People: Mike Wilder

December 15, 2003|GARY MOYERS

Mike Wilder laughs when he contemplates retirement.

The idea of slowing down and taking it easy might be appealing, but Wilder says it's just not going to happen with him.

"It won't really be a retirement," he said. "I'll spend more time wearing my other hats. Retirement is just not a good way to describe it."

Wilder is retiring from the insurance business after 28 years as an agent for Shelter Insurance in Perryville, but that doesn't mean he's going to stop working.


"My last official day as an insurance agent will be Dec. 31," he said. "I'll continue to help my customers with advice and try to point them to the right people, but I'll no longer be a Shelter agent effective the end of the year."

What he will be, he said, is a full-time funeral home director, owner of a monument company, part-owner of a floral shop and part-owner of a gift shop.

"I expect I'll be busier in retirement than I was before," he said.

Wilder is the funeral director and licensed embalmer for Wilder Funeral Home in Perryville and has served as deputy coroner for Boyle County since 1970.

"The funeral home has always been my primary work," he said. "That's not going to change. I will be in the home more often now."

Wilder's sister, Mary Ann Wilder, also works at the funeral home and will take over management of Wilder's Flower Basket.

"We just purchased that business, and Mary Ann will be managing it," he said.

"We have some other employees there as well, and that gives both of us the flexibility to be where we're needed."

Wilder's mother manages the gift shop next door to the funeral home and performs office duties at the funeral home.

"We're definitely a family affair," he said. "Mother lives here at the funeral home, so she has a hand in all the businesses we have."

Wilder has worked at the funeral home since 1969 and is active in a statewide organization for coroners. He serves as executive secretary for the Kentucky Association of Coroners and said his duties for that group take a good bit of his time.

"I'm responsible for communications with the more than 400 members of the organization," he said. "I organize and plan our meetings each year, and I work on a newsletter for the members. It takes a lot of time."

Add to that list his duties as an active member of Perryville Lions Club, and you get the recipe for a busy, busy man.

Wilder is a 1965 graduate of Danville High School and got his degree from the University of Kentucky.

His wife, JoNell, is a retired teacher who taught for 31 years in Perryville and now teaches one day per week with a drug awareness class at Boyle County Middle School.

"We're probably about the biggest UK fans around here," he said. "We're both nuts about them, and we'll go just about anywhere to watch them play. Our 25th anniversary present to ourselves was a trip to Maui with the Cats. We had a great time."

Fan trips aside, Wilder expects his retirement to be anything but a slowdown. "No, I can't see myself doing that yet," he said. "I enjoy getting out and seeing people too much. Maybe we'll get that rocking chair out some day, but not just yet."

Central Kentucky News Articles