NORMAN — When Charles Hollingsworth locks up and walks out the door of Arvest Bank this week, it’ll be the end of an era, of sorts. He’s the last link to the former Security National Bank in downtown Norman and the longest serving employee of all Arvest Banks.
He will complete 50 years of combined Security National and Arvest service when he retires at the month’s end. He has been an officer and the bank’s community liaison for decades, serving on civic improvement projects, chamber committees and various community fundraisers.
Often sporting a bow tie, he’s been the public face of the bank for many years.
His 13-year service on the school board, work with the Christmas parade and the Christmas Store is legendary. He has been behind the scenes in much of Norman’s growth and development in the past half-century.
Hollingsworth, a Norman native, has managed to avoid the spotlight, too, preferring instead to defer credit to others.
He requested no celebration of his retirement, and the bank has respected him to date.
“I just want to walk away quietly — like I came in,” he said.
He protested this article, but friends and colleagues insisted that his transition to retirement be noted.
“My entire career was all spent in the 100 and 200 block of East Main Street,” Hollingsworth said during an interview inside his nearly vacant office.
He was working in retail when Security National Bank president Jack Patten hired him into a management trainee program in 1964. His first paycheck was $50.
His mother would have regretted that he retired so young.
“Dad (Charlie) would have been OK with it, but Mom (Faye) would be very disappointed that I retired this young,” he joked. “Really, I just love coming to work. I love long weekends, but when Monday comes, I’m ready to come back.”