Indiana man, 102, retires as its oldest state employee

Bob Vollmer, Indiana's oldest state employee at the prime age of 102, is retiring after nearly six decades on the job. His last day as a surveyor for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will be Feb. 6.

“Your body tells you when it’s time to go," he told WXIN-TV. “Doctors tell me that’s one reason I’m still going. I got good lungs.”

The World War II veteran joined the agency in 1962 and still travels the state collecting technical field data and confirming boundary lines for DNR-managed properties. He was inspired to join DNR after spending time on naval ships during the war.

This Aug. 2, 2016 photo provided by Indiana Department of Natural Resources shows Bob Vollmer. Vollmer, 102, who is Indiana's oldest state employee is retiring after nearly six decades on the job, saying that “your body tells you when it's time to go.” (John Maxwell/ Indiana Department of Natural Resources via AP)

This Aug. 2, 2016 photo provided by Indiana Department of Natural Resources shows Bob Vollmer. Vollmer, 102, who is Indiana's oldest state employee is retiring after nearly six decades on the job, saying that “your body tells you when it's time to go.” (John Maxwell/ Indiana Department of Natural Resources via AP)

"One of the officers got on a bridge with a sextant, and a wristwatch," Vollmer said, adding that the officer was charting their position through the looking glass. "Of course, later on, I just realized that’s part of surveying.”

Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb recently presented Vollmer with the Sagamore of the Wabash, one of the state's highest honors, for his government service.

"Bob Vollmer, our oldest state employee at 102 years old, has been providing #GreatGovernmentService at the @INdnrnews for decades," Holcomb tweeted Wednesday.

Vollmer enlisted in the Navy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. After his service, he graduated in 1952 with a degree in biological and agricultural engineering from Purdue University.

Vollmer plans to report to work for the last time Feb. 6. The southern Indiana man, whose mother lived to be 108, joined the state agency in 1962. (John Maxwell/ Indiana Department of Natural Resources via AP)

Vollmer plans to report to work for the last time Feb. 6. The southern Indiana man, whose mother lived to be 108, joined the state agency in 1962. (John Maxwell/ Indiana Department of Natural Resources via AP)

He then worked for the Wabash Valley Association on reservoir and flood control projects before coming to work for the DNR. His time at the state agency has seen the evolution of the surveying trade from paper and pencil to handheld GPS devices.

Vollmer said he plans to spend his retirement reading and farming. He said he also plans to take trips to the South Pacific islands he was on during his wartime service.

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His last day of work's date has special significance.

“That's the day the war was over, that’s the day I got married,” Vollmer said smiling.

The Associated Press contributed to this report