Hilda Hopper has watched the town of Clover grow and change for 17 years in her "dream job" as the town's treasurer.
Friday, however, was her last day at work as she retired.
"I really hate giving it up," said Hopper, 64. "But there's a time when you want to do other things with your family."
Hopper, who was in charged of the town's finances, said she started working for Clover as a staff accountant in 1995, before Clover even had a town manager. She became town treasurer about a year later.
Hopper, a 1966 graduate of Rock Hill High School, earned a degree in business administration from Winthrop in 1970. After living in Virginia for a several years, she and husband Lloyd Hopper settled in Clover.
"I got to know people better in Clover by being here rather than working in Charlotte," said Hopper, who worked as a staff accountant in Charlotte before being hired by the town of Clover.
She has been active for about a decade in the Greater Clover Chamber of Commerce, and has served the board. And she watched Clover grow up.
"It's developed into a much larger town," she said. "We've had more industry come."
During her years in Clover, the town acquired the existing YMCA building and the Larne building -- where the town and the chamber hosted a retirement reception for her last week.
The town also built a new fire department and renovated the police department, she said.
It acquired the old post office site, and renovated the building into a recreation center and council chambers.
Streetscape and beautification improvements have benefited Clover's downtown area, too, she said. "Downtown looks prettier. It looks like a more friendly town," she said.
But Hopper said she and her husband, who works in quality control at Siemens in Charlotte, want to spend more time with their family.
They are Gamecock fans and enjoy shagging and visiting the beach.
"You look at things both ways," Hopper said of her retirement. "You're happy to have more time to do things you really want to do, but still, you're sad to leave your friends and coworkers you wont' get to see every day."
Hopper has no regrets about her years in Clover.
"I knew this was the place I needed to be," she said. "I've loved every minute of it."