By BRIAN SMITH
It’s been said that behind every good man there’s a woman making him even better.
Such is the case of Fred “Freddy” Werner, who will celebrate 50 years with First National Bank Weatherford with a special ceremony/open house Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the bank’s main branch, 220 Palo Pinto St. If it hadn’t been for his wife of nearly 49 years, Donna, Fred said he may never have taken the job at the bank.
“I knew I loved her and had to go to work and have a job,” Fred Werner said. “I had had a semester at Weatherford College but knew I wanted more. (Former bank president) Lee Young was my neighbor and hired me to file checks.”
That was back in 1962 and Werner took a piece of advice from his former mentor about the job.
“Everyone simply loved Lee Young. He told me that if I do a halfway good job and not be dishonest they won’t fire me,” Werner said with a smile and chuckle. “He said I would starve for the first few years, but I would have a different job each year.”
Young was true to his word and Werner learned the ropes, starting at the location formerly on the square. The bank moved to its present main branch in 1964 on the site of the former Parker Hotel. Werner was involved in bookkeeping, as a teller and finally as a cashier in operations but admitted he wanted out of operations in the early 1970s which is when he went into lending, where he has spent the last 40 or so years.
Werner has worked his way up the ladder, becoming a senior vice president in charge of consumer loans. He took night school classes to become a graduate of the Southwestern School of Banking at Southern Methodist University and has also taken classes with the American Institute of Banking.