Marcia Gae Schmitt was the one who opened the doors every morning at the Alexandria Senior Center. She was the one who got the coffee ready, the one who organized the fundraisers, who kept the center's busy schedule.

"She takes care of everything," said Clarence Wolf, chairman of the Senior Center board. "She's just great."

Now, after 5 years on-and-off of being the center's executive director, Schmitt is retiring.

"This is the eighth time I've retired, so I hope it sticks," she said.

Previously, she had retired from nursing administration, running a yarn and needlework shop, and running the Brophy Bay gas station, among other lines of work.

In the past, her "retirements" have lasted about a week, but this time she has projects of her own to focus on, such as remodeling the second floor of her house.

Schmitt's retirement was effective Friday, Nov. 30, and Carol Strong stepped in as interim director on Saturday, Dec. 1.

Her favorite part of working at the community center was "all the wonderful people I've gotten to know and work with," Schmitt said.

Most challenging? Making sure there is enough volunteer coverage for the center's various events and activities.

"The center is very busy," Wolf said. "It's a good thing."