Charlane StampleyALTON - Charlane Stampley was an employee with the Macy’s store in Alton when in started in 1978 when it was Famous-Barr, then continued when it became a Macy’s in 2005 until it closed recently.

Charlane relishes most in life her husband, Keith, and their seven children, 20 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Charlene is a mother and mother figure to not only her entire group of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but also many of those who worked at Macy’s.

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Charlane said she always tried to balance her time between working at Macy’s, her husband, children, and ultimately her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“I am from a big family of nine children myself,” she said. “God, children and family are always first in my life. I have always had God in my life.”

When the Macy’s store opened in October 1978, Charlane started in the housewares department.

“I started off part time and at the end of January 1 my first year and was full time and I have been full time ever since,” she said. “I loved the experience of working at Macy’s. I enjoyed working in the public and I worked first when they were Famous Barr. It became Macy’s in 2005.”

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LeRoy Stampley, the famed Alton basketball player who was drafted by the Denver Nuggets, is their nephew. The Stampley family now has several grandchildren who are sports participants.

When Macy’s closed it was bittersweet, Stampley said. “I hated to see it close. I had a lot of friends that were employees and I was friends with many of the customers. I do miss the customers. We are keeping in touch, though.”

One of Charlane’s specialities was servicing handbags.

“I also did work in the fine jewelry area,” she said.

Charlane now plans to spend time traveling with her husband and with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She said she is uncertain whether she will go back into the workforce.

Whether she is traveling in the future or continues to work, a few things will remain first in Charlane’s everyday life: “Having God for our family is No. 1 in everything we do,” she said.

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