On to new adventures


By Sheryl Roadcap
[email protected]

TROY — After 58 years of employment at Clopay Corporation, Allie Cordonnier, has parked his tow motor at the Troy factory for the last time.

Cordonnier’s first day at Clopay — the only job off his family farm he ever held during his working career — was the day after he graduated from high school on May 24, 1965. Cordonnier grew up on a farm, but also bought and ran his own farm in Russia. His dedication as an employee of the garage door manufacturing facility likely derived from his positive outlook on life.

“Every day is a gift,” Cordonnier said with a big smile after a proclamation was read in his name on Sept. 6 by Troy Mayor Robin Oda at his work’s retirement luncheon. He said he takes life “one day at a time.”

Indeed, Cordonnier has positive attitude. He asked us at Miami Valley Today to guess his beginning wage with the company in 1965.

“I made $1.50 an hour, and was happy to make it. I was born and raised on a dairy farm. I went from making $60 a year to $60 a week,” he said, emphasizing the big difference in pay at that time.

Cordonnier said the industry has changed “vastly” since he started at Clopay with the rise of technology compared to how they used to do everything by hand.

His wife Linda, whom he shares five children, 19 grandchildren and one great-grandchild with, said, “Those were the days when you graduated and started work the next day.”

She joked and said after all these years her husband was on the job, she wont have to pack his lunch anymore.

“It’s going to a big change in our house,” she said with a smile and a chuckle.

When asked why he finally decided to retire, Cordonnier said, “If I make a promise, I stick to my word.”

He went on to say his children got on to him about making the move last Labor Day in 2022, so he picked the day.

Cordonnier said his last Friday of work before Labor Day was a difficult day, “Last Friday was the hardest day of my life, saying my goodbyes.”

“Allie’s seen a lot of changes. He is a pillar of reliability and has vast knowledge of the garage door industry,” said Brian Homan, Clopay’s director of manufacturing at his luncheon. “He is an all-around dedicated employee and great ambassador for our company. He is a man of his word and always is a testament of our employees’ dedication to our company.”

Clopay celebrates retiring employees by inviting that person’s entire department to a luncheon provided by the company. Anyone Cordonnier wanted to invite to his party, including family or other co-workers from other Clopay departments were also welcome.

Along with Oda’s proclamation, Homan, on behalf of Clopay, handed Cordonnier a clock as a retirement gift from the business and then they cut his large retirement cake to share with everyone present.

Allie and Linda thanked Oda and everyone from Clopay for celebrating his retirement with them. When asked what his plans are next, he said he will have more time to attend the grandchildren’s’ sporting events, volunteer and travel.

Cordonnier heads up a 30-person Bible study on Wednesday evenings at the Versailles High School. He noted that he focuses on the Kingdom of God, not denominations. He also volunteers for Rustic Hope, a five-county nonprofit organization that offers physical, emotional, and spiritual support to parents in need, by helping out with anything needed.

He and his wife love to travel and have visited all 50 states, he said, so their next big trip will be to Israel in March 2024. But before that, he and his son and nephew are planning a pheasant hunting trip in December in South Dakota.

“(The grandchildren) all live within 33 minutes of our house,” he said happily.

“I think they are ready,” Linda said of their family looking forward to having more free time to attend ballgames and other family events.

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