BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's rare these days for a person to spend 45 years working for the same company. What's even more rare is to spend that amount of time working for a city government. But that's exactly what Frankie Duggan has done. He went to work for the city of Biloxi in 1968, and will retire at the end of this week.
For the past 13 years, Duggan has served as the city's port manager. So why leave now?
"I'm 65 and I got my first old man check got in the bank last month, and I got my old man insurance card, and I decided to spend more time with the family and the grandkids and do more fishing," Duggan said.
For 32 years, Duggan worked as a Biloxi police officer, a job he loved.
"If you take that job on with the idea that you're there to help people, it can be the most rewarding job you can have. I met some of the most wonderful people in the world," Duggan recalled.
As is the case with thousands of other South Mississippians, Frankie Duggan sums up his career using four simple letters, BK and AK: Before Katrina and After Katrina.
"I was really very, very shocked to see the damage it had done. But it has taken so long to get here, built up so much water and it was so big the storm, I couldn't believe what I had seen," Duggan remembered.
The entire harbor system had to be rebuilt.
"We decided to reconstruct it and we did some changes. And I tell you, I think this thing will survive a storm pretty good now," Duggan said.
Along the way, Duggan cooked catfish for thousands of charities.
"It's a way to give back to the community and help people. And I think that's what life is all about, helping people."
His leaving will leave a big hole to fill in city government, according to mayor A.J. Holloway.
"He really is a great person, and he's done a fantastic job for the city, and we'll miss him because he could do so many things," Holloway said.
Is there anything Duggan would take back?
"I don't have any regrets. I would probably go back and do it all over again if I could go back to being 21 again."
While serving with the police department, Duggan acted as interim chief for several months, and was also the city's civil defense director for four years.
By the way, he still plans on cooking his famous catfish and hushpuppies for charity.