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Janet Estes, of Springfield, has retired from the Illinois Department of Military Affairs after more than 36 years of service to the State of Illinois, 30 years supporting the Soldiers and Airmen of the Illinois National Guard.
Estes started her employment with the State of Illinois in 1984, working with the Department of Revenue and the Illinois Department of Education Labor Relations Board before coming to the Illinois Department of Military Affairs in 1990. The Illinois Department of Military Affairs supports the Illinois National Guard.
“Everyone at the Department of Military Affairs and the Illinois National Guard have been memorable in one way or another,” Estes said. “I have worked with wonderful individuals over my 30-plus years, who gave me great personal and career support.”
A fixture of the personnel office for over 30 years, Estes worked through many memorable events during her time at Camp Lincoln in Springfield. Estes spoke of always trying her hardest. During these times, and throughout her career, Estes said her efforts were rewarded.
“I did my best and I was well rewarded in kindness, in friendship and appreciation,” said Estes.
The director of IDMA’s state personnel office at Camp Lincoln, Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Anthony Boster, spoke highly of Estes.
“She always put the interest of the Soldiers, Airmen, and employees of the Illinois National Guard and Department of Military Affairs first,” Boster said. “I will miss her smiling face each day when I arrive at the office. She was a beautiful person inside and out.”
Boster said her retirement was well earned, and on behalf of everyone in his office, he wished Estes and family the best on her retirement.
Col. (Ret.) James Smith, the Chief of Staff of the Illinois Department of Military Affairs, has known and worked with Estes throughout her career. Smith discussed his relationship with Estes, and the hole she leaves behind.
“I’ve known Janice the entire 30 plus years she has been with our department, she was always the gold standard when solving complicated problems or dealing with sensitive matters,” Smith said. “The guidance or advice she provided to both Army and Air National Guard leaders in field units has been invaluable.”
Speaking of retirement, Estes stated that she looked forward to time with her husband, Bill, relaxing through the spring. Estes said she hopes to travel to visit family and friends once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.