Retired as the operations manager at the Redmond, WA district with Williams Northwest Pipeline. In my career I held at least eight very different roles, starting as a laborer at the Plymouth LNG plant.

Number of years with Williams: 38 years

Number of years retired: 5

How have you been spending your time in retirement? Well 😊 I was not quite ready to retire, and I believe in trying to be a lifelong learner, so I completed an API certification and pipeline welding inspector certification. I worked part time as a construction inspector traveling all over Washington.

Then in June of 2021 I received a call from a contractor that used to work for me at Williams asking what I was doing, to which I replied “Camping.” Short version, in what was supposed to be 12 weeks of work is still happening. I have even been able to put some of my former coworkers to work doing assorted tasks for the contractor in the pipeline industry.

Are you involved in any community/volunteer activities? I have an 18-year-old special needs stepdaughter, Miya, to whom, during the height of COVID, I attempted to act as her science teacher and teach her how to start veggie plants and garden. It went better than I expected.

We have relocated from the city to an area north of Redmond near Stanwood, Washington. Though a more rural school, we have been blessed that the high school has been very accepting and inclusive of Miya. My wife has even become a para-educator at the high school.

I have found joy in volunteer activities like helping at track meets and, by the time you read this, I will have helped as a chaperone for my stepdaughter at the senior prom.

I would tell anyone, if you are bored at home, call the local school, and see if they need any volunteers. I bet it will make you smile at the end of the day.

So far, what has been your favorite thing about retirement? Well, I have ended up working more than I planned, but I have enjoyed having more time to garden. I guess it is growing up on the farm and now getting back to my roots. If all goes as planned, by this time next year I will be selling my extra vegetables one day a week at the local farmers market, or at least giving the extras to the local food bank and neighbors.

Anything else you would like to add? I do miss the people at Williams that I worked with. By that, I mean those who answer the phone at 1:23 a.m. and by 1:45 a.m. the truck with the flying “W” is pulling out of the driveway. I miss those engineers that when there was a problem, we sat and looked at each other and said, “Looks like we are up to our necks in the swamp and, by the way, there are alligator’s.”  I miss working together as a team and finding solutions that worked well. Never stop learning, be an active learner no matter how old you are.