Mabe retires from Fidelity Bank

35-year career in banking industry comes to an end

By Kevin Spradlin

With less than two hours to go on his last day at the office, Wiley Mabe recalled a friend’s story of retirement. It wasn’t a very successful one.

The friend, Mabe said, had retired some years ago and, beyond age 70, still reached his beach house only 10 days this year. Out of 365.

Wiley Mabe

Wiley Mabe

Mabe retired from Fidelity Bank on Wednesday. The senior vice president and area supervisor already has hired  his replacement, Patrick Chappell, and his looking forward to some time off. But reality might dictate he has less free time than ever.

Mabe, 65, continues to serve in elected office as chairman of the Richmond County Board of Education. He also is a member of the Richmond Community College Foundation board of directors, a volunteer firefighter with the Northside Volunteer Fire Department and is active in the Rockingham Rotary Club and at his church. Then there’s his wife, children and grandchildren.

One of Mabe’s last major projects was to oversee the consolidation of Richmond County offices — branches in Ellerbe and Hamlet are set to close, as is the downtown location, with a new central officer under construction on Highway Business 74, at the site of the former Rockingham Fish Camp. Maybe said Wednesday he felt the project would be further along by now, but inclement weather — most recently rainfall several days in a row — have delayed workers’ efforts to finish the exterior of the building.

Mabe started with Fidelity Bank on March 1, 2003. Prior to that, he worked for BB&T in Richmond County for nearly 16 years.

The 1967 Ellerbe High School graduate went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from N.C. State University. Mabe taught for seven years. In December 1978, Mabe left the profession and began a new career with the Federal Land Bank, now Farm Credit, as a loan officer.

In November 1983, Mabe went to work for United Carolina Bank. His job allowed him to return to his native Richmond County. United Carolina Bank bought Richmond County Bank in 1987. BB&T Bank later bought United Carolina Bank, where he worked from 1997 until started at Fidelity Bank six years later.

The final business hour Wednesday was a quiet one in the lobby of the downtown Rockingham branch. Mabe said he wanted it that way. He said members of the management team met for dinner Monday night at Beefeaters in Southern Pines.

Wednesday, then, was for work.

“I stayed ’til quittin’ time,” Mabe said, “doing what I do.”




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